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Off -roading in a Super Defender in Iceland, swooping into St. Moritz at 3,300 meters on an Airbus Helicopter, or skydiving from an airplane near Monte Carlo, it’s all in a day’s work for Monaco infl uencer Tom Claeren. But you already know that if you’re one of the 55 million people living vicariously through this life styler’s most popular viral posts.
I wanted to create an inspiring luxury lifestyle media platform with an international reach,” says 30-year-old Tom Claeren, “generating content for the world’s biggest brands and becoming the face of it.” With his business headquartered in Monaco since March 2018, the Frenchman works with cars (Bentley, Aston Martin), hotels (Monte-Carlo SBM, Marriott Group and the Ritz Carlton), and a gaggle of luxury goods—including Chopard, Audemars Piguet and Dom Pérignon. “I’ve created a ton of high-end content in Monaco, especially early on. After a while, my followers started to associate my channel with the dream destination.”
Claeren’s Bondesque alter ego on social media represents a sumptuous lifestyle that is worlds away from the village in Provence where this “very, very shy kid” grew up: with a population of 500, there wasn’t even a local shop. “In real life, I smile a lot, I’m very simple and easy going but I’m often judged by my ‘character’ as arrogant and materialistic.”
No matter how many times you hear the word “No” there is a “Yes” out there, assures Claeren, who believes the biggest misconception about infl uencers is that “it’s not a real job.” Fake likes are another problem for his profession.
“Fake followers ruin the hard work of everyone.”
In less than two years, and with budgets growing, Claeren is tailoring his infl uencer projects towards production and quality digital media. “In the short-term I want to make more global campaigns for top brands. But this business has helped me to understand how to act, direct and produce—I’m currently managing a team of 20 people on a campaign for La Réserve’s three 5-star hotels in Paris, Geneva and Ramatuelle—and in the long run, I want to shift to my childhood passion of fi lmmaking and cinema.”
Claeren was recently in Marbella directing a campaign for the launch of a newly built villa priced at over €30 million, making it the most expensive property in La Zagaleta, Spain’s upscale residential community.
“I owe Monaco for being part of this great startup, and I’m thankful for having my place here as an entrepreneur.”
Nancy Heslin Editor
Nancy (Wilson) Heslin is an established journalist and lifestyle writer. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Monaco magazine (bimonthly in English) , since the magazine's 2nd issue . Launched in November 2018, Forbes Monaco is part of the Forbes family, with its 7 million readers and 71 million monthly website visitors worldwide.