The evolution of Charli spiraled upwards with every move that followed her sudden burst into fame. Her past awards, recent projects, and stance on certain topics are nothing but a mere fraction of her testament to the bigger picture
Get to know CHARLI D' AMELIO in the SS22 Print Issue, available for pre-order exclusively at our shop
Photography: Anthony Giovanni
Fashion: Edwin J Ortega
Stylist assistant: Justice Jackson
Makeup: Liv Madorma
Hair: Hayley Heckmann
Production Assistant: Andrew Barrios
Cinematography: Sasha Rodionov
Lighting Tech: Wiki Feng
Words: Ronald Kahihikolo
Shot on location at 315 S Hudson Ave, Los Angeles, CA. Currently on the market with
Connecticut-Native and Los Angeles-Based social media sensation Charli D’Amelio, broke into the scene in 2019, via TikTok, as she began posting regularly on the video-sharing platform. The seventeen-year-old star quickly demonstrated to the world that her motives were simple 一 a young teenager replicating dance routines to trendy music. Though as time progressed, those short-form videos propelled her above and beyond, transcending her to the number one most followed creator on the platform 一 as of today, she has 138.9 million followers.
The evolution of Charli spiraled upwards with every move that followed her sudden burst into fame. Her past awards, recent projects, and stance on certain topics are nothing but a mere fraction of her testament to the bigger picture. When the cameras stop rolling, she’s an ordinary teenager enduring the same dilemmas as any other gen-z millennial 一 acne, growing up, crushes, exploration of identity, friendships, and so much more. She’s kind-hearted, enthusiastic, relatable, and goofy, but above all else, she’s poised with conviction, well-spoken, and way ahead of her years.
Though the tremendous difference lies under a grimmer spotlight, she is under constant surveillance of the people; her every move is analyzed by the masses, and one small mistake places her under public scrutiny. Navigating through all of this at such a young age can be very daunting, but through her authentic spirit, burning passions, and willingness to dive off the deep end, she’s landed herself in this exact position 一 one where she’s backed by those she loves and one where her growth is expanding to monumental lengths.
Mood Magazine met up with Charli over zoom to discuss her body of work, her navigation through social media, upcoming projects, and more.
In a world where people perceive you just 7 seconds after first glance, first impressions can be everything. Charli, however, does this with ease and grace 一 performing for the masses while keeping things effortless. Given the chance to make a first impression on people who haven’t found their way to her yet, Charli states; “My name is Charli D’Amelio, I’m 17 years old. I do social media and I love music, dancing, and my family. I love my best friends and I enjoy creating content that I love.” A simple introduction that summarizes what she’s about without laying all her cards on the table. Charli possesses that ‘it’ girl energy, and she’s the epitome of standing out by not fitting in. However, months after her initial viral success, many users on the platform have questioned what the hype is all about while Charli herself doesn’t even know. There's just something about the TikTok star that screams star power. It’s a mystery and she’s a floating enigma that made her way from the east to the west.
Before moving to the West Coast, Charli spoke highly about her upbringing in Norwalk, Connecticut ー a fantastical place that influenced her current values and lifestyle. In the bittersweet era of her upbringing, she had a very strict dance schedule where she was conditioned to carry on her armor of commitment. This was bolstered by her preparation skills and because she attended school at the same time, she was able to juggle multiple facets of her life. On the matter, Charli said that now it’s “a little bit different because back then it was very scheduled and now everything is always a little bit up in the air just because it's the nature of what I do.”
This transition into a completely foreign environment threw Charli in a whirlwind but she was able to adapt once she surrounded herself with a reliable team. What’s more, she reminisces on the conversations that she would have with her dad during her adolescence because he would listen to what she had to say. “I think those conversations help me stand up for myself in business meetings that I have now because I'm not scared of talking to an older person because I know that just because I might be younger, my opinions and decisions should be listened to.” This was a catalyst for Charli, “I feel like growing up with that and having my opinions always appreciated was very helpful with my everyday life now because I'm not scared to speak my mind.” Her upbringing equipped her with the tools and prestige that she needed to navigate all the chaos. Something quite essential should one decide to commit to the world of social media.
Her parents have also told her that she doesn’t have to conform or commit to anything that she doesn’t want to do 一 they reinforce this by letting her know that if she wants to quit, she can. “I think not having the weight on my shoulders of ‘I have to continue to do this’ versus if I don't want to was really refreshing,” she says. “It made me feel like I was never forced to do anything that I don't want to do, and I really appreciate the fact that they've always listened to me and will hear me out over anything.” Sometimes, parents or adults think they know better because of the significant age difference but Charli’s parents are always there to hear her side and let her have a say which is something that has contributed to her well-being. Charli works with her family and sister very closely and they make it a point to have those tough conversations, even if it’s something hard to swallow. “Having that support system upstairs really helps me because no one's going to be as honest with you as your parents,” she says. “When you’re kind of in a position like mine, sometimes people will just tell you what you want to hear instead of what you need to hear and I'm very thankful that my parents are the most supportive, but will also definitely push me in a great way.”
Beyond the business meetings and tricky schedules, social media itself is plagued by toxicity and cyberbullying. Charli herself has been under fire an innumerable amount of times for some of the most ridiculous reasons. When people are concealed by their silver screens it’s easy for them to criticize and nitpick at the smallest ‘imperfections.’ Therefore, Charli has made it her mission to stand up and vocalize these issues by teaming up with reputable organizations to raise awareness. Charli expressed, “I think for a lot of the beginning of my social media life, I definitely let all of the really negative things get the best of me for a very long time. I kind of lost myself to it for a while and I didn't want to try new things. I didn't want to do anything that I was somewhat interested in because I was so scared about what people had to say.”
As she became more vulnerable in her content, she was able to showcase all sides of herself and let her viewers in. Though at the same time, one's vulnerability can easily be misconstrued, and people may miss the point and fire shots at you. Charli compared this experience to elementary school and school in general because the same level of cruel behavior is seen in environments like those. Simply put, the effort it takes to leave a negative comment under a video requires a level of effort that’s unnecessary. “I feel like as long as I know that what I'm putting out there is going to maybe help someone think twice before they say something, then I know I'm doing the right thing. Everyone that’s helped me do that, whether it's organizations or other people on social media 一 I just think it's so important to continue to spread that message because as little cyberbullying as we can get, I think it's just going to make social media a less toxic place.” Social media can be a frightening place, but with a light like Charli leading the way, a new wave is on the way.
Beyond TikTok, we’ve seen fractions of Charli’s life in her body of work that she’s produced with nothing but the utmost excellence. Social Tourist, for instance, is a clothing brand that Charli and Dixie created 一 it’s a line of clothes that are very minimal, fresh, and up to date without ever being basic. All drops to date have been very cohesive but they’ve been treading towards more themed drops, not in a way that’s costume-like, but more in a way that captures the essence of whatever's on their mind. Their most recent collection spews out this seventies-Esque energy 一 amplified by the warm color palette, groovy patterns, and bright graphics.
On the conceptualization of the collections, Charli says: “We have to start talking about things very, very early and go through fabrics and silhouettes that we like. And I, I think that whole process is so fun and I really love being a part of it, but throughout the rest of the year, I think we have some of our best drops yet. With each drop, I'm just getting more and more excited and more confident in Social Tourist, which is incredible.” Something to look forward to for the remainder of the year, because the most recent collections have captured the essence of the sisterly duo's personalities. “I love all the pieces that we've put out so far, but I feel like there's just so much greatness to come and some stuff that people have already seen, and they don't even know.”
Regarding Charli’s personal style, she’s been navigating her way in finding what works for her with the assistance of her stylist, Jill Jacobs. Charli is still growing into herself and figuring out who she wants to be all while conceptualizing the way she wants to present herself 一 which is constantly changing. Though Jill Jacobs has granted Charli with looks that help Charli feel vibrant in her skin, she’s also been able to break Charli out of her comfort zone. “When she brings me clothes, I'm able to kind of look at clothes in a different way, because although this might not be a piece that I would usually wear, I love it and it's totally different than anything I've worn before.” Usually, Charli’s appeals are magnetized by familiarity but as of late, she’s unveiled herself in ways that she could never have imagined. “I think it's cool and I'm definitely still evolving and learning and I'm excited to kind of see where we go in this upcoming year with events and things like that because it's always fun to put on a nice, pretty dress.”
Charli also got to flaunt her voice acting talents in the animated film, Stardog and Turbocat ー she also has another voice acting project on the way. Her love for acting echoes far and beyond, and she has expressed that she wants to keep the momentum going as other opportunities arise. On transforming into the characters, she particularly enjoys the process of embodying the character and living in their footsteps for the time being. “I just think that there's something so unique about it that you can't do every day. So, I want to get more into that and I'm very lucky to have some pretty amazing people around me that can help me do that. I'm super excited for what's to come.” In preparation for the characters that she plays, she’s not afraid of asking for help and she takes the critiques with grace and turns those corrections into brilliance 一 simply put, she knows the professionals are there to offer guidance and the structure that she needs. “I feel like being able to be a student is very important because it's hard to know everything that you've never done before, especially when you’re in a position like mine. I’m not going to a casting call with 300 people and having to outact anyone. Sometimes you get the job first and then you have to put in all the work behind it to be able to actually get it.” Starting off as an amateur, Charli placed herself in the mindset of an actress and got the work done all while taking constructive criticism in the classes.
Outside of voice acting, Charli was able to showcase even more of her vocal talents through a podcast that she created with her sister, ‘2 Chix.’ Through this podcast, Dixie and Charli were able to exchange meaningful dialogue about whatever topic they’d be covering during a particular episode. “I think it was really fun and interesting to talk and speak and I would love to do more in the podcast world. I think it's just so fun to do, especially if it was with new people that you maybe don't talk to every day.” Most podcasts that already exist tell stories that you wouldn’t normally hear from people's lives, this is something that piqued Charli’s interest. While outlining the episodes, Charli had the helping hand of her sister and they both conceived the topics that would be covered in each episode. During the preparation process, they often take notes and list some of the topics that they want to bring up.
“I like getting to talk about things going on in my life because sometimes you don't always want to tweet it. So, you just want to say it with your words and explain it. I think that that's definitely really interesting and I found it really fun about podcasts in general.”
Breaking out from the animation and podcast scene, Charli and her family landed a docuseries, ‘The D’Amelio Show,’ where Charli offered fans a little peek behind the curtains. The show follows the family, documenting their everyday lives all while showcasing their journey into the Hollywood limelight. The show centers itself around letting people in, breaking away from social platforms, and zeroing in on a lens that unveils even more. Season two of the hit show is in the works and as of late, they’ve been filming most of the scenes in the house.
Considering the show, Charli expressed that having a film crew in the house at all times was a bit strange at first, but as she grew closer with the crew, the process of filming became enjoyable. “Being able to film with my family is definitely such a plus because I could not do this alone whatsoever. I just think it's so amazing to be able to do it with them.” The docuseries breaks the central focus away from Charli and thrusts her other family members onto the center stage, revealing all three sides of the coin. “I'm very happy with how the first season turned out, but I think it definitely did end on a little bit of a sad note and I kind of want to come back and kind of show everyone how hard I've worked within myself to be able to make the most out of every situation that's given to me.” What’s more, the show also gives insight into smaller things like fittings for shows, BTS of red-carpet events, and intimate moments shared between the family.
With a chaotic schedule like Charli’s, a fantastic self-care routine is necessary, no scratch that, it’s crucial. When she’s finally got a chance to breathe and exist in her own bubble, she’ll sit in her vanity in the morning, rub a chilled cube against her face to calm the nerves and then proceed to coffee and breakfast. Before applying any make-up, she’ll sit down once again and map out what she needs to do. In Charli’s own words: “I feel like the second you wake up and right before you go to bed are the most important parts, usually, that means having a sleepover with my dog. I just do anything that can kind of help my mood a little bit, a lot of TV for sure. It's my favorite thing to do ever- just watch TV.” Aside from managing what’s on the outside, Charli’s mind is constantly running at a million miles per hour. She usually freaks out about what has to be done tomorrow but her team and ability to put her foot down when she deems necessary allow her to manage the tornado brewing in front of her. Charli is the queen of managing her time, “I have to really plan and think ahead. So, there are the least amount of hiccups possible so that days can just go super smooth. But once I do get into a routine, I'm very good at sticking with it and getting all my stuff done.”
In the past two-three years, Charli has surpassed milestones after the other, setting the bar substantially high for herself in such a short period. Though with each accomplishment that she checks off her list, she adds five more 一 upping the momentum each time. Acting is at the top of her list, she also has some business ventures on the way, on that matter Charli expresses her excitement, “once everyone finds out, they're going to be like, oh my goodness, she's been talking about this forever.” Aside from work, Charli is just hoping to grow more into herself and meet new people, people that can help her blossom into the person she seeks to become. “I think this year is going to be the craziest year for me, the stuff that I have coming up is beyond exciting.” These new ventures are very important to Charli and her passions ooze out of each project that she takes on. The social sensation is one to be watched, and as for the hype? It’s beginning to make a lot more sense.