If you live in Italy and you’re into fashion, it’s a safe bet that you’re a Grazia reader. The weekly magazine has been embedded in Italian culture for an incredible 76 years — it launched in 1938 and has since spawned 20 international editions. But in recent years, Grazia’s big success has been of a uniquely modern nature. The team behind the magazine had created — or “curated” — an online clique of tastemakers who are admired and envied in equal measure. They are known as the “IT girls,” a hand-picked selection of Italy’s most stylish young women, who broadcast their lives on Grazia-sponsored Instagram accounts.
When the magazine’s website, Grazia.it, launched in 2011, then editor-in-chief Tamu McPherson chose the initial group of IT Girls, who were mostly local socialites and street-style stars. Each one was given an Instagram account with the extension “_grazia_it,” so her photos streamed directly onto the magazine’s website. “It was Tamu’s idea to have a page dedicated to all these special, fashionable women,” Grazia’s senior fashion editor Sara Moschini tells the Cut.
These days, the entire team looks out for new faces. They’re looking for a particular woman whom Moschini says is difficult to put into words. “First of all, all the IT Girls are Italians. They’re all different [to each other], but they all lead a ‘special’ life that they’re able to communicate through their photos. Usually they’re in the fashion circuit — stylists, photographers, models or designers — but others are self-made girls in whom we saw potential because of their attitude and style.”
And the list is ever evolving. New women are regularly added to the group, and if an IT Girl tires of working for Grazia she’s free to leave at any time. But being part of this clique is a relatively easy gig. Each woman is paid what Moschini describes as “a little monthly fee” and may also be invited to take part in special editorial or advertorial projects, for which there’s extra payment. In addition, IT Girls receive free publicity (and fashion kudos) because of their prominent position on Grazia.it — some have racked up significant Instagram followings as a result.
“They become the muses of our website,” Moschini says. “There’s a beautiful connection between us. They give us fresh content every day, they come to our events and to the events of our clients, and they’re beautiful, talented and fun. It’s like having your own models, each different from the others.”
And yet however varied the women are, there are certainly things they have in common — though perhaps that’s just the essence of being Italian. “IT Girls” are eternally sexy without ever being tacky; their photos are exquisitely chic, from family vacation snaps to dinner parties; and they could hold masterclasses in the art of the tasteful selfie. Here, the Cut’s primer on five quintessential Grazia IT Girls to follow.