IFB Member Spotlight: Igee Okafor’s Gentlemanly Style

Welcome to the IFB Male Blogger Spotlight! Gentlemen fashion bloggers may be in the minority, but they’re no less stylish than their female counterparts. Look for a feature on one of our dapper dudes on the last Friday of every month.  

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Who: Igee Okafor

WhatIgee Okafor

Where: New York City

Igee Okafor is just 21, but projects the gentlemanly style of a man who has spent decades refining his look. He grew up in Nigeria before recently relocating to one of the fashion capitals of the world, New York City. When I first discovered his blog, I was particularly drawn to his mixture of dapper tailoring and modern menswear, often a blend of classic pieces and funky accessories. Igee’s blog covers classic menswear, etiquette, food and lifestyle, so the questions I prepared for him cover his unique take on menswear and what it takes to develop a strong personal aesthetic. Read all about it below!

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1. When and why did you start your blog?
“I started my menswear/lifestyle blog in March 2013. I started with the intention to serve as an inspiration and a reference point for menswear/lifestyle enthusiasts.”

2. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
“My blog title is eponymous—I was not creative enough to come up with a cool name. No, I’m kidding. I run a blog that produces content that speaks to me. It’s personal. What’s more defining than my own name?”

3. Do you blog full time or do you have a day job?
“I blog part time. I am a full time marketing student at St. John’s University.”

4. What was the biggest mistake you made in your early days of blogging?
“I would say trying to mimic what I thought was the right style of blogging from what I saw other successful bloggers doing. ‘Style' as it pertains to writing, photography, and aesthetic.”

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5. What keeps you motivated when you feel burnt out from blogging?
“The mindset of doing my best to excel at everything I choose to do wholeheartedly. I have a strong will to always meet the expectations I set for myself, and that comes from having a good understanding that as a human being, I am such a powerful force, and I am capable of doing anything that I think of.

 

On a day-to-day basis, I also try to stay inspired by watching in-depth interviews, or documentaries featuring successful household names in fashion, and related industries. I also try to learn from what my peers and colleagues are doing. So, I read other blogs like Mr. Essentialist and online journals like Mr. Porter.”

6. Which social media platform drives the most traffic back to your blog?
“I actually do not check my metrics often, but I’ll guess Tumblr.”

7. Is your blog still your #1 effort, or is a social media channel becoming more important?
“I would say my blog is my number one effort. I feel like I am able to express my content on a larger scale there, so I prioritize that. I think social media is important as well. No one is going to know about your work if you don’t share it, especially if the foundation of your work is based on teaching, inspiring, and motivating. Social media creates a platform for one to be able to promote their work, so the two fields complement each other. You need both. So, I hold both to the same standard.”

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8. Where do you find most of your revenue is coming from? Sponsored posts, advertising, or something else?
“Sponsored posts seem to be the most fruitful for me, so far.”

9. How much do you think the design of your blog influences reader engagement? How did you come up with your aesthetic?
“I think people feel most comfortable navigating through a website where specific content is easily accessible. My layout design has slightly changed over the years but aesthetically, I make an effort to ensure that the design is a reflection of my personal style: a clean look, with a bit of detail.

10. If you could describe the look and feel of your blog in one word, what would it be?
“Cultured.”

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11. How would you describe your personal style? How do you keep your classic gentleman’s style consistent, but still fresh?
“I would describe my personal style as clean, and sharp. Minimalistic, and traditional, mixed with various selections of contemporary movements in menswear. I try to make sure every item of clothing I wear is well fitting, and event appropriate.

12. What unique challenges do you face as a male blogger?
The challenges I started facing when I first started are not the challenges I am facing now. At first, everything was a challenge because I had no background in creating content. I had to quickly learn how to collaborate with photographers, work with schedules, create editorial calendars, make sure my articles were tangible, and more.

Right now, staying inspired, learning how and when to slow down, and creating innovative content can be a bit of a struggle. For me, sometimes, I find myself obsessing over content, which is fine, I guess, but sometimes I’m up at night thinking about the same thing over and over again. I create content for a post today, and instead of me reveling, and being proud of that, I’m already thinking of the next post. The struggle of me never feeling satisfied with the amount/level of production or output, if you may, is a tough one.

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Blogging can be a very repetitive activity when it comes to creating content as well. I write. Writer’s block is not fun, and other times, it is just time in itself. I’m getting older, and as I’m getting busier with everything else that I do outside of blogging, it’s difficult to make time. It has never been overbearing though, because I love it, and every time I get the extremely kind feedback I get from supporters, it makes me happy knowing that people care, and that they’re appreciative of my talent as an influencer.”

13. What male and female bloggers inspire you? Who would you like to have a drink with?
“I do not follow a lot of female bloggers, sadly. I should though. As for males, Steven Onoja is fantastic, Adam Gallagher, Alexander Atkins from Mr. Essentialist, Brian Sacawa from HeSpokeStyle, and a few more more. I’m inspired by any blogger who genuinely takes their work seriously.

In regards to who I would like to have a drink with, if you’re referring to a blogger, I would say Adam Gallagher. We have met each other at events here in New York a couple of times, and he is always so nice, friendly, and professional. I would love to pick his brain a little bit. Otherwise, Jimmy Fallon is at the top of my list.

[Photos by Andrew White and Gina Palermo]

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