Mode around the Globe: Daniela Legrada
Prince Waikiki, Hawaii
Photographed by NICK URTEAGA
Videography by NIKO VELASQUEZ & RYAN CHUA
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Daniela Legarda. I am a social media content creator, singer, philanthropist and CEO of my businesses. I was born in Colombia, but moved to the United States at the very young age of 4 years old. I was raised in an immigrant family, which I truly feel is the reason I am the woman I am today. My parents always taught my siblings and I that no dream is too big. That anything we set our mind to as long as we do it with love and passion, we can accomplish. I am a very goal oriented person. From a young age I have always strived for greatness and wanted more. At just the age of 25, I have written my book called “Sin Limites” (Limitless). I have my own show on MTV Prime and Amazon Prime called “Latin Flow.” I have built my own foundation in Bogota, Colombia, and I have a clothing line, ‘Shop Legarda’ alongside my sister, Maria.
Describe yourself in three words.
Giving, loving, and honest.
What can people expect to see from your social media platforms?
People can expect to see a real genuine person on my social media. I try my hardest to be the best possible influence on my followers. I don’t like to show a fake “perfect” life, because that truly isn’t a reality. I love to share my ups and downs with my followers. I talk openly about my struggles just like I love to share my happiness as well. I aspire to use my platform as a way to connect with my audience and let them know that their feelings are valid. That mental health awareness is real, and that sometimes it’s okay to not be okay. I share a lot of beauty, lifestyle, comedy and family on my platforms. I am a very family oriented person so people see a lot of my family on my social media including my grandma! Sometimes my parents and my grandma even have more fans! Lol
What challenges did you overcome and which part seemed seamless?
I feel like I have built a very solid fanbase with my audience and that’s been from how real I have shown my life. From sharing my darkest moments to my most beautiful moments. I started off with YouTube in 2018 doing vlogs and challenges. People really loved me because I just really let people into my personal life. I then started doing comedy sketches on Instagram and it really took off pretty quick. I feel like I was very unique in my industry because not many people would let the public into their lives like I did. I had to overcome a lot of challenges with my career, but the biggest one that it always
came down to was the bullying. I was constantly being bullied over my physical appearance. I was constantly being called fat and it brought out insecurities, from men I didn’t even know existed. But at the end, it came down to knowing that these people that sit around a computer and criticize don’t do it because of you, they do it because they are unhappy with themselves. I had to understand it wasn’t my fault, it was theirs. And once I did, I couldn’t take anything to heart. I knew that if I did everything with love, no one could tell me otherwise. Something that came very seamless to me in my career was my way of talking and communicating with people through a camera. I was a natural – since I was little I always loved being in front of the camera. The connection with my fans came automatically. One thing I’ve learned is that although you’re being watched through a screen, the authenticity and realness shows. If you aren’t being real, people will be able to tell. Be real and be yourself and you will see the amount of love and support you receive back.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
A lot of people would be surprised to know I wrote a book at such a young age. I wrote it on my own with no ghost writer. The thing is, when you are a social media influencer, people kind of just expect you to be “dumb” right off the top, but that isn’t true. The thing is… it’s called the entertainment INDUSTRY for a reason. It’s a business! You have to be smart and driven to make it in this industry. I graduated from Georgia State University with a double major in Business Hospitality and Sociology. I loved school and I loved to study and learn.
Something else that really surprises people is when I tell them I have my own foundation. I created a foundation in one of the poorest towns in Bogota, Colombia for kids that come from broken homes. With my foundation, I created a studio that the kids can go to after school where they receive voice lessons, acting, dance, and art classes. I always believed that the arts and exploring your creativity is extremely important, therefore I wanted to give these kids an opportunity to explore their creative talents and to dream. Many of these kids that come from this town and these homes don’t even have the opportunity to dream. We also provide therapy for the kids and their parents. Mental health is something that I believe is important for everyone.
What’s a goal in your career you hope to accomplish?
A big goal in my career I wish to accomplish one day is to be able to help my parents retire. I am such a hard worker and I am always coming up with new business ideas, but the one I am currently working on, I am doing it alongside my mom. My parents have given me everything in life and I dream
of them being able to retire from their field which is the restoration industry, and be able to work in something they are truly passionate about.
What and who inspires you the most? Why?
The people that most inspire me in my life are my family. I know that may sound cliché but it’s true. My family is my everything. Each family member has their own way of inspiring me. My parents are one of my biggest inspirations because they came to the US with very little money and without speaking the language. And although they didn’t have money, we never needed anything. I had very little but it always felt like I had so much. My parents are the reason I am who I am today because they always taught my siblings and I to dream. My parents are also completely self made. After 2 years of being in the US, they started their own company and went from lower class to upper class. My older brother Fabio is also a huge inspiration to me. My brother passed away three years ago and he has taught me so much. He is the one who got me into the entertainment industry. He opened up those doors for my family. His biggest dream was to be a reggaetón artist, which he succeeded at. He was the person I always went to because he understood what I was going through with my doubts and fears in this industry. And after he passed away was when I was inspired to do more for my community, and that is why I built the Legarda Foundation. Because I wanted to give back. I knew I had lost one life, but I could save thousands more.
As an influencer, how do you hope to influence people through your platform?
Daniela: I hope to influence people through my platform by openly talking about the real things that go on in my life and sharing them with people. I share my accomplishments but I also share my lows with the world. After I lost my brother, I knew I had to use my platform to make a difference. I share a lot though my grief process because I know what I am going through and so can so many others. Especially with social media nowadays, how much it affects peoples lives when they compare themselves to others. At the end of the day, social media is filled with people’s highlight reels, and that is why I strive to share my ups and downs. I share my progress to be able to inspire those who follow me because, at the end of the day, I am human just like the people who follow me.
Who are your favorite content creators?
I have so many content creators I follow, but I’d say my favorite ones are @GaryVee and @Charlie. They are both two very different content creators, but they both have so much that I admire. Starting with Gary Vee, I love to follow his content because he has taught me how to really make a business out of my platform. You see the problem is that sometimes influencers receive followers and money and they think they are unstoppable. They think it will last forever, and that is not always the case. It’s called the entertainment INDUSTRY for a reason, because at the end of the day it is all a business and you have to be smart and move like a business person. Gary Vee has really inspired me to explore my business side and has been a huge motivation of mine to not listen to what people say or think about me and to go after it. That saying, “there isn’t enough time,” is just an excuse! Make it happen!
Charlie on the other hand has really taught me two very valuable things… 1)the importance of giving back, and 2) power of manifestation. I can make anything I want a reality. No dream is too big. I found out about Charlie through a podcast I watched when he was invited to Logan Paul’s podcast. Lets just say, I was so inspired by his words and wisdom that the second I finished watching it I booked a one way flight to Los Angeles. I finally made it from Atlanta to Los Angeles which I always wanted to do but had fear holding me back. I love to follow content creators that I can learn from. At the end of the day, knowledge is our greatest tool.
Are you working on any exciting projects you can share?
Yes I am! I am so work driven that I am always working on something! I am currently working on a new urban streetwear clothing line of mine that is going to come out this summer 2022. It goes beyond just clothes, its clothes with a positive message. Clothes that when you wear them you feel good. I am also working on expanding my foundation ( The Legarda Foundation) and helping more and more kids and families in need. I am also currently working on a second edition of my book, “Sin Limites” and working on bringing out the English version since it has been so highly requested! I also have a couple other projects that hopefully will soon come to light.
What are three items in your closet you cannot live without?
Three items in my closet I cannot live without are: an oversized hoodie, white Nike Air Force 1s, and socks to match my outfit. A lot of time people overlook the socks but honestly my socks always have to match the fit!
Three essential products in your beauty routine?
Three essential products in my beauty routine are: face wash, sunblock, and face lotion! I feel the most important part of your beauty routine is taking care of your skin to get that natural glow!
What was your favorite part of staying at Prince Waikiki? What activities would you recommend for someone looking to visit?
It’s hard to narrow down my favorite parts of my stay at Prince Waikiki! I loved it all! But I absolutely loved the pool deck! It was beautiful and relaxing. I definitely recommend the ocean view rooms there and their delicious Acai bowls for breakfast!
What are you looking forward to most in 2022?
I have so much to look forward to in 2022. I feel like every day on this earth is such a blessing and I am always grateful. I look forward to working on my dreams everyday, I look forward to expanding my businesses, growing as a person, exploring my creativity and traveling to new beautiful locations. I love learning from other cultures and traveling is definitely a passion of mine.
What advice do you have for someone who aspires to have a career like your own?
My advice is to always do everything with love! It doesn’t matter what it is you want to do, but as long as you do it with passion and love and you dedicate the time to it, you will be successful. Life is too short to do something that doesn’t make you happy. If you see someone else who has done it, you absolutely can do it as well. Just please always stay true to yourself. Be authentic and be YOU. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! You got this.
What would you like to say to your fans?
I would really like to thank all of my fans from the bottom of my heart. You are my true motivation. Thank you for all the love and support. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for y’all. THANK YOU!