Joseph Lucido Talks How He Built His Empire From Travel Blogger To Vogue Insider, GQ Contributor & Social Media Influencer

Meet Joseph Lucido – someone who is straight up living our dreams! Years ago he realized his love for traveling, and hit the ground running when it came to social media and sharing his experiences. But his story doesn’t end there. He quickly grew his own business and became a young professional that works in strategy consulting.

It wasn’t just the good views that people fell in love with on Joseph’s posts. He’s got some dope ass style, and we can’t get enough of it either. He became a GQ and Vogue Insider and has no problem creating high quality content in front and behind the camera. WRUW’s editor Staci Wuokko caught up with Joseph to get to know more about his life story.

SW: Your style is awesome – how would you describe it.
Joseph: That’s so kind! Thank you for saying that! My style is so varied at this point in my life, it’s kind of crazy. When I was in college I was the ultimate preppy kid. I literally would not leave my room unless I was wearing a polo, button down, cardigan, or some other preppy staple.

SW: Ha! We have all had those phases in our life!
Joseph: When I lived abroad, I felt like that started my style transformation. Today my style has evolved into something that is a lot more experimental and edgy. Right now, I’m in this space where I see myself as an edgy prep because my favorite things are suiting and tailoring, but I am also willing to incorporate a crazy print, unusual colors, interesting silhouettes and shapes into preppy looks, or go completely street style. This is balanced with my day-to-day life, where I have to dress in business professional clothing and wear a suit to work often.

SW: Well, you slay all day, that’s for sure. Who influences it?
Joseph: As for who inspires and influences me, Tom Ford is literally goals. He’s a huge inspiration and I love his design aesthetic and persona his clothes create. Additionally, what Burberry does as a heritage brand that is still extremely relevant in today’s market is another huge style inspiration for me. Last one I’m going to say is Erdem. I loved their collaboration collection with H&M recently and their design have really captured my attention over the past few seasons.

SW: Okay so back to your roots of expanding your brand. You travel a lot  – which means one thing – you’re a packing pro. Any advice on how to pack for each new destination? Does your style ever change with each location?
Joseph: I am definitely a person that packs differently for different cities and of course for different climates. My wardrobe for a trip to LA is completely different than what I would pack for D.C. or NYC, when weather isn’t a factor. I tend to dress edgier when I go to NYC, I break out more colors and street style in LA, and Chicago I can be a bit more casual.

A leather jacket can pretty much travel anywhere, so invest in a really good one!

SW: While we can’t get enough of your style, you are also flawless in the social media world. Can you tell us how you got started in that?
Joseph: That’s kind of a long story! So I got started with Instagram the same way everyone else did. The app launched, I joined, and followed a bunch of my friends at UNC Chapel Hill, where I went to college. My freshmen year summer I lived in Singapore and Thailand, and also interned for GQ. This was a great start since Instagram was so new and people were really interested in what I was doing, since it was low key pretty cool.

From there I was a model, still interned for GQ during my sophomore year, and generally just took fun photos. My page really took off though during my junior year in college. I got accepted into this amazing program at UNC that let me study abroad for an entire year, half of the year I spent in Copenhagen and the other half in Hong Kong. During that year I traveled to over 40 countries, which was insane! My page blew up! I used a lot of hashtags, grew through a lot of shares from my friend’s social media accounts and feature accounts, etc. By the time I returned for senior year at UNC I had over 50,000 followers and was pretty well known on campus. That helped me to grow my following even more. I kept creating great content, using hashtags effectively, and getting my name out there. It didn’t hurt that I had a lot of credibility with my account because I worked for GQ and had connections with Vogue, so more and more people started following my account and that’s where we are today. I’ve been really lucky to be able to keep doing exciting things and getting to share that with my followers!

SW: You did what you love and it became your job and passion. I love that! What advice do you have to someone who is trying to get their creativity out into the world via social media?
Joseph: That’s a good question because I never intended for my Instagram to become what it is today. It really started as a space for me to share my love of travel, fashion, and some of the modeling work that I did.

If you are passionate about sharing you work with others though, I do think that social media is the easiest way to do that. I’d create accounts for what you want to share, whether it be an art page, a photography page, modeling portfolio, etc. and make your friends like it, share it, scream about it on a mountaintop, and so on.

SW: OMG YES – those kinds of friends are the best!
Joseph: Anything to get some buzz around it and let others know you’re starting this thing up. Have a clear voice and be yourself! It’s pretty clear that the influencer space is saturated right now, so in order to make an impact and gain a following you have to be doing something unique.

SW: What’s been the craziest thing to happen to you as a social media influencer?
Joseph: Can I only pick one thing?!

SW: Oh man, we might have to do another story alone on this because this sounds so interesting already!
Joseph: But seriously, I’ve had some of the craziest experiences because of this whole influencer thing. The first one that comes to mind was walking in New York Fashion Week for the first time years ago. Like I mentioned, I used to model a lot more often, however, it wasn’t my full time thing, and I certainly didn’t go to all the castings you have to in order to book shows. But because I had a relationship with a few brands they asked if I wanted to be in their shows and of course I said yes!

SW: Um, who could say no!?
Joseph: A few other crazy ones were that I got to go to Aruba, Mexico two times, Miami two times, the Crystal Coast, and Barcelona for influencer trips in 2017, which was insane! And, one funny and random influencer thing that happened was that while I was in Thailand I met Harry Styles at an event. I was invited to and partied with him until like 4 in the morning!

SW: Okurrr, I see you Joseph! Is it hard to separate your life from social media? Or are they all intertwined so it doesn’t matter?
Joseph: Honestly, it is so hard to separate the two! I think it’s especially difficult because my page is really about my day-to-day and what I’m doing. Plus, I’m basically the face of my page and who people identify with it. Sure my life looks exciting (and it is sometimes), but since I have a full time job I often share what I’m doing during the work day, which isn’t that wild, but is definitely relatable to a lot of people.

I think I have a really good balance between my “influencer life” and the life I lead that isn’t influencer related at all. One of my favorite things though is to have these worlds collide! I love bringing my friends to influencer events with me so that we can share in some of the wild experiences that I get access to! And they seem to love it as well!

SW: Okay, we have to know – how much are you on your phone since it’s your job!?
Joseph: I’m sure if I was an influencer full-time I’d be on my phone 24/7, but that isn’t really cool when you’re at the office. So I try to get as much phone time as I can in, after I finish my work of course! I definitely break out the phone during my lunch breaks.

SW: Are there any apps you can’t get enough of to help you with your work or editing?
Joseph: Does the Gmail app count (hahaha)!?  That is easily my most used app at this point.

SW: It definately should!
Joseph: But in all seriousness, I do use VSCO some of the time for photo editing otherwise I will do the edits on my computer. There are a bunch of influencer apps that I use to find gigs or people to collab with. Then of course there is Instagram, which I use for the typical scrolling through when bored but also for inspiration for fashion, potential photo shoots, travel destinations, cooking recipes, etc.

SW: Is there any a time you want to unplug from it all?
Joseph: I feel this way constantly! Honestly, my ideal vacation is going to a deserted island with no cell phone service.

Last year I went to Barcelona on an influencer trip and we were only allowed to post 1 photo a day. No snapchats. No insta stories. And I felt so free! There was no pressure, I didn’t have to constantly have my phone out and be ready to snap a photo, and I was really able to experience the amazing culture that Barcelona has to offer!

SW: Oh my gosh, I love that – that’s pretty amazing.
Joseph: I’m planning to do a personal trip like this and truly disconnect for a few days (then post my photos when I get home)!

SW: What do you see yourself doing in the next five years?
Joseph: Another good question! Y’all are killin this interview game. This answer will be a bit different from what most influencers would say, I think…

My 5 year plan is pretty career oriented. I’m going to get promoted in a few months to Senior Consultant. Then from there I will probably work for another two years, and get promoted again – the timelines are pretty set in this industry. However, after that second promotion I want to pursue my MBA! My top schools are Harvard, Stanford, London Business School, Colombia, HEC Paris, and INSEAD Paris.

SW: You are goals, honey!
Joseph: While I’m going through these promotions and applying to MBA programs I definitely want to continue to grow my overall social following. I don’t have set goals but I guess my next big one would be to hit 150k, which I want to do in the next year or so. In 5 years it would be awesome to hit 300k on Instagram, but who knows if Instagram will even be the go-to platform in 5 years! I also want to keep up my modeling work on the side and perhaps get into hosting events and things like that!

SW: Love your style when it comes to planning for what you want. What advice do you have for keeping relevant and fluid in the social media world and not having fans or audiences grow tired?
Joseph: I have a few pieces of advice that I personally adhere to with my page, so maybe others will find it useful.

Second, I think that high quality content speaks volumes. Going the extra mile to create something that is out-of-the-box and interesting really pays off when you are trying to keep your followers engaged.

Third, I like to keep things interesting and keep my followers guessing! Plus, that’s just kind of my personality, I’m exceedingly spontaneous, whether that’s me bleaching my hair like I did last year, or planning a last minute trip to some random place I’ve never been. I feel like my followers know I’m a young professional who still likes to mix things up and that’s a large part of the reason that they follow me.

SW: Certainly some amaze advice. Thank you Joseph for hanging with WRUW and for sharing your story and advice. If you are like us and can’t get enough of Joseph be sure to check out his Instagram!


By Staci Wuokko, WRUW Deputy Editor