Millions of followers watch Jay Alvarrez as he skydives, surfs, and cliff-jumps all around the world. From relationships to scandals, here's a look into how this famous influencer rose to stardom.
A Hawaiian Childhood
Jay Alvarrez was born on July 5th, 1995, in Oahu, Hawaii. He grew up on the beautiful island with his parents who had moved there from the Dominican Republic. Some might say Jay's tropical childhood was out of a dream.
"I grew up... in a little landmass called Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean," said Alvarrez. "About 2,500 miles away from the continental US. Being considered America, this place really don't feel like it." Surrounded by the ocean, mountains, and good friends, the young surfer soon got into some trouble.
A Rebel Without a Cause
From a young age, Alvarrez loved breaking the rules. "Some would say that I was a rebel from the day I was born," he said. "I was pretty fearless growing up on the north shore of Hawaii living around all the surfers who risked their lives every day."
Watching the athletes have a good time, whether they caught a wave or plunged into the water, would prove critical in Jay's lifestyle. The little boy learned that taking risks was one of the best things he could do in life. Alvarrez surrounded himself with other people who wanted to chase their dreams, including one special girl.
Middle School Drop-Outs
Alvarrez was a creative young man and got into photography in his early teens. "I picked up a camera early on mostly because I had a crush on this girl named Amber," Jay shared. The partners in crime hung out at all hours of the day and did whatever they had to do for the perfect shot.
Alvarrez and Amber often skipped school and eventually left altogether because they felt it was in the way of their creative aspirations. "We both dropped out of seventh grade convinced we were gonna make money with our creativity," Jay explained. That was the start of a wild journey.
After Jay dropped out of school, he dedicated himself to thriving in photography. The gorgeous landscapes around him were an excellent backdrop for the young creative's work, but he needed a change. "It was interesting growing up in Hawaii," Alvarrez shared.
He added, "Although it is incredibly beautiful, one also gets island fever as well, and I always wanted to travel the world growing up." Jay had a big decision to make. The then 15-year-old could either stay on the island and try to grow as an artist in his hometown, or he could take a huge risk and leave home.
Leaving the Nest
Ultimately, Alvarrez decided to leave the incredible island where he'd grown up. "I decided to leave home at around 15 to make my entire sole purpose videography and photography," Jay explained. Still only an adolescent, he became independent and left Hawaii.
It wasn't always the picture-perfect lifestyle followers would eventually see on his Instagram. "I didn't come from money, so I would hustle and do anything and everything to get by," Jay said. "I would take that money and invest it in traveling and other weird ideas I had." But Alvarrez would soon face dark times.
He Lost His Mom
Jay was on the greatest adventure of his life when a tragedy struck. "I ended up losing the love of my life, my perfection, my soul, and the one thing that kept me down in my life," he shared. "I lost my mother." The death of his mother turned Alvarrez's world upside down.
"That s*** was hard and unexpected and that f***ed me up mentally," Jay said. Like many times before, Alvarrez turned to his creative side for comfort. "If you've experienced it, you know that depression and art go hand in hand. And that's the s*** that saved me," he explained.
The tragic event changed Jay forever. "I strive every day to show love to those I care about the way she showed love to me," Alvarrez shared. As a constant reminder of his mom and her passion for life, Jay got the words 'Let's Live' tattooed on his lip.
After a dark period of mourning, the young man came out stronger than before. "After all this, strange enough, I had this overload of confidence and surety over myself," Alvarrez explained. "It's as if all ego and filters were just dissipated, and I could just be me." Jay was ready to get back to his passions.
A Lust for Adrenaline
Aside from a love for art and photography, Alvarrez also had a need for speed. "My interest and lust for life is hard to relate to what I see the rest of the world doing," Jay explained. "I enjoy maximizing my adrenaline and emotions to the fullest extent."
As soon as he could, Jay began sky-diving, jumping off tall cliffs, and going on helicopter rides. "I am definitely addicted to doing things that make my heart race and palms sweat," he said. "I do what makes me feel the most alive." All the while, Alvarrez recorded his adventures.
A Young Videographer
It didn't take long for Alvarrez to figure himself out. The young man knew he loved traveling, adrenaline, photography, and film. The obvious move was to mix all of his talents and passions. So Jay began capturing unbelievable shots and videos of his adventures.
For years now, Alvarrez had been using the microblogging website Tumblr to share his pictures. For the most part, he received a couple hundred 'notes,' basically the equivalent of 'likes' on Instagram, on each of his posts. Until one day, he went viral, and everything changed.
Alvarrez knew the rising networking sites were crucial to his success. "Social media [was] becoming a thing, and I knew that would be my key to evolve," he explained. "After numerous tries, I finally got my break." One of his Tumblr posts, a picture of him and a friend underwater, got over one million notes.
At this point, Tumblr was being overshadowed by Instagram. The latter became more popular within mainstream culture, whereas the former was filled with other bloggers and art lovers. After Alvarrez went viral, he made the move to Instagram. Few could have predicted what followed.
Followers Loved His Lifestyle
People soon fell in love with Alvarrez's account. But it wasn't simply the beautiful scenery and heart-racing adventures that followers engaged with. It was the young man's passion for life and desire for more. "You can either be satisfied with yourself, or you can seek more out of life," Jay said.
The videographer's followers felt inspired by his lifestyle and live-in-the-moment philosophy. Jay's hard work and drive were evident on his account. "I never stopped thinking about the next big wave," he said. But Alvarrez never imagined what life would bring him next.
He Slid Into Her DMs
Alvarrez's social media presence was on the rise, and he started booking modeling jobs to cover his travel and art expenses. He was set to work with another Tumblr-famous young model, Alexis Ren, when a miscalculated jump from a rooftop forced him to cancel the gig.
But Jay looked forward to meeting Ren, and when the plans didn't work out, he slid into her DMs instead. "I took her out for a perfect first day when we hung out," Jay shared. "I took her down to Laguna Beach. I took her surfing and took her to get organic, good food." That was the start of something magical.
"We Were Very Public, Really Quickly"
The pair was soon head-over-heels for one another. Since they were both rising stars on social media, Jay and Alexis quickly decided to merge their internet presence. "We were very public, really quickly," Ren said. But others didn't think this was a good idea.
"People didn't think we would become a popular thing because, at the time, there weren't any couples that were really showing off their love on social media," Alexis explained. Jay added, "I like going against everyone's social norms and society." The loving couple didn't let others' opinions stop them.
A French Polynesian Vacation
It wasn't long before Alexis and Jay took their first trip together. "He was like, 'Hey, look; I'm going to Tahiti, you can come with me if you want to.' I ended up staying the entire time he was there," Alexis revealed in an interview with Cosmopolitan.
The lovebirds captured snapshots of their travels and posted them on social media. "It was hot, and it was unique, and there wasn't anybody our age and our look and our style doing it," Jay recalled. "We're literally two teenagers just traveling the world," Alexis said. They soon broke the internet.
Jay and Alexis proved the haters wrong as their follower count blew up and they received hundreds of thousands of likes on their pictures. "It was one of those things where everyone was telling me the opposite but my gut was telling me to keep doing what we were doing," Alexis said.
Going against the grain helped both of the young lovers launch their careers possibly "ten times better than anything else" could have, as Jay said. Their gorgeous pictures together, taken all around the globe, made them the original #couplegoals of social media. And that soon brought in the big bucks.
Making Money Moves
Once Alexis and Jay became #couplegoals, it seemed that nothing could stop them. "The big thing is, we don't have parents to tell us not to do that," Alvarrez explained. "It's just our dads, and both our dads really do their own thing." Ren, too, lost her mom at a young age and had more independence than the average teen.
This freedom allowed for wild adventures, and it wasn't long before big brands caught on to their popularity. Alvarrez and Ren booked high-level deals with the likes of Calvin Klein and Hyundai. "We're making money; We're doing whatever the f*** we want," Alvarrez said at the time. But then things took an unexpected turn.
Two years after the relationship began, it seemed that the lovebirds were as strong as ever. They constantly posted loving yet provocative shots in exotic locations. When Alexis and Jay were apart, the pair often wrote long heartfelt messages to each other on Tumblr.
They were social media's 'it' couple, the epitome of #couplegoals. So when the young lovers suddenly stopped posting together, fans were quick to realize. Alvarrez and Ren both stayed quiet about the relationship for a while, and then things blew up in the best way the exes knew how -- on social media.
"The Relationship Wasn't Good for His Business Anymore"
In February of 2017, Alexis took to Twitter and confirmed the breakup rumors. "When you confuse a lesson for a soulmate," she wrote. The first message was followed by a series of now-deleted tweets that revealed the couple's storybook love life on Instagram was far from reality.
When someone asked Ren why the pair called it quits, she didn't hold back. "The relationship wasn't good for his business anymore," Alexis claimed. "Was a manipulated as f*** ending. Pushed me to my limits, so I broke it so he wouldn't get blamed for ending it." Jay remained silent until the young model insulted his physique.
A Quick Comeback
Jay remained largely silent during Alexis's Twitter rant until she came for his physique. "Body shaming is never cool in any gender or situation," Jay tweeted. "Making someone feel bad about how they naturally are is only showing your weakness." That wasn't all he had to say.
"Love is wise while hatred is foolish... & baby all I'm feeling is the love & sunshine," Alvarrez wrote on Instagram. While Alexis felt betrayed and heartbroken, Jay didn't seem to spend much time mourning the relationship. He was soon back to his thrilling escapades.
As Jay became more famous, his exploits got wilder. The social media star posted shots of himself jumping off of camels, skydiving off on pool inflatables, and swimming with migrating squid. But there was arguably a shift in the way Alvarrez presented himself on Instagram, as his profile went from #couplegoals to #bachelorgoals.
Jay surrounded himself with friends and beautiful women during his escapades. The photographer later revealed he no longer believed in relationship "labels." Instead, "Let them be free, you be free, and you enjoy each other's presence," Alvarrez said. It looked like the young man was living his best life. But not for long.
The Dark Side of Social Media
Alvarrez went from a broke teen trying to make his dreams come true to a globe-trotting influencer. "Summers would be Greece and the Mediterranean, and then Fall I'd be in LA and Miami," Jay recalled. Wintertime in Dubai and Southeast Asia, and... Spring was in Central America and the Caribbean."
But it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies, as Jay realized not everyone on social media was authentic in their presentation. "What you see isn't always what you get from people," Alvarrez admitted. "A genuine positive energy and charisma weigh so much more heavily than a pretty face or body." The go-getter needed a change.
His once mind-blowing adventures no longer phased jay. "This whole lifestyle... just became normal to me," he admitted. "I was just kinda getting bored with some of the stuff I was doing in life." So Alvarrez decided that for the first time in a long time, he needed some stability.
"I was missing that little island in the Pacific Ocean, and my simple-pleasured friends just made those things feel so timeless," Jay shared. "So I decided in the summer of 2017 that I needed to have a better balance in my life." With saved-up money, Alvarrez bought a beach house close to where he grew up and moved back home.
Alvarrez was back in Hawaii, but his social media presence stayed largely the same. And it wasn't long before he became entangled with other internet celebrities, including Tana Mongeau. The YouTuber was the first person rumored to date Jay after his and Alexis' infamous breakup.
In a video the influencers made together, they used the "boyfriend tag," which led fans to believe the duo was dating. Mongeau stirred the pot further with a photo of Alvarrez feeding her grapes and the caption, "bea feeding me clout like." But the pair never confirmed the rumors, and there was soon someone else on Jay's mind.
Since the years after Alvarrez's and Ren's public breakup, it didn't seem like Jay was serious about settling down with anyone else. Dating rumors swirled every once in a while, but he seemed to be living the ideal bachelor life for the most part. Then Valentina Fradegrada came into the picture.
Fradegrada was an Italian fashion and lifestyle blogger with a big social media presence. They likely met during one of Alvarrez's grand escapades. The pair confirmed their relationship status the best way influencers know -- through an Instagram post. But their online presence would soon disappoint some fans.
A Photo Scandal
Some followers were excited to see Jay in a relationship again. But while he and Alexis had become the adorable and enviable #couplegoals, it seemed this new relationship would be different. When Alvarrez posted an explicit photo with his new girlfriend, along with a provocative caption, some fans took offense.
"Simply degrading picture with a degrading caption," commented one user. Another wrote, "This is honestly disgusting and I feel so sorry for this girl." Jay couldn't see what the problem was. "I can't believe anyone got offended by this," he wrote. It wouldn't be the last time Alvarrez was involved in influencer drama.
Logan Paul & James Charles
With the rise of other young influencers, Alvarrez began networking with more big names. The thrill-seeker met up with Logan Paul for his Impaulsive podcast and a good day of trouble and fun. But it wasn't long before Jay got into it with some other influencers.
When some people accused YouTuber James Charles of acting inappropriately, Alvarrez got involved. Jay exposed a conversation with Charles in which the beauty guru flirted with him. "People giving this kid too much props," Alvarrez wrote. "He got no game." Throughout the scandals, one thing was constant: the money flow.
Net Worth Is $2 Million
The young surfer from Hawaii had made it big. Jay no longer had to worry about hustling and doing "anything and everything to get by." His image as the picture-perfect boyfriend, followed by an enviable single-man lifestyle, shot Alvarrez to internet fame.
Jay booked deals with Bvlgari, Hugo Boss, and other big-name brands. According to Social Celebrity Net Worth, Alvarrez has an estimated net worth of about $2 million. But all of that money was made from more than sponsorships and ads. Alvarrez's creativity and entrepreneurship played a huge part.
Since his pre-teen years, Alvarrez loved photography and eventually got into videography, as well. But the young man's rise to fame allowed him to pursue new passion projects he never before imagined. Jay later created his own jewelry line called Savage Isle.
"A vision of simple & clean made pieces that express a message of real life experiences and not just an expression of material value," reads the brand's website. "Each & every piece of each collection holds a small story that's relatable & unique... I hope these pieces make you feel more power to the person you are."
An Invaluable Friendship
There's no doubt that this 25-year-old was on a wild ride for over 10 years. From dropping out of school to becoming a wealthy influencer, a lot has changed in Alvarrez's life. But one thing remained the same: Jay's friendship with Amber Mozo, that first crush that inspired his creative side.
"You were always down to shoot photos with me, and some of those photos started our careers," Amber said on Jay's birthday. "As crazy as life has been, your love for me has always been consistent and real." The childhood friends were each successful in their own right, but things between them never changed.
"Keep Pushing and Pursuing"
Jay made it big, but he wasn't stopping anytime soon. Just like the surfers he watched when he was growing up, Alvarrez was always waiting for the next big wave to either rise above or crash on the ocean floor. Either way, he was sure to get back up and ride the next one.
And the young star hoped to influence others to do the same. "All I can really encourage anyone to do is trust your creativity and not let anyone around you influence your hopes to do whatever it is you want in life," Alvarrez said. "Keep pushing and pursuing."