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The power of Love Island

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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As ITV2’s hit reality show, Love Island returned to UK screens this weekend with its first Winter edition, taking the villa to Cape Town, South Africa for the first time, FashionUnited has looked back at last year’s contestants to see how successful they have been.

While the show may be about finding love when the contestants' exit they see their influence on social media grow and fast-fashion and beauty brands can’t sign them up quick enough. Last summer’s edition was probably one of the most popular series, everyone falling for Maura, Molly-Mae and Amber, and nearly all the stars of the show ended up with ambassador roles with fashion names including Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing and Asos, as well as creating their own fashion ranges, and starting their own brands.

Before the influencer world is flooded with new TV reality stars, here is a look at who left Love Island and blossomed, not necessilarly with a love match but with influencer spending power.

Amber Rose Gill

As winner, Amber Rose Gill was always going to a big signing for a fashion retailer, but no one could have predicted that the bidding would go as high as 1 million pounds, but that is what fashion e-tailer MissPap paid for the Love Island star to not only be the face of the relaunch of the brand but to launch her first fashion collection.

The Love Island winner signed a six-month exclusive deal, which must be nearly up, and saw her launch an all-inclusive range covering sizes 6-26 in October that featured body-con silhouettes and figure flatting shapes featuring exaggerated sleeves, ruches and plunge necklines. Since the debut collection, the star has launched a number of edits, with the latest one set to drop this week on January 16.

It was seen as a good investment for the brand as when her first collection dropped it reported helped the e-tailer hit annual sales of 1 billion pounds for the first time.

Commenting at the time of signing, Gill said: “Since leaving Love Island everyone has been waiting for me to announce my clothing collection but I wanted to take my time in the design process to make sure everything is perfect for girls of all shapes and sizes, but also ensure it embodies my fashion sense, fun, sexy and easy.”

From MissPap’s point of view, they felt that Gill was a “perfect fit” for the brand, following its acquisition by Boohoo group, and used the deal to “accelerate its offering to our ever-growing range of customers globally”.

As well as signing a big fashion deal, the former beauty therapist also launched a podcast with her best pals from the villa, appeared on TV show Loose Women, and did a collaboration with SportFX.

Image: courtesy of MissPap

Maura Higgins

Maura Higgins may have only come fourth with her partner Curtis, but she left the villa as one of the most talked-about Love Island stars ever, which landed her a TV presenting gig on This Morning, as well as snagging a slot on ITV’s Dancing on Ice show. When it comes to fashion, Boohoo was quick to sign up the Irish model, wanting to utilise her 2 million-plus followers on Instagram.

Boohoo said that they were drawn to Higgin’s "infectious laugh, straight-talking advice and witty one-liners,” and offered her a six-month ambassador role, which included being the face of her own Christmas edit, as well as being the host of the brand’s first podcast ‘Get the Scoop’, covering everything from celebrity gossip, to upcoming influencers, relationships, food, dating and fashion.

As well as Boohoo, Higgins is also an ambassador for Ann Summers fronting its Christmas campaign, and tanning brand Bellamianta.

Image: courtesy of Boohoo

Molly-Mae Hague

Molly-Mae Hague and her boyfriend Tommy Fury, who are still very much in love and now live together, narrowly missed out on being crowned the winners of Love Island 2019. The social media influencer has become the most popular islander on Instagram, with 3.6 million followers, and this has led to her becoming an ambassador with PrettyLittleThing, releasing curated edits as well as designing her own collection as part of her 500,000-pound deal.

After signing with the brand, Hague said: “This is a brand I can only have ever dreamt of working with and to now have designed my own collection and to be an ambassador for PLT is the most exciting thing for me right now. I wanted to create a collection that all women can feel powerful in wearing.”

For PrettyLittleThing they stressed that they chose Hague over all the other Love Island stars as she had worn the brand “before her new celebrity status”.

As a social media influencer before entering the villa, Hague returned to her YouTube channel as well as launching her own line of tanning products, Filter by Molly-Mae, which offers tanning mousse in various shades, as well as tanning mitts. Hague has also collaborated with Tatti Lashes and Beauty Works.

Image: courtesy of PrettyLittleThings

Tommy Fury

One of the most successful men from Love Island last season has to be Tommy Fury, as the boxer signed a six-figure deal to become the UK brand ambassador for BoohooMan, with his first edit for the brand including outerwear, tracksuits, distressed denim and simple tees.

At the time of signing in August, Samir Kamani, chief executive of BoohooMan said in a statement: “We are pleased to welcome Tommy on board. He was a fan of the brand before going on to the show so our collaboration feels like a natural progression for both of us. We have lots of exciting projects coming up with Tommy so keep a close eye!”

Image: courtesy of BoohooMan

Ovie Soko

One of the biggest bidding wars to snag a Love Island star was for professional basketball player Ovie Soko, who charmed the nation with his laidback attitude. Asos won the battle, signing him up as an ambassador to front his own style edits, as well as launching his debut fashion collection inspired by his dad, PappiRay.

The seven-piece Asos Design x Ovie collection included 5 jersey pieces, an organic hoodie, sweatshirts, and long and short T-shirts, as well as two bucket hats, showcasing the artwork of his dad that he felt was “important” to him.

Commenting on his debut collection, Soko, said: “Asos gave me a platform to be myself and I think it’s so important when it comes to fashion that we’re all able to be our true selves.

“All the pictures and artwork that I picked to be used in the collection meant something to me and that was important because I didn't want to put something out for the sake of it. I wanted it to be a true representation of myself.”

The former sports star, with more than two million followers on Instagram, has also landed a presenting gig on This Morning and has joined the Sky Sports team.

Image: courtesy of Asos

Lucie Dolan

Love Island’s surf chick Lucie Dolan, who left the villa in week 5, bagged herself a 200,000 pound deal with Peng Hair just weeks after returning to the UK. Dolan, who has 1.7 million followers on Instagram has also used her newfound fame to promote The Wave Project, a charity that promotes surf therapy.

The surfer and model is also a brand ambassador for tanning brand Iconic Bronze, and has done social media campaigns with JD Sports, Klarna, and Shein.

Curtis Pritchard

English dancer Curtis Pritchard, known for his role as a professional dancer on the Irish version of Dancing with the Stars, has gone back to his dancing roots since leaving Love Island with Maura. Pritchard has appeared as guest choreographers on the BBC Three reality series RuPaul's Drag Race UK alongside his brother AJ, as well as being the receptionist on BBC One’s The Greatest Dancer, which is currently airing now.

In terms of sponsorship deals, Pritchard was named as an ambassador for Weight Watchers and is currently featured in their latest campaign.

Main image courtesy of MissPap

Love Island