Mani Nordine: Influencers are in the Position of Being Role Models
By Mariia Grazhina Chaplin
Born in a tiny village in Morocco, Mani Nordine’s dance moves never failed to impress. He pivoted his way to the new status of artistic director for the likes of Ricky Martin, Phil Collins, Gipsy Kings, Gala, Julio Iglesias, and Stevie Wonder. Mani found his natural forte in film and fashion, making a global name for himself with his work on the Charlie Chaplin movie whilst bringing a fresh eye to directing fashion shows for designers Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Lancel, and recently, Philipp Plein.
Today, Mani’s little black book is a star-studded list of celebrities, from Rihanna to Enrique Iglesias, making him the entertainment industry’s go-to for brokering commercial connections through his role as president of the American Artists Company.
The last decade has seen the established showbusiness world adopt the new definition of ‘Influencer,’ as prominent figures saw their social media being followed by millions, opening new opportunities for connecting directly with legions of fans. How did this affect the entertainment industry?
It is a revolution in our industry – it has represented an unprecedented opportunity for new artists to gain a platform for their work. Imagine an artist hosting a concert with 500 bloggers in the audience, each with a following of at least 100,000. These bloggers then wholeheartedly share a performance video on their own social media. The reach is extraordinary, so this represents a revolutionary new way for a single track or emerging artist to be promoted.
How do you use social media – how much time do you dedicate to it, and has it been instrumental in helping you reach your goals?
I’m a social media addict! But I like to think of this as a good thing since it is an amazing tool to reach my audience, inspire others and also discover new talent.
What is your audience profile?
My audience evolves. Last time I checked, my main following mainly were women (laughing) between 20-35 years old. I have a lot of followers in the USA and also a huge fan base in Brazil, though I don’t really know why! I have noticed that my most popular posts tend to be the ones where I just do simple, everyday stuff with my family or work out at the gym. I assume this is because my followers already know about my ‘celebrity life,’ so this is not a big surprise to them. They love the novelty of seeing me just being an average person, doing my everyday stuff.
Do you have any exciting upcoming projects in the works?
I’m currently working on some massive projects. Look out for a new exclusive sneaker collaboration between myself, Philipp Plein, and Snoop Dogg – this drops in Los Angeles in December 2022.
The big news is I have my first-ever movie coming out in 2023! It is through Lionsgate Studio, and I am the executive producer. Other big names on the project are Randy Couture and Ciara Hanna. I’ve also been invited to be a judge on Morocco’s highest audience-ranked TV show, I Have a Dream, which will be great fun.
Who do you follow on social media?
Some of my top picks include Snoop Dogg, Paris Jackson, Paris Hilton, and 50 Cent.
If you had to pick a favorite to recommend to someone?
My absolute favorite feed is Snoop Dogg’s. I get so distracted by his feed because of the wide variety of unexpected stuff he posts – he’s very entertaining and super funny!
What are your thoughts on the social responsibility of Influencers?
Influencers are in the position of being role models. They’re the new global superstars, and social media has almost zero filters, so they have a great deal of power for good and potentially for bad.
Their potential impact is huge, maybe more than they can imagine, especially on an impressionable young audience. That’s why they need to take responsibility for everything they share and take a considered approach to every single post.