I’ve been vaguely aware that Kiel James Patrick had developed a huge social media following. Sometime last year when Town & Country listed him and now-wife Sarah Vickers as one of the preppiest couples in history, I immediately tweeted my disbelief at Kiel. There he was, right alongside JFK and Jackie!
It seems like just a short time ago that Kiel was an advertiser here at Ivy Style and had asked me for business advice. We’d met briefly in person only one time, and Kiel is as likable as his smiling (save for the photo above), Internet-friendly face would suggest. Then one day he asked to brainstorm with me on the telephone, and we had a very long chat. If I remember correctly, his social media presence was just starting to get into gear, and at that time the fan-to-h8er ratio was higher. He felt that many critics thought he was just a spoiled rich kid, when in fact he did not come from wealth and was working really hard at building his brand. We talked a lot about the craft of choosing the materials and making the accessories himself, and all that he had learned. I suggested maybe the public needed to see him as a craftsman, and that the lifestyle imagery that was being targeted should be replaced with shots of him in the workshop, like a tailor or cordwainer.
What a worthless consultant I am.
Kiel ended up going full steam in the opposite direction, as self-made lifestyle brand, and he has just been christened king of preppy Instagram in a fascinating profile in the Daily Mail. And kings are always surrounded by princes. Writes the paper:
The prep crew has even gone viral in Dubai.
‘One day I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and looking at my tags. I see there are preppy girls, preppy guys, this guy is in Nantucket, this guy is in Cape Cod, then all of a sudden a guy pops up, and he was holding a baby albino tiger, standing in front of a car that I can’t even pronounce, covered in our bracelets,’ Patrick recalls.
It turns out the man was a beloved prince, and within 24 hours the Kiel James Patrick store was completely swamped with hundreds of orders from the Middle East. ‘We basically became a trend there for a solid three months,’ he explains.