The State of Menswear Influencers
I recently did an interview with FOP magazine where I talked about my favourite designers, travelling with Glenn, if I considered myself a FOP and what I like most about blogging. I thought long and hard about the last question. The world of bloggers and menswear influencers has become a saturated market where these days, success is celebrated because of a 50k follower milestone, rather than a unique point of view or individualism.
I know I love working with brands and clothes in telling stories from a creative point of view. However I can’t help but focus on the unsettling issue of followers and likes digital influencers garner these days for content that is, for lack of a better word, uninspiring.
There’s a great Mashable article on the rise of menswear influencers on Instagram and how they’re the go-to source for inspiration because the result from the social sharing platform is instant – you put on the clothes, you get your other influencer friends to snap, you write a tepid caption with ample hashtags and brand tags, you post and voila, you see the ROI.
Because scrolling through a smart phone and double tapping have become a natural instinct like eating, compounded by more measurable results (bots and permanent double tappers who like anything and everything included), influencers have jumped on the bandwagon to show their prowess and knowledge.
“You can sleep yourself to the top but when you get to the top, you would still need to prove yourself.”
For many of these digital influencers, the ultimate goal is to gain Insta-fame, meet and hang out with other like minded influencers to take more snaps, fill their social media with attractive travel pictures and most importantly, receive free products and milk the monetary benefits.
I’ll readily admit I’m not in any way a trailblazer or original in my creative endeavours but in the world of creativity, most things have been done and attempted. It’s not what you do but rather how you do it or interpret something into your own. The sad thing is most digital influencers don’t even attempt to try since likes and follows would occur regardless. Most of them are good looking even if they’re wearing a garbage bag and they play to that strength.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram – I binge on the visuals for inspiration and love discovering new brands and their products that I will salivate over, exotic destinations that can only be reached by no less than three different types of transport or some vibrant and architecturally built dessert that I want to frame more than I want to eat. If I were half attractive, I’ll also adorn a garbage bag just because I can.
The questions that most would ask are – who are these menswear influencers, what do they really do and do they have other mad skills apart from familiarising themselves with trending hashtags and tagging aggregator accounts for a repost, perhaps from accounts they have set up themselves?
While this generation has become one where luck and opportunity precede talent and motivation, a voice and the ability to perform are still essential in the digital marketing sphere. You can sleep yourself to the top but when you get to the top, you would still need to prove yourself.
So, back to the question about what I like most about blogging – I see it as an extension of my love of photography, writing and styling. I love looking at photos and think of what stories they’re telling. I love discovering brands and finding out about the creatives’ vision and ethos. Of course, all these come together because I have an appreciation of clothes and love putting them together.
Although I understand that menswear blogging has become more about “the look” than it is about “the story”, it is nonetheless uninspiring posting a picture of yourself standing or walking cumbersomely on a quiet street and hashtagging it #OOTD.
Anyway I digress. Time to post a photo and let mum know I am still famous.
Wearing Orlebar Brown, Marcuse, Triwa, Carrera, Raf Simons, Acne Studios, Topman, JDRT, Royal Aquamarine, Rufskin, 2Eros, Polaroid Eyewear, Whitet.co, Orri Henrisson, Mocha Salt