The D'Amelio Dynasty

The D'Amelio Dynasty

GENV300x600px4-min

The D'Amelio Dynasty

Ahead of The D’Amelio Show’s second season, TikTok’s first family chats about their rapid rise to fame, the all-important notion of family, and their latest endeavors.

Ahead of The D’Amelio Show’s second season, TikTok’s first family chats about their rapid rise to fame, the all-important notion of family, and their latest endeavors.

Photography: Domen & Van De Velde

Styling: Nicola Formichetti

Text: Kala Herh

Click here to order your copy of V136 featuring The D'Amelio Family: On Newsstands Now!

The D’Amelios lounge on the couch, surrounded by the warm affection of each other’s company and the Californian sun. This is an unfamiliar sight for the teenage sisters (better known for their quippy TikTok videos), but one that’s come to light in their recent Hulu docuseries, The D’Amelio Show. Where there were once the Duggars, the Kardashians, and there are now the D’Amelios–leaping from the app universe to the big screen, exposing both the thrills and challenges of newfound fame. And this scene, which sees the family navigating their new life, is the ne plus ultra of their core, one that is rooted in family love and support. 

Charlie wears dress Prada / Dixie wears dress Valentino / Heidi wears jewelry Tiffany & Co. // On eyes: Charlotte Tilbury The Feline Flick in Panther

Chatting here about Charli’s 18th birthday festivities, they seem like your typical American family (and in many ways they are). But unlike other families, the D’Amelios (made up of Charli, Dixie, Heidi and Marc) have a whopping 216 million TikTok followers between them. Known affectionately as the “First Family of TikTok,” the D’Amelios have since created an influential dynasty, complete with lucrative brand deals and millions of followers to show for. “My parents have definitely been my rocks throughout all of this. I feel like I can go to them with anything,” Charli tells us from their new home in Hollywood Hills, where they moved to after the sisters became wildly, inexplicably famous for their “Savage,” “Supalonely,” and “Cry Baby,” dance renditions. It’s quite a jarring transition to go from the quiet, shore town of Connecticut to the sunny, often fame-obsessed hills of California, but one the family is taking with stride. 

Dixie wears dress Valentino // Charli wears dress Prada // both wear jewelry Tiffany & Co.

The D’Amelios lead a new wave of Gen-Z content creators who are continuing to dominate the Internet, replacing the likes of conventional celebrities (a term, by traditional definitions, the family doesn’t consider themselves ones). And if you ask the family why or how they’ve been anointed with TikTok stardom, they don’t have a clear answer. But as you scroll through their respective social media accounts, you slowly come to the answer yourself. They’re undeniably charming, charismatic and humble–adding to the latter point, Charli and Dixie credit most of their success to their parents. “We’ve gotten a lot of comments that say, ‘The parents are in control, they want this and they want that,” Dixie says. “If I see anyone say anything like that it really hurts because my parents are the best thing in my life.” And perhaps, this down-to-earth nature lies at the heart of the whole family’s appeal. Despite all the fame they’ve accumulated over the years, they’re still the same D’Amelios you first fell in love with. 

Charli wears dress and bag Prada /  jewelry Tiffany & Co.

Instead of following the traditional grain of influencer culture, which often conveys unattainable standards of beauty, the sisters are a refreshing breath of air – cultivating a fan base founded on being unapologetically themselves. Put yourself out there on your own terms, and as the family has proven with true authenticity, they will come.  But with all ups, come downs. And when you’re an influencer who’s famous for being yourself,  you face a lot of scrutiny. Since amassing millions of followers on all different platforms aside from TikTok, the D’Amelio sisters have openly expressed their periodic torrents of scorn by commenters. But like every other aspect of their life, they leaned on their family to get through the worst bits. 

Charli wears dress Prada / Jewelry Tiffany & Co.

“They’ve had so many firsts and I think that’s my favorite part, being able to be there and witness them,” shares their mom Heidi, who often reminds her girls to lean into the positive in bouts of overwhelming negativity. These “firsts” Heidi is referring to are ones her fans know all too well – Charli’s Teen Choice Awards nomination and win, Dixie’s performance at Madison Square Garden and both of their names on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. It’s clear that while the family may have cultivated their star status from social media, those were merely springboards towards larger, more ambitious goals and aspirations. 

Dixie wears dress Valentino // Charli wears dress Prada / Both wear Jewelry Tiffany & Co.

And like all profitable family empires that came before them, the family has laid stake in diverging realms, taking over entertainment (debuting their own reality TV show), fashion (partnering with Hollister to create a teen clothing line, Social Tourist) and even music (Dixie’s first single reached Billboard’s Top 40 list). Throughout it all, the family has brought their fans on their journey and won over the hearts of millions. Just this year, Charli and Dixie were crowned the coveted title of highest-earning TikTokers by Forbes. 

Dixie wears Dress Valentino / Jewelry Tiffany & Co.

But even from the top, the family recognizes the risks of the industry and how stardom can go as quickly as it came. Yet, they are seemingly unfazed by this challenge, instead, fearlessly forging ahead and creating formidable barriers to maintain their empire. And with that universal truth, comes another one: despite all the fame and popularity they’ve amassed, it seems that the D’Amelio dynasty has just begun. 

Charli wears dress Prada // Heidi wears top Etro // Dixie wears dress Valentino // All wearing Jewelry Tiffany & Co.

V Magazine: You guys have amassed over 177 million followers in the span of two years, as a family and individually, you’ve had quite the trajectory. What has the journey been like? 

Charli D’Amelio: I think it's been a journey of finding out what works for us as a family. The dynamic that we have now, took a long time to manifest, just because it's so different and there's really no rulebook for this at all. But, I think we were able to get a grasp of it fairly quickly, which was awesome because it made this experience a lot easier. Doing this as a family was super helpful because you were never by yourself. It's something that has really kept us together and, I think, balance out the craziness very well.

Charli wears dress Prada / Jewelry Tiffany & Co

Dixie D’Amelio: We’ve gotten a lot of comments that say, ‘The parents are in control, they want this and they want that. If I see anyone say anything like that it really hurts because my parents are the best thing in my life. And at the end of the day, there could be no one left that cares about us and our parents would still care about us. I think that's what really matters and that's why I love doing what I do and having them there. 

V: Yeah, for sure. Can you elaborate on how your parents helped you through this process?  

Jewelry Tiffany & Co. (throughout)

CD: I think it's been very helpful to have my parents be a part of this journey. Mostly because they have an unconditional love for Dixie and me. Other people that we work with might not see the things that they see. They really get to see all of the emotions when everyone leaves from the workday. My parents have definitely been my rocks throughout all of this. I feel like I can go to them with anything. They also helped me with work when sometimes I don't want to speak up for myself. They'll say it. And I think that that's been super helpful throughout all of this is just knowing that I have them.

Heidi wears top Etro / earrings Tiffany & Co. / ring, her own

Heidi D’Amelio: We've remained their parents. We're always going to be their parents. We're never going to be their managers, bosses or anything. We're a family–we're the parents and they will always be our kids. Hopefully, they feel that and they know that that's not going to change based on how much their life has changed.

Dixie wears jewelry Tiffany & Co

DD: I think why our relationship is so good and strong is because they're not the ones saying, 'Hey, you need to do this today." That's not fun for anyone. So the way that we live our lives and we can hang out on the weekends because it's not like we work with them all week. We do work with them, but they're not the ones telling us what to do. So we've done a very good job at keeping our relationship so strong as a family because we are just there for each other all the time and our parents have proved time and time again that they know what they're doing and they can help us when we need so just we always go to them when we need them.

Jewelry Tiffany & Co.

V: Heidi, you’ve been through this whole process with your girls. Can you tell us what was your favorite thing to witness as a mom? 

HD: You guys have had so many firsts and I think that's my favorite part, being able to be there and witness them. Dixie sang in Madison Square Garden! Like what the heck! And Charli just did the Dirty Dancing thing with Derek and Julianne Hough – things that as a kid you know you dream about and so that's why that's my favorite part.

Charli wears jewelry Tiffany & Co.

V: And to pivot to Dixie’s music journey. Dixie, what message do you hope to send with your music? 

DD: ​​The biggest theme of my album is you never have to know who you are because you're constantly changing. There's not going to be a right answer and a full answer to, "Who are you what are you about?" I don't know. I'm 20 years old and I've literally no clue what I'm doing. There's no rulebook to this and I just want to have fun and do what I like and if people enjoy and love it and get it then that's perfect. If not then they don't. like it's there's no I just want to have fun and share what I love with the world. 

Heidi wears Tiffany & Co jewelry.

V: Charli, with your artistry, how has your love of dance transformed over the years? 

CD: I think for a lot of my years when I was younger, I basically lived in the dance studio. It's so funny when I go back now and my old teachers talk about what I was like. I was crazy. I would lock the studio door behind me because I was the last to leave. And I was there all the time because I felt safe there. It was my outlet. Even going back is like a breath of fresh air to me and getting to speak to my teachers and getting to be in the studio is just a feeling like no other. For me, dance and social media don't really go hand in hand the way I do it just because TikTok dancing versus being in the studio is so different.

Dixie wears Jewelry Tiffany & Co.

(...cont) I've been able to take a step back from dance for a while and figure out who I am or even if I want to do it. This last thing that I did with Derek and Julianne helped me realize that maybe I closed the chapter of competition dance and that part of my life that would have been over at the end of this year anyways, and opening the door to a different world of dance that is a little bit more performance-based to a camera or a performance, rather than a dance competition. That was really hard for me to grasp for a long time because I didn't understand why dance didn't feel the same way. But I feel like I've really been able to think and understand that I needed that time off to figure out what I wanted dance to be for me.

Dixie wears Dress Valentino / Jewelry Tiffany & Co.

V: What is next for all of you?

CD: The next thing that I'm learning to do is to be more independent and figure out who I am as a person. I think that that will reflect in all of my work. This is such a turning point in my life where I have to force myself to step away from my parents and learn things on my own and that's very scary. But I am very excited to find out who I am, who I want to be and what I want to do. There's no time limit on it but I want to begin doing that. 

Heidi wears all clothing Etro / Jewelry Tiffany & Co.

DD: I'm honestly a huge fan of Big Time Rush and they asked me to go on the tour with them. It's insane and literally a dream but I can't wait to be on the tour. I feel like I'm going to be jealous because I'm only doing half the tour and they're still going to be on tour. But I think it's a perfect first tour for me and I can't wait.

Charli wears Dress Prada / Jewelry Tiffany & Co

HD: It was a dream to be able to work with my girls. I was modeling when I was in my 20s and I haven't really done that in 25 years. So my big plan in life when I was 25, 26 was when I'm 60 I'm going to start modeling again because I just loved it. I loved the hair, the makeup, the fashion the whole thing and I was not a big anything on this modeling scene at all, but I just loved it. And that's something that I'm excited about. I just turned 50 and I think I can be a voice for women that are a little bit older and not teens, like my kids. 

Dixie wears dress Valentino / Jewelry Tiffany & Co.

DD: Yeah, doing the shoot with my mom was so easy for all of us. She was so good at it and we worked so well together as a family. That's why we love doing stuff like this because everyone puts in the work and loves each other. It's just real, fun stuff.

Dixie wears dress Valentino / jewelry Tiffany & Co.

Click here to order your copy of V136 featuring The D'Amelio Family: On Newsstands Now!

Click here to order your copy of V136 featuring The D'Amelio Family: On Newsstands Now!

Credits: Set Stylist Joey Thao / Makeup Cedric Jolivet (The Wall Group) / Hair Joeri Rouffa (The Wall Group) / Set design Enoch Choi / Production Sara Bielecki (Photobomb Production) / Fashion Director assistant Hunter Clem / Stylist assistant Summer Horchem, Byron Alvarado / Makeup assistant Kay Wamser  / Hair assistant Brandon Mayberry / Production Coordinator Vincente Luna / Location JK Media Group Studios

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