Morgan Riddle Talks Taylor Fritz, Miu Miu, Rescue Kittens and 8 Other Reasons

While her pro tennis boyfriend Taylor Fritz has been training for the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., Morgan Riddle has been busy extending her reach as an influencer with a just-out jewelry capsule collection.

The Los Angeles-based, blonde-haired 26-year-old has collaborated with the jewelry company 8 Other Reasons, which counts Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba among its fans. A few of Riddle’s collaborative designs, like a faux pearl multistrand bejeweled choker, wink at Princess Diana’s style. The Minnesota-bred content creator is a familiar face on the men’s pro tennis circuit, since Fritz is an American contender. They also make an appearance in Netflix’s “Break Point,” a behind-the-scenes look at pro tennis.

More from WWD

When Fritz was swinging away at the Australian Open earlier this year, Riddle gained 29,215 Instagram followers — more than any of the other influential WAGs at the Grand Slam and triple the amount of second-ranked Paige Lorenze, according to research conducted by QR code generator QRY, which used Social Blade to examine the social media profiles.

During an interview Thursday, Riddle, a Wagner College graduate who majored in English and literature, chatted about her latest venture, why she recently went public about being grabbed by strange men at this year’s Super Bowl and what people misunderstand about her.

In terms of influencer deals, Riddle proceeds with caution generally to ensure “it’s a really good brand fit, and more specifically that I like the founder of the company,” she said.

She also needs to be on board with a company’s mission and the brand’s aesthetic. “There are a lot of brands that will come to influencers and say, ‘Hey, we want to start this brand and you will be the face of it.’ It would be like Morgan Cosmetics or something. That’s the type of thing I stay away from. If I ever do start my own brand, it will be something really genuine and authentic instead of me just putting my name on something. Skin care, cosmetics and other things that I don’t post a ton of content about wouldn’t really make sense for me,” she said.

Her purposefulness isn’t new, considering that her first corporate job was as media director at Love Your Melon, an apparel brand that earmarks a percentage of sales to donate beanies to children fighting cancer. Throughout high school, she volunteered at St. Paul’s Children’s Hospital.

While the flexibility of being an influencer is the best part of the job — not to mention the worldwide travel — she said, “I must say I really loved all of my corporate jobs — Love Your Melon and Gamers Outreach [which provides video games to hospitalized children]. They were either nonprofits or they had a really strong mission behind them,” she said. “In the work that I do now, I always try to make sure that I still have a purpose behind the content that I try to create and I still try to give back to nonprofits and help raise money. My boyfriend and I have foster kittens.”

A few weeks ago Riddle spoke publicly about having been groped and harassed by strangers at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas — so much so that she retreated to the restroom for the entire third quarter of the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Surprised by how much news attention that generated, she said, “I don’t think that was super newsworthy because I don’t think there were any women that weekend who didn’t experience that. I guess it’s because I have a big platform [with nearly 1 million followers across all social media channels].”

“Quite shocked” by her Super Bowl experience, Riddle said that was not something that she had ever experienced at tennis tournaments. “Maybe that’s because I’m known in the tennis community and I’m not just some nameless blonde in the crowd,” she said.

Based on the amount of messages that she received from other women, Riddle said she feels her public statements helped other women feel less alone in sharing their stories. Some said they have refused to go to football games and other sporting events after facing similar interactions in the past. “I just wanted to see it talked about, because I’ve never seen anybody talk about it,” Riddle said.

Looking ahead, the influencer said her goals haven’t changed during the past two-year lane to fame — bring tennis to a younger audience, and bring the intersection of sports and fashion to the forefront, specifically in the tennis world, and hopefully to other sports in the future, she said.

Partial to Australian brands because she spends a lot of time Down Under, Riddle said she really loves Christopher Esber and Yang Li. Riddle said she has also been a longtime fan of Louis Vuitton, which dressed her for the Super Bowl. This weekend at the Indian Wells tennis tournament, she will be suited up in Miu Miu and is “really excited” about that. “Those are the four brands that I’m particularly eyeing,” Riddle said. Fritz, on the other hand, just left Nike, his sponsor since 2016, to join Boss as a global brand ambassador.

While her per-post rate varies considerably based on the company and that changes per month, Riddle said she now typically makes more than $10,000 a post. Having grown up “very modestly and of a very humble, Lutheran Minnesota background,” she said her father was a writer and her mother worked in nonprofits. “Obviously, now I live a much more strange and extravagant lifestyle, because of my relationship. It’s definitely different. But I don’t feel that it’s changed me [pausing momentarily] — much.”

While viewers of her YouTube channel probably understand a lot about Riddle, since she talks “very openly about her life, goals, hardships and whatever,” she said. “But a lot of people’s perceptions of me are based on very short clips of me showing up at a tennis match. I don’t think those people understand anything about me but they think they do from seeing that short post.”

Best of WWD