May 16, 2014 at 5:28 PM ET
Four-year-old Ryker Wixom is proving to have better style than most adults.
He is the star of the blog Mini Style Hacker, where the little tyke can be seen posing like fashion models and male celebrities. The suave photos have garnered the pre-schooler thousands of fans, quickly launching him into Internet celebrity status.
His mother, Collette Wixom, started the blog and social media feeds four months ago after seeing other fashionable children on Instagram posing like models.
“I noticed a Gucci belt and Ferragamo shoes,” Wixom told TODAY.com. “Ferragamo shoes on a 4-year-old? They look awesome, but no way."
She set out to create similar photos but wanted to put together the looks for less. Wixom would keep her eye out for advertisements that she thought she could recreate with Ryker using what was in his closet and a little smart shopping.
“If there’s something special in a photo that I don’t have and I think he would reuse, I order it,” she said, noting that in the four months she's been doing this project, she’s only made two shopping trips.
“There are some looks I won’t do because they have more expensive things, but there are so many things out there for kids,” said Wixom, who hits up the Gap sale rack, H&M, Zara Kids and Old Navy for inexpensive pieces that Ryker will rewear.
Living in Southern California, Wixom will dress Ryker in the outfit in the morning and then the mother/son duo will take a walk before school.
“That’s when I’ll take the picture,” she said. Wixom likes to come up with fun games for Ryker to get in the specific poses similar to the pictures she is trying to replicate.
“In the picture with his hand over his eyes? We were bird watching,” she said as an example. “For photos when his hands need to be in his pockets, we pretend we have laser guns and he is holstering them.”
Wixom said that for all Ryker knows, he’s just getting dressed every morning and taking a walk with his mom with no hint that he has become a viral sensation.
“He has no idea,” she said. “He’s just a total 4-year-old wild child.”
Since Wixom began posting photos of Ryker in February, he has gained nearly 70,000 followers on Instagram and more than 2,000 likes on Facebook. And while thousands are loving the little guy’s style, not all feedback has been complimentary.
“A lot of people say I’m playing dress-up with my kid, but I get him dressed up once a day like anyone else would do,” Wixom said. “Other people say I have too much time on my hands, but I’m a full-time mom and work full time.”
While there has been a dose of negativity with Ryker’s quick Internet fame, Wixom still thinks the project is worth pursuing. For now, she plans to continue posting photos of Ryker as she adjusts to her son’s sudden popularity.
“It’s crazy,” Wixom said. “The whole thing has just been shocking to me.”