Just as she reinvented the notion of social media fame and the very concept of a fashion influencer as we know it, Chamberlain Coffee is up-and-coming in the coffee world.
Do the cool girls even drink coffee anymore?
From the TikTok “That Girl” videos, you’d think they only drink ceremonial grade matcha or mushroom tincture or some other frivolous bevy. But Gen Z hasn’t yet dubbed coffee a millennial beverage or relegated it to pretentious hipsters. Have no fear, with Chamberlain Coffee, your caffeine fix is cool again.
Chamberlain Coffee is a brand founded by the Gen Z Queen-of-Casual, Emma Chamberlain. But who is Emma? Most recently spotted on the Met Gala red carpet getting flirty with Jack Harlow — some people just get everything, huh? Chamberlain’s a former Youtuber turned certified fashion girl. But don’t underestimate her. She also makes seriously fine coffee.
But how did she get here? How did she conquer both the Met Gala and the coffee market?
Just who is Emma Chamberlain?
“I have social media followers, therefore I am.” Which is to say, the quickest way to explain Emma Chamberlain is by counting her social media followers. TLDR; there is a shit-ton of them. Chamberlain’s Instagram audience alone is 15.5 million followers and her YouTube subscribership is over 11.4 million viewers.
She catapulted to fame on Youtube. While most former YouTube queens are highly produced makeup vloggers or sketch-based comedians, Emma changed the game by being … normal. In 2019, The Atlantic proclaimed her “the Most Important YouTuber Today,” claiming that her appeal lies in the fact that “teens are abandoning hyper-produced personalities for people who seem just like them.”
Indeed, Chamberlain’s rise coincided with the cultural shift towards “casual” social media presences and less curated internet personalities. She was one of those rare people ushering in unfiltered, real-time posts and photo dumps on Instagram. At the time, TikTok was still a fledgling app — primarily used by Gen Zers. Its later success would prove that people seriously appreciate content from people who feel “relatable.”
Chamberlain started composing vlogs in her bedroom about her regular teenage life and quickly skyrocketed to fame. A Tall Poppy among a glut of highly-edited, highly-filtered content, Emma’s message featured lower-case titles, candid-seeming photos, chaotic vibes, and a video style now referred to as “instinctual editing.” Each vlog was like an episode of a Disney Channel show — the weird, entertaining antics of a conventionally pretty white girl.
In 2019, The Atlantic reported that she was “one of the fastest-growing in the U.S.” At that time, her 8 Million YouTube viewers meant she was probably “earning nearly $2 million in ad revenue on her YouTube videos alone.” Not so relatable, huh.
Despite growing into her life and with it, her lifestyle, her fans stuck with her due to her unaffected, sincere personality. Gone were the days of an average teenager, however, Emma was now sitting front row at fashion shows, moving to LA — as one does when global internet fame calls — and branding herself as a fashion insider.
Whatever she did, it worked. Because she found herself at the top of the steps at the 2022 Met Gala interviewing some of the buzziest celebrities for the official Vogue Livestream.
Emma Chamberlain’s Fashion It Girl Era
The 2022 Met Gala was not Emma’s first. At only 20 years old, the newly minted fashion It-Girl has scored two coveted invitations to the most exclusive party in the world. While viewers may scoff at TikTokers and other influencers attending the exclusive event, many put an asterisk by Chamberlain’s name.
Well, she’s actually a fashion girl, so it makes sense, they think. And indeed, Chamberlain has cultivated relationships with major houses like Louis Vuitton. While she doesn’t post on YouTube anymore — she’s more likely to be found on the Vogue YouTube channel than on her own.
For her cover of V Magazine, the write-up described her skyrocketing fame as: “Emma, now at age 20, is entering the next frontier of her life and career as her evolving fashion partnerships and growing coffee business reach new potentials. From the girl-next-door who made videos out of boredom to becoming a rising fashion industry darling, Emma is moving beyond the speed of light.”
During her interview, the star described the nexus of influencer success as intimidating to the more traditional world of celebrity. Emma stated: “In a sense, the fashion world itself has been around forever and influencers and digital celebrities are very new and haven't necessarily earned their stripes yet. I think some people are not ready to accept it as a new form of celebrity, which I totally understand because it's like mixing something new with something classic and it can feel wrong. I understand that kind of discomfort comes from people who have been into fashion since they were younger, [where] maybe it was before this was all a thing, and seeing digital influencers come in feels wrong. At the same time, the world of fashion and fame has to evolve in order for it to grow, so this is a natural part of that and it only makes sense. When people were questioning my entrance into it, it was kind of scary, but at the same time, I understood where they were coming from. My only hope is that people will accept me into it and let me be a part of it.”
It seems Emma has been granted her wish. What else would you call flirting with Jack Harlow on the Met Gala steps? Being “a part of it”?
Coffee Queen of Chamberlain Coffee
But fashion is not Chamberlain’s only venture. It’s not even her first love. Back before she was sitting on the front rows while supermodels strutted the catwalks, Chamberlain was known as a flagrant caffeine java addict.
The coffee-lover made the beverage such an integral part of her brand that it only made sense that she’d launch her own brand. Enter, Chamberlain Coffee.
The brand sells coffee in the most Gen Z way: unpretentious, straight to the point, and, “look Ma, reusable metal straws!” Advertised as “More than a drink,” Chamberlain Coffee is a lifestyle.
According to the website, it’s as good as it is cool. The freshly roasted, responsibly-sourced beans come from suppliers across the globe. Then, they’re delivered to your door in an eco-friendly Coffee bag. Just add water for an easy, delicious, it-girl-approved morning roast.
Chamberlain Coffee is also self-described as “coffee with a conscience,” because it’s made with no pesticides and no nonsense. From Peru to Guatemala, Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Mexico, and beyond, their roasting facilities go to great lengths to source the finest quality, special grade coffee that’s sustainably produced and Certified Organic. They even offer hot chocolate and cold brew kits. They seek partnerships like Food4Farmers, which helps coffee-farming communities by implementing and developing organic gardens that increase long-term food security for local families.
Just as she reinvented the notion of social media fame and the very concept of a fashion influencer as we know it, Chamberlain Coffee is up-and-coming in the coffee world. But not for long. Just like Emma, it might surprise you.