By Jared Michael Lowe, Lifestyle Journalist and Editor in Chief of lowefactor.com
“How many times can a guy tie a tie and show it on his blog? It’s the same old, same old. I’m happy to see that menswear blogging is becoming more and more fashion driven.” Tyler Thoreson, VP of men’s editorial at GILT, said in the press room after speaking on a panel. Earlier in the day, he alongside Andy Spade of Partners & Spade, Jeff Raider of Warby Parker, as well as a few others gave a lively talk on the marriage of content and commerce at Details Magazine first ever Tech and Tastemakers Summit.
The half day conference brought together sartorially minded techies to a guy’s guy focused digital summit. Think the IFB Conference, but with wall to wall dapper lads in a variety of gingham, sleek suits, and shiny cufflinks.
Panels featured how to leverage blogging careers, tales of digital entrepreneurship from the uber successful – we’re talking Pete Cashmore of Mashable kind of success, who was one of the premiere speakers at the conference – and the ever popular topic of how to work with brands. Cashmore and the others aforementioned weren’t the only big names on the ticket; the panel also featured a who’s who of the digital fashion industry. The Style Girlfriend’s Megan Collins was there as well as street style star, Nick Wooster and even one of the early auteurs of street style, Jak and Jil’s Tommy Ton dished on his digital profile.
However, as the conference progressed, the topic of the future of menswear blogging was on a lot of minds.
Over the past few years, menswear blogging has picked up momentum. Bloggers like Tommy Lei of My Belonging and Sabir Peele of Men’s Style Pro have made their respective marks as go-to personal style bloggers showcasing a wide array of a gentleman’s wardrobe. Blogs like A Continuous Lean and Kempt (run by Urban Daddy) read more like a magazine – offering trend stories, profiles of brands, and sneak peeks behind men’s fashion weeks and last but certainly not least are menswear street style blogs. Still, the medium is new. And with its newness, there isn’t much diversity. A good many of the menswear blogs adopt these familiar formulas. However, at what costs and to what success? Not everyone can be the next Street Etiquette, Four Pins, or even Details Magazine.
So what do the future look like for such a new space with a lot of the same things going on?
“We’re starting to see more of a generation of self-taught style lovers mature. People are beginning to approach menswear blogging differently” Thoreson proclaims.
“We’re starting to see more of a generation of self-taught style lovers mature. People are beginning to approach menswear blogging differently” Thoreson proclaims. Eugene Tong, Detail’s Style Director agrees and adds “We’re living in the age where we can’t circle jerk each other’s point of views. There has to be more variety and with that more authenticity.” Both men are seminal to the discussion. They are at the forefront of the industry – albeit working for large fashion hegemonies – and have seen many a copycat blogger come and go.
Daniel Saynt of Socialyte also adds, “You’re going to see more niche menswear blogs coming into the fold. There aren’t too many DIY menswear blogs. Neither is there any grooming or men’s furnishing blogs. Watches are a huge industry. No one is tapping into that.”
Saynt has a point. Niche blogs are few and far between in menswear blogging. On the female front, they dominate. For examples, look at the success of I Spy DIY or Gabi Gregg’s chronicles of a curvy girl in the fashion world on GabiFresh. Each site does a stellar job of getting their points across while tapping into a niche audience. The result: a legion of devoted followers and lucrative careers aside from their blogs.
But, if finding a niche and sticking to a targeted audience, as authentic as possible, is an easy solution to the question, why aren’t more menswear bloggers doing that?
Or are they?
In November of 2012, Complex Magazine published a detailed, albeit, short list of “under the radar menswear blogs”. The twelve blogs each had a specific slant, ranging from sites dedicated to showcasing independent bespoke menswear designers to nostalgia flashbacks of past sneaker and clothing lines (remember when Coca Cola had a fashion collection?). Those blogs and others show a new crop that is emerging, one that is more targeted and rooted in authenticity.
Thoreson, Tong and Saynt may be onto something. Really, how many times can a guy tie a tie on his blog?
[Image Credit: Shutterstock.com]