IN AN INSTANT: While many know Paul Margolin as the president of Marc Bouwer Inc., even more know him from Instagram. That was until Wednesday when his account was hacked — and gone with it, 46,000 followers.
That was unwelcome news for Margolin, who has worked as a social influencer with such brands as The Underwear Expert, Morphine Lips and the Chappy dating app, among others. When not working in Bouwer’s Fulton Street studio and office, he has been fielding requests from Musefind and WeTrend. More often than not, Margolin posted images with his fiancé Sergio Zapata. The 360-degree drone-shot video of Zapata proposing to Margolin near Bethesda Fountain in Central Park helped to make them a popular InstaCouple.
“My Instagram stories were getting 4,000 views on a story. There is a value to all of it,” Margolin said. “Plus, I just disappeared to everybody. I only followed 350 and I was followed by 46,000.”
In his 20s Margolin ditched a short-lived modeling career to help Bouwer start his company from the designer’s Greenwich Village apartment. A regular at one of Equinox’s downtown club, Margolin often posted photos of his shirtless self. The favorable responses to his fitness-related posts made him consider getting back into modeling. “There is a market for fit older guys,” he said.
But then posts with Zapata generated even more likes. “We found we were inspiring a lot of people — gay and straight,” Margolin said. “So my main focus the past year has been showing us as lifestyle, a Paul & Sergio story.”
With that in mind and after a few days of radio silence from Instagram’s help desk, Margolin has set up a new account @paulheartssergio. To try to revive his base, he has reached out to former followers like “Mr. [Eric] Rutherford” and Laverne Cox, a Marc Bouwer client.
Margolin said, “I’m hoping that it can come back — starting over.” As of Friday, he had built it back to 1,000.