Fall/Winter'19 Cover Story with Margot Lee

Photography by Michelle Mercede

As I approached Margot on the steps of the Bethesda Terrace, she was overlooking Central Park in the midst of July. I was anxious, as I have read cover stories before and was left feeling simply – disappointed. I wanted to hit the mark, as I wanted to encompass all the passion and fire that is, Margot Lee. Undeniably, she exceeded all expectations. She was angelic and effortlessly chic, sporting boyfriend jeans, and white tennis shoes. Her carefree and positive vibes made my anxiety feel like a distant memory, as I knew she was the cover girl NOEMI needed. She exuded kindness and curiosity, watching the street performers with child-like wonder as they entertained the crowd. As an accomplished YouTuber and fashion blogger, Margot is well versed in entertaining the masses, as she currently holds an impressive 425K subscribers. I attained an exclusive opportunity to chat with Margot regarding her life as an influencer, the ideologies she lives by & how she remains authentic.

In 2014, Margot’s YouTube channel was strictly for her own enjoyment, as she wanted to keep that personal endeavor private. As fate would have it, word spread, and her high school classmates eventually discovered her channel. Margot decided to take the circumstances into her own hands. She posted an emotional video titled To My Classmates, explaining that YouTube is simply a creative outlet. Despite being an adolescent at the time, her maturity levels were admirable. As Margot explains in the video, “… It’s not right to make fun of someone for doing what they love. We all know that tragedies happen… so we really just have to enjoy our lives.”

Photography by Michelle Mercede

Five years later, and Margot’s career as a YouTuber has blown-up, as she explains her journey as a rising influencer. “I started working with brands consistently about three years ago and signed to my management, Select, two years ago. Getting a manager definitely made the brand side of YouTube a lot more manageable and sustainable, since I had more time to focus on the creation of my videos. I'm not sure YouTube is something I would want to do full-time after I graduate, but it's definitely something I will do alongside whatever I find myself doing post-graduate.” Through struggles and triumphs, Margot’s career has grown and developed into something truly honorable. At a mere twenty-one years old, she also runs a successful fashion blog, Margot Lee, and has partnered with numerous companies such as Fossil, H&M, Sephora, & Dote. “Every day I am so grateful that I get to work with incredible brands I have only dreamed about, and even better, travel with some of those brands. My biggest accomplishment has been building my own brand that allows me to have these opportunities.”

In an age where social media plays a predominant factor in the lives of NOEMI readers, influencers and social media moguls act as key role models to millennials. Often fashion trends, beauty hacks, and trendy hairstyles are mimicked by an easily persuaded audience, unfortunately leading to more extreme products having influence. A number of social media stars have made millions in income promoting “miracle” dieting solutions, such as oral supplements and dietary drinks, opening the market to dangerous and unhealthy products. However, Margot is well aware of the social responsibility and ethical standards that must be upheld with such an influential platform. “As someone who looks up to other influencers and bloggers, I understand that people who watch my videos or follow me on Instagram might form their opinions about products, lifestyles, or brands based on my own views. I always try to put my best foot forward while staying true to who I am; as I know that what I do or say might have a lasting effect on someone.” Margot works to provide positive and authentic content tailored specifically to what she enjoys, never straying from her true persona – something to truly commend. Unfortunately, with such a large following, there’s bound to be negativity. “Once in a while, people will share judgment or hate, criticizing very personal aspects of my life. Although I usually don't let it get to me, if I am already in a funk or bad head-space, it can be harder to shake. I've found if a certain comment or message is really hurtful or bothering me, the best way I deal with it is talking about it with a friend. My friends are incredible and know how to talk me out of feeling down.”

Photography by Michelle Mercede

However negative those comments may be, Margot continually looks towards the positivity in life – living by the codes of the Law of Attraction & manifestation. These ideologies, to put it simply, are the ideas that all thoughts turn into things overtime. In layman’s terms, we attract what we put into the universe. Setting intentions and choosing the best way to achieve goals are key steps to implement these ideologies into life. “Manifestation is all about getting things out ‘into the universe’- the idea of it can seem intimidating, but it can even just be small things that get your day going. On a small scale, if I know I have to get things done or ‘make things happen,’ I always write them down. Even if I don't look at that list again, it helps me to get those things out of my head and make sure it happens.”

As our cover story photoshoot was wrapping up for the day, I asked Margot if she was excited for her senior year at Syracuse University. Margot projected bitter-sweet emotions, but that she would be most nostalgic for back-to-school shopping. This conversation with Margot stuck with me, as it conveys the true simplicity of her character. “I honestly just want people to be happy, entertained, and inspired when they watch my videos. If even one person feels that way, then I know I've done my job.” Her multiple channels provide her active followers and ghost followers with positive and refreshing content that inspires and guides individuals to manifest their own destinies. To quote Belva Davis, “Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.”

Photography by: Michelle Mercede

Written by: Megan Morgante

Styled by: Megan Morgante