22 AUGUST ‘22
Words by Rebekah Smith
When Milan native Eugenia Longo was four years old, she lost her hair to alopecia, an immune disease which attacks the hair follicles and causes hair loss often around the head and face. However, the 24-year-old Instagram influencer has not allowed her hair loss to hold her back. She is passionate about fashion and has allowed her passion to influence her studies. Longo has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Management and recently earned her Master’s degree in Fashion and Luxury Brand Management from Instituto Marangoni, a private fashion and design school based in Italy.
"Fashion is her strongest passion and she’s working hard to turn it into her future career. "
Meet Eugenia and her story
For Eugenia, fashion has always been a unique, fun way to express her personality: “Having lost my hair when I was four years old, I have always created my own aesthetic, using my head as an accessory, as a point of particularity.”
Eugenia has gained a social media following because of her unique style and situation. She likes to have fun with her outfits, using headscarves and eccentric makeup to communicate her vibrant personality to the world through fashion.
The Italian influencer is a big fan of Mugler and Schiaparelli for their defined and eternal aesthetics. However, she tends to use her curiosity to develop her style over time.
Carly bikini triangle Shop Balou
“I like to take inspiration from as many things and people as possible and then bring them into my world”, Eugenia shares.
According to Eugenia, her style has changed over time in accordance with the changes in her personal life. She has become more self-confident and involved in the world of fashion. She hopes her self-confidence can be perceived through her manner and style.
However, she has faced many challenges over the years which could have threatened her self-confidence.
“The fact that a four-year-old girl loses her hair can cause various difficulties in the formation of her own aesthetics, identity and gender. Hair has always been seen as a part of the female body linked to sensuality and beauty."
According to her, “for a woman with alopecia, it therefore means distancing oneself from the standard canons of society and creating one’s own identity by giving importance to other things.”
Image source: @ginnnnnnnn
Though Eugenia has found herself in uncomfortable positions as a result of her hair loss, she has never perceived it to be a disadvantage. Instead, she finds that alopecia is a part of who she is, and that she is who she is today because of what she has been through.
“After all, we are all the fruit of our past,” she remarks.
Eugenia attributes her aesthetics and immediate, authentic connection with followers on social media to her alopecia. Before she knew that social media could contribute to a career, Longo used it to share her life as a “simple girl, passionate about photos and who liked to travel.” She used Instagram as a way to publish her photos, and people soon became infatuated with her content.
“I consider myself more a content creator rather than an influencer because my main activity is to create videos and stories dedicated to fashion, then comes the sponsorship part,” she says. “I never hoped to have an impact on others because I never thought that so many positive things could be derived from a phone. Over the years, more and more people wrote to me thanking me for how much I was helping them. All this always came spontaneously and not at all forced, and I am very happy about that.”
When it comes to sustainability, Eugenia considers the big picture approach, learning how she can do small things to make big changes. She views sustainability as a broad concept related to the care, attention and consciousness people should have towards their surroundings.
According to her “this is not just about the raw materials used by companies, but about the dignity of workers, caring for the environment around us, avoiding waste, creating durable objects, etc.,”
Improving day by day
Furthermore, she approaches each day with a mindset centered on sustainability.
Each day, she asks herself: Is this something I can avoid?; Am I doing my best to keep the world as it is today?; Am I helping those who are more in need than me?, and many more questions she finds vital for keeping Earth and fashion sustainable. By asking herself these questions, Eugenia promotes a world that is inclusive, sustainable and fashion-forward for all of us.
“I think seeing a little diversity is good for everyone,” Longo shares. “[And] I think each of us has to make decisions and choices by asking ourselves many questions first.”