In 2013, a chance encounter with Miley Cyrus accidentally spawned one of the most beloved phone case brands on the internet. Devon Lee Carlson—now an Instagram influencer with more than a million followers, but at the time a fangirling teenager—stopped Cyrus on the street for a photo. The singer was so impressed by Carlson’s phone case—which had been hand-crafted by Carlson’s mum and featured a gold-studded cross—that she took to Twitter to sing her praises. That evening, Devon, her sister Sydney, and their parents devised and launched Wildflower.
In the intervening seven years, Wildflower has grown an Instagram following of more than 700,000 and sells more than 40 designs (think delicate rose motifs, Fiorruci-style cherubs, and kitschy cowboy prints that read ‘Yeehaw!’). Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, and Lana Del Rey are among their celebrity fan base. Last week, Wildflower launched a collaboration with the model Salem Mitchell, and yesterday Paper ran a profile on Carlson headlined: ‘Wildflower Cases Are The Only Reason To Have A Phone’.
People may recognise Carlson from Bella Hadid’s Instagram account—the pair are close friends—or from her YouTube channel, which has more than 200,000 subscribers. Either way, the 25-year-old has become an unexpected fashion icon for the TikTok generation. A recent poll conducted by New York Magazine showed that Carlson beat out Rihanna and Kendall Jenner as the person teenagers look to for style inspiration.
For those wanting a slice of the Carlson aesthetic at an affordable price point (cases start at $30), you can shop the Wildflower collection here. Happy ‘gramming.