Social media has certainly paved the way for figures from all walks of life to showcase what a day looks like to them, though no platform has quite captured the attention of the rich and famous like Instagram.
When the platform was launched back in the early 2010s, it was arguably a lot more casual – users shared photos of anything and everything, most commonly with friends and family. However, it wasn’t long before users caught on to the fact that Instagram had a bustling community of movers-and-shakers sharing previously unseen insights into their lavish lifestyles. Suddenly, the platform was full of photographs of luxurious yachts, opulent homes, $500 meals, wild parties and the exotic vacation snaps of the young, rich and beautiful.
It’s the latter that inspired the 2016 documentary series The Rich Kids Of Instagram, as the UK’s Channel 4 decided to place sixteen of the platform’s young, affluent users under the microscope and introduce them to viewers across the country. Given the title, it’s no surprise that many of the series’ subjects weren’t self-made billionaires or moguls themselves, rather the lucky offspring of wealthy entrepreneurs.
Love them or hate them, few could argue that The Rich Kids Of Instagram were well and truly living a life that many only dream of, most of them before they’ve even reached adulthood. So, five years on, where are the rich kids of Instagram now?
Emir Bahadir, 24 at the time of the series, was determined from the start to prove that he didn’t simply want to live his life at someone else’s financial expense.
Born into a family of successful Turkish real estate moguls, Emir was taught from childhood that working hard wasn’t an option, but a necessity. Having spent years travelling internationally, attending prestigious private schools across Europe and the US and getting a taste for the millionaire lifestyle, he had it in mind from an early age that he would follow in his family’s footsteps and make a career for himself in the real estate world.
These days, he’s a successful entrepreneur and multiple business owner in his own right, even at the helm of his own lifestyle brand, #Bahadiring.
Now 30, Emir still regularly shares snaps of his extravagant lifestyle via his Instagram page, having recently shared photographs of his yacht, luxurious villa home, top-of-the-range cars and – perhaps most relatably – his beloved pet dogs.
Maya Henry was just 15 during her time on the series, with her extravagant Quinceañera celebrations capturing the attention of thousands online – after all, how many teenagers can say that they had Pitbull and Nick Jonas perform at their $6 million birthday party?
Born into a wealthy family in Texas, she worked as a model from a young age, modelling for the likes of Vogue, Glamour and Elle during her school years. She made a point of letting everyone know that these weren’t her ultimate career ambitions, however, as she explained her intentions to become a human rights lawyer following her graduation from university. She’s even the patron of her own charity, Maya’s Corner, which she astoundingly founded at just eight years old.
Despite having earned a spot in the limelight in her own right, many will likely know Maya for an entirely different reason – she is, after all, the former fiancee of One Direction’s Liam Payne. The pair dated for a year before getting engaged, though they split ten months later in June of this year, with Liam stating that he simply hadn’t been ‘the best version of himself’.
When Julia Stakhiva appeared on The Rich Kids Of Instagram, she was boasted of her jet-set lifestyle of partying, shopping and regularly taking exotic vacations – she even spoke of taking special trips to Moscow just to visit her favourite hair salon.
However, after the series aired, questions were raised over just how legitimate her millionaire lifestyle really was when a British journalist recognised Julia’s luxurious Kensington apartment as the home of her mother-in-law, who had reportedly let a room in the space to Julia on a short term basis and was furious to see it appear in the show without her permission. She was irritated even further after visiting Julia’s Instagram profile and spotting photographs of the heiress posing with her cat while she was spending time away from the apartment.
Following the exposé, Julia took to social media to clear the air, stating that she’d never lived in the apartment at all and had merely rented the room as storage space for her £2 million designer clothing collection. Whether this is the case or not, it seems we’ll never know – though Julia certainly still appears to be living the billionaire’s daughter lifestyle according to her Instagram page.
Long before her appearance in the series, socialite Lana Scolaro had already experienced life in the public eye as she found herself at the centre of a scandal after being photographed with then-married Blurred Lines singer Robin Thicke.
However, during her time on The Rich Kids Of Instagram, Lana was determined to show that there was far more to her than the press had previously explored, expressing a love of music. She’s spoken previously of the love she’s held for music since the age of 14 when she began playing the cello, taking up the guitar two years later. She later started to spend four months in Ibiza each summer, where she was surrounded by many of the world’s biggest DJs and electronic musicians.
Now 24, Lana has well and truly established her own career in music, regularly appearing as a DJ at festivals and iconic nightclubs across the world.