Men in the fashion industry
Fashion blogging has exploded over the last five years, giving unprecedented access to the fashion industry for people from all walks of life. Writers and stylists can become celebrities in their industry if they work hard, with big names like Susie Lau and Tavi becoming internationally recognized for their work online.
Women are reaping the benefits of blogging, but in the UK there’s a startling difference in the numbers of male and female fashion bloggers – so we asked fashion insiders to discuss what their experience of the industry has been like and how they see the future of fashion and style for men.
How do people react to your love of fashion and style?
Colin Chapman Fashion journalist
“People are very disturbed by the word ‘fashion’, when I mention it to people I don’t already know, sometimes you can see they are starting to worry I’m going to judge what they are wearing, or be able to offer them random advice.”
“There are so many rules about men’s clothing, who can wear what, what can’t be worn; it’s a very rule-based culture. It still amazes me that in 2013, men wearing anything deemed ‘androgynous’ will end up in The Daily Mail as a headline.”
Fraquoh & Franchomme Lifestyle bloggers
“Today, there is a lot of prejudice when it comes to men’s style, fashion, body image and other related issues. Even though Western society has opened up a lot and keeps on doing so, there are still many people and places where style and men simply don’t go together in the respective culture’s eyes. Men’s looks are almost a complete taboo.”
“Men are taught that they have to act and look a certain way. Men who don’t act or look mighty, uninvolved, sporty, and the overall concept of “masculine” are being excluded by other men and by women too.”
What does fashion blogging mean to you?
Alex Atkins Fashion blogger
“I love meeting all types of people via the blog. It’s pretty crazy how interconnected everyone is now. I also love comments. When I’ve written something and there’s a dialogue – it just means the whole thing’s worth it.”
“I really think men are becoming more conscious of the fashion choices they make. I definitely have my favorite blogs that I keep referring to. Some are pretty unique, others are massively successful. I just think it’s good to keep searching for new things to read and be inspired by. “
“I’ve always been interested in art and design, so I guess fashion was a pretty natural ‘next step’. I actually used to write for my college newspaper, so that’s really when I started to be consistent about the fashion thing – in my column. I started my blog.”
Jefferson Pires Lifestyle blogger
“There is definitely a stereotype when it comes to bloggers, and this isn’t often a positive one, but once they see my work it definitely helps dispel any preconceived notions. There is not one specific reason that I can give you (for blogging) apart from the fact that I love what I do.”
“There are a few avenues that I would like this to lead me and I love the fact that you can run a blog from anywhere in the world. I also think it’s a great way for anyone to showcase their talents whether in the fields of photography, styling or fashion. It’s definitely helped me connect with some very talented individuals and I feel like I’ve only just begun!”
Orion Hombrebueno Fashion blogger
“There is quite a huge number of female bloggers compared to male bloggers. I joined a network of fashion bloggers and most members are girls. It would be great to interact with fellow male fashion bloggers if there were more of them. If you go out in East London you’d see a lot of guys looking so stylish and it makes you wonder, where are the male bloggers?”
“I blog about anything that I find interesting – music, food, my friends and of course my fashion obsessions. When I blog about what I’m wearing, I want to make it an event! Even if it was just a day at the park, I want the blog post to be like a fashion event.”
“Anything can happen, with so many talents emerging. However there are so many blogs around now. Outfit posts here and there but what’s the point right? Those who make it are those who have a strong and bold view on fashion. Those who can influence and change fashion. “
Sergio Ines Fashion blogger
“My girlfriend loved my style when we met and prompted me to start a blog; she is quite a successful blogger herself and thought I had something unique to share. I resisted and so she started documenting my outfits on Instagram while sharing to a Tumblr. When I saw the response and growth I felt I had to start the blog.”
“I’m not surprised there are fewer male bloggers; I think it’s directly proportional to the amount of men who have the confidence to dress in a way that allows them to express their individual style.
“I enjoy the research that goes into blogging; I make sure that I educate myself along with my audience. I also love the direct interaction with readers. I make a point of answering any comment or question across all my social media platforms. I think the difference between a brand and a blogger is the human to human interaction.”
What is your experience of the fashion industry?
Colin Chapman Fashion journalist
“I’ve blogging since it emerged as a platform, I liked the idea of self-publishing, but initially I was blogging about clubs, dance music, my travels and fashion was always there but in the mix. I started Sharpened Lead about the same time that the big photo blogs like The Sartorialist were emerging, and decided to hone in on men’s fashion but I’ve always been writing-based.”
“I don’t distinguish between blogging and fashion journalism, if a designer invites me to a show because they’re interested in my opinion then there’s little difference to me in whether I’m writing for a national newspaper or publishing something myself. Having said that, my business card also says fashion journalist because I want people to know I’m serious about the writing and there are a lot of misconceptions about fashion bloggers.”
Joseph Kent Street style photographer
“Women dominate the fashion blog community. I am often the only male blogger at many events I attend. I find that most men don’t have the same inclination as women to flaunt what they are wearing, or to review other people’s outfits. I suppose it is something to do with gender psychology.”
“I would certainly agree. London is referred to as the home of menswear, because much of the British menswear industry is within the capital. Savile Row in particular is argued to be the birthplace of modern menswear. However, London is also referred to as the fashion capital of the world, and there are far more opportunities in London for fashion bloggers in general, not just menswear bloggers.”
Alexis Housden, winner of London College of Fashion’s Collection of the Year 2013
Alexis Housden Designer
“Menswear, especially in London, has exploded into the new era of fashion where you can be truly creative. We are once again, as we have before, trying to push the boundaries and this time it’s in menswear.”
“It’s a hard slog, especially if you are trying to start your own label. The hours are very long while you try to get your collection developed into something you would be happy to show.”
Danny Lowe Photographer
“There are a mix of men and women, but there are especially a lot of male street style photographers in big cities. Places not as big on fashion might see it as more of a woman’s role, but all over the world in the up-and-coming cities there is a lot of it going on.”
“I like that on a day-to-day basis you are stopping people and finding out a bit about them. It is the personal bit that puts the whole jigsaw together. Obviously the clothes are a big thing in street style photography, but I like to look at the person as well. I look for someone who is a bit different. The clothes help tell the story but the person behind them make it.”
A big thank you to Rhiannon Davies for Woodhouse Clothing for interviewing these dapper gentlemen.