Money is a very taboo topic of conversation, but that doesn’t mean nobody is interested. Youtube is full of rags to riches stories, with creators showing off their Gucci sneakers and Cartier bracelets reflecting on a past when they couldn’t afford rent or food. Of course, riches to riches stories are compelling in their own way too, especially in the intimate way of Youtube. People can forge an entire career out of showing their cameras what they bought at Nordstrom, and the lives of the uber-rich draw us in for many reasons. Sometimes it’s curiosity, sometimes it’s jealousy, sometimes it’s total shock. Even though we might never be anything like these people, vloggers can make dropping $8000 on bags and shoes feel normal and even fulfilling. Through them, we can understand what it’s like to have these experiences without ever going through it ourselves. Youtube allows audiences to feel close to the people they watch, appealing to the universal desire we all share of having hot and rich best friends. You know what they say: “Reach for the stars, because the stars don’t have arms to reach for you!”
These are 15 Youtubers whose origins are less than humble, their journeys to fame gilded with pretty little objects and the mysterious flow of cash.
15 Gigi Gorgeous, Started From The Upper Middle Now She's Here!
Giselle Lazzarato – Gigi for short – was born to a wealthy Canadian family and grew up near Toronto. While she wasn’t exactly rubbing shoulders with Drake, we can see evidence of her cushy upbringing in her 2009 staged “reality” series The Campus, largely filmed in suburban Toronto Mcmansions. Enormous beige houses don’t come cheap! Her father boasts an impressive resume with connections to major corporations like Bell, Alliance Films, and Allstream, which explains the steady flow of Louboutins, Balenciaga, and Michael Kors bags (remember those? Dark times...) in early videos. Gigi is currently dating Nats Getty, heiress to the prolific billionaire Getty dynasty. Unlike many Youtubers who came into money after starting their careers, Gigi has always lived a little bit lavishly. Not that she would have had any problem before, but if she plays her cards right with the Gettys, she’s going to be set for life. Extremely set.
14 Fleur De Force Before The Book Deal
Fleur De Force is an OG vlogger from England who turned her penchant for chatting about shopping into an empire. Not uncommon in the world of Youtube Old Money, her family owns a number of car dealerships. Her husband, who is often featured in her work, is also the spawn of a car dealership empire. She did her schooling at the London School of Economics, where it seems every wealthy British person has gone at one point or another. An early Youtube success, Fleur pioneered the subscriber giveaway, haul videos, and swaps with other Youtubers - including with some mentioned on this list. Before Youtube was anybody’s primary source of income, these videos would not have been funded by ad revenue, so her myriad of designer bags and clothes are a true testament to her surroundings. Since starting her channel, she has participated in a number of massive ad campaigns and was one of the first Youtubers to release a lifestyle guidebook. Currently, she and her hubby are preparing to have their first silver-spoon born baby.
13 Estée Lalonde's Billionaire Secret
Estée Lalonde was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, but is currently based in London, England. While she might currently be credited as a pioneer in the recent trend of the cute Instagram girl with the balayage long-bob (it’s definitely a thing), things weren’t always that way. Before starting her lifestyle-based Youtube channel, she was a regular Canadian girl who briefly experimented with having dreadlocks. While she appears to have had a comfortable middle class upbringing – even working in a mall Bath & Bodyworks – she struck gold when she met her boyfriend Aslan on Omegle, who is speculated to be the son of an exiled Kazakh billionaire. It’s all very hush-hush. After moving to the UK to be with him, they lived together in a £2 million home in central London. Even without her very lucrative Youtube career, Estée would still be buying $200 candles and walking her extremely expensive greyhound around London – only nobody would see it.
12 HRH Collection, The Real Housewife That Isn't (Yet)
What does a woman do when she doesn’t really have to do anything? Start a jewelry line! While Alexandra Pierce’s HRH Collection jewelry line started to supplement her 9-5, her origins are a little less humble than you might be led to believe. She is the daughter of a prominent Republican Orange County family with ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. During the time Alexandra was engaged to her ex-fiancé, she made a series of videos instructing viewers how to host parties, do floral arrangements, and make cocktails, essentially guides to being a housewife. Her vlogs were always filmed in the large, empty seeming Los Angeles home of her fiancé. While this fiancé is now long gone, her jewelry line has been moderately successful outside of her Youtube career, spawning numerous copycat designers who proliferate through Instagram. What’s that saying about imitation being the highest form of flattery? At least she knows she’s made it.
11 Charles Gross, Manhattan Royalty?
Charles Gross admitted to his wealthy upbringing in the video I’m F*cking Rich!, created to address early viewers’ concerns over where he was getting the money to fund his designer purse collection. Despite his transparency, many viewers have doubted he is actually as rich as he claims. These people clearly have no idea how expensive it is to live in Manhattan. Before starting Youtube, Charles dabbled in the world of buying and selling Hermès Birkins to affluent Upper East Side moms – quite a feat at 19, but he has admitted that his business ventures have always been supported by his parents. Unfortunately, we live in a culture where everybody has the means to voice their very unhelpful opinions, and Charles is often on the receiving end. Despite being creative, open, friendly, and relatively successful, he is often criticized for being materialistic. Weirdly, this actually makes perfect sense considering he cultivated his personal brand around viewer interest in $10k handbags. He's rich, after all.
10 Blair Fowler & The Little Rhinoplasty That Could
With all due respect to the original queen of bedroom vlogging, Blair epitomizes the generic Youtube star of yesteryear. Sitting on your bed showing people what you bought from Juicy Couture is being phased out by wavering audiences who have the tendency to want more immediate and relatable content. By today’s standards, Blair is kind of boring. Early on in her career, she was caught at the center of a viewer scandal for… getting a secret nose job! If that wasn’t enough, audiences were angry when they discovered she and her Youtuber sister used pseudonyms to protect their privacy, not being able to predict the curiosity their new celebrity would bring to their personal lives. Part of this curiosity involved discerning how the sisters were able to afford their pretty things and massive amounts of makeup. The answer was pretty simple – their father is a doctor. If anybody is still curious, Blair has since supplemented her original nose job with a new, better nose job.
9 Ingrid Nilsen, Coming Out Wealthy
Ingrid is the daughter of an architect and painter. Like Blair and Fleur, she got her Youtube start early, creating many of the same videos. She was propelled to fame following her coming out video, where she revealed herself to be gay. Since then, she conducted a brief but very public relationship with Youtube superstar Hannah Hart, and was invited by the White House to interview former president Barack Obama. Similar to other Youtubers mentioned on this list, evidence of Ingrid’s pre-fame opulence can be found in her old videos, including an early staple of vlogging, What’s In My Bag? in which she toted the most difficult to find bag of the early 2010s, the Celine luggage tote. She has since broken into other forms of entertainment and philanthropy, becoming an advocate for LGBTQ+ and Women’s rights.
8 Lisa Eldridge's Makeup Millions
Lisa Eldridge created her Youtube channel following a very lucrative career as a celebrity makeup artist. Her first major gig with Elle Magazine thrust her work into the spotlight where she became cohorts with supermodel Cindy Crawford. Unlike the majority of makeup artists in the age of Instagram, Eldridge favors a lighter hand and subtler looks, generally avoiding heavy foundation, cream contouring, and crazy Anastasia brows. She is an expert in makeup history and authored a book on the topic. Her skill and fame allow her to promote her channel by signing on numerous celebrity friends, including Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Her entire life is star studded, and her award winning photographer husband is also the creative director of British Vogue.
7 Sonya Esman From Russia With Money
Even if you’ve never heard of Sonya Esman, you’ve definitely seen her face. Her photos have circulated Tumblr and Instagram since the beginning of time, and for good reason. She’s absolutely stunning - in a scary Russian way. The former teen actress turned successful fashion blogger turned model has admitted herself that she comes from a “lower middle class family”, but her work outside Youtube in the golden age of fashion blogging has filled her life with Chanel bags, major brand partnerships, and trips around the world. On Youtube, she maintains a Russian language channel and an English channel, where her vlogging style could be described as a very sexy trip. She has the ability to turn an apartment tour video into a weirdly spiritual experience. Sonya is currently slightly less active on Youtube as she used to be and has since turned to Instagram as her primary means of raking in social media cash.
6 Meet The Vloggers
When a group of people set their personal brand around buying expensive shit, taking private jets, and staying in luxurious hotels, it’s hard to dispute that they probably come from money. It almost feels like cheating to put them on this list. Meet The Vloggers is a trifecta of daily vloggers, part of the same family, whose shtick is living large. If you were ever curious about the lives of high society Londoners who spend a lot of time in Dubai, these guys can fill you in. Of course, these days it’s difficult to be flashy in public without raising a few eyebrows. It is believed that vloggers’ parents are oil tycoons or perhaps own car companies, which would explain the constant rotation of new sports cars featured in their videos. The vloggers also have a secret uncle who traded his life as a professional soccer player for that of a kingpin. After being arrested and spending a few years in prison, he now occasionally takes to Instagram and gossip blogs in order to “expose” the vloggers for being greedy and materialistic. You know how the old saying goes: You can’t always trust your family, but Rolexes have a lifetime guarantee.
5 Meghan Rienks Before Youtube
Only a woman could find herself being criticized for being an only child with a good relationship with her generous parents AND having a nose job. Meghan Rienks is an actress who jumpstarted her career with a Youtube channel. While her sunny California life has much to envy, Rienks gets pretty real about struggles with body image, having documented her nose job journey closely. She also has been candid about her struggles with anxiety and fitting in with her sorority sisters, deciding to make Youtube her career after leaving college. Rienks received a lot of hate when she revealed that her parents were paying the rent of her LA apartment, explaining at the time that Youtube didn’t bring in a lot of cash. She also received a lot of hate for try to be too damn relatable alongside viewer speculation that her Chanel bags were gifts from her parents too. Sometimes you just can’t win.
4 Jeffree Star Before The Glowup
If you had side bangs in the mid-2000s and did so much as walk past a Hot Topic, you already knew who Jeffree Star was long before his Velour Liquid Lipstick empire. The poster boy for androgyny and partying, Jeffree initially became famous through MySpace, the dead older cousin of Facebook. During this time, he released a lot of music that wasn’t totally appropriate listening material for his armies of tween followers, and put out an eponymous clothing line in Hot Topic that our parents reluctantly bought us. He was a latecomer to the Youtube game, but his presence was bolstered by his reputation. Star has since launched a very successful line of cosmetics and is known for his honest reviews of other popular brands. Many of his products are named after his old music, and we repay him for feeding our nostalgia by buying blue highlighter en masse.
3 Taylor R The Living Doll
Taylor Richards is a Canadian fashion model that found international success in Hong Kong before moving to Japan to pursue a career tailored to an audience with a taste for girls who look like dolls. Like Venus Angelic and Dakota Rose before her, Taylor transformed the perfectly symmetrical face God gave her with circle lenses, Japanese makeup, and blunt bangs. Initially using Youtube as the instruction of her management, she became a very popular figure among the niche of creators who document their daily lives in Japan. Besides modelling for brands like Valentino and Chanel, Taylor has appeared in Japanese soap operas. After phasing herself out of the human doll look, she relocated back to Hong Kong where she lives with her extremely wealthy yet elusive boyfriend, who never appears on camera. She herself has mentioned that her father owns car dealerships in Canada – a common theme here - but she has always supported herself as much as she could by working various jobs. Power to her.
2 Safiya Nygaard's Golden Ticket
While she was not born into a terribly wealthy family, Safiya worked for Buzzfeed, which is the internet equivalent of being born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Safiya produced and starred in extremely successful videos for the company, developing her ability to create viral videos. A popular figure in the Buzzfeed series Ladylike, she realized the potential in her personal brand and was able to transfer this popularity in her own channel. Her most popular video, Why I Left Buzzfeed, has gained over 10 million views, while every single video she has released after that has at least 1 million. Including her in the list is kind of cheating, because she wasn’t technically making bank until her channel took off, but the precedent set by Buzzfeed that gave her the skills to create viral videos is invaluable. In many ways, she is more successful than the many included in this round up and her success is projected to continue.
1 Casey Neistat The Trailer Park Playboy
Casey Neistat was a multi-millionaire before starting his Youtube channel, but before that, he was a regular old teen dad who dropped out of high school. Talk about a turnaround. After mulling around a trailer park in his late teens, he moved to New York City where he learned how to produce videos. His first big break was in 2003 after he created a video criticizing Apple for their irreplaceable iPod batteries. Later, he wrote an autobiographical TV series which was purchased by HBO for nearly $2 million. His Youtube channel picked up in 2015, and within months an app he developed for sharing video news was sold to CNN for $25 million. Neistat often shares videos depicting luxurious trips and obscenely expensive products, and associates himself with other successful Youtubers as well as entertainment figures. He also directs advertisements and delivers lectures around the world relating to creativity and entrepreneurship. The moral of the story? Don’t quit your day job.