#WhoIFollow: @pieraluisa’s Path to Discovery

In the #WhoIFollow series, we ask Instagrammers to share their favorite people to follow. For more photos and videos from Piera and her discoveries, follow @pieraluisa, @okrichie, @marawa, @clayhickson, @adamscarpenters, @shantell_martin and @hokaytokay on Instagram.

For Piera Gelardi (@pieraluisa), a co-founder of Refinery29 (@refinery29), a fashion and style website, photography is a crucial part of her work. “I probably take 100 photos a day on my phone,” she says. “Photography is my way of sketching. It gets my imagination going.”

Photography—and Instagram—also lead Piera and her team to new collaborations and ideas. “For me, Instagram is a rabbit hole of inspiration,” she says. “I’ll see a photographer’s image in my feed and see that they tagged a set designer. I’ll click through to the set designer and look at their work. Then I’ll see that they tagged another photographer, and so it goes. 45 minutes later, I’ll have found this whole world of creative people that I didn’t know about before.”

Sometimes these discoveries lead to real-world connections. “I often direct message people whose work I like and try to meet up with them in person,” she says. “Me and my team and I have discovered people on Instagram to photograph, illustrate and model for Refinery29. It’s amazing to find these communities of talent worldwide that you may never discover otherwise.”

  • Richie Talboy (@okrichie) – “We were so impressed that we hired him to shoot our 2014 creative calendar. Upon meeting him we discovered he is still in college (!) but radical and talented beyond his years.”
  • Marawa Wamp (@marawa) – “Incredibly cool and vivacious. She’s coming in to do a hula hoop fitness video for us.”
  • Clay Hickson (@clayhickson) – “I bought some zines from Clay and reached out to him to let him know I was a fan of his work. When we had a junk food illustration project come up, he was the first person who came to mind. @He nailed them
  • Adam Carpenter (@adamscarpenters) – “A friend tagged me in one of his videos. He’s going to do a collaborative dance video with me and my team – all in muumuus!”
  • Shantell Martin (@shantell_martin) – “We shot her for a story."
  • Amanda Jasnowski (@hokaytokay) – “I went to Amanda’s studio after admiring her work on Instagram.”