Menswear, style and grooming has been growing in popularity online in recent years, leading to digital magazines such as Menswear Style, one of the UK’s leading digital publications that caters to all things fashion, grooming and lifestyle. We were keen to hear more from this group of menswear Influencers, and therefore got together with Peter Brooker, Lifestyle Editor of Menswear Style, for this fascinating interview.
So Peter, tell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m Peter Brooker, Lifestyle Editor of Menswear Style and host of the Menswear Style Podcast. I started writing for Menswear Style about 3 years ago, I was managing an independent fashion store at the time and this was a good platform for me to voice my opinions on men’s fashion and trends.
What is the most striking trend in men’s fashion currently?
Not sure if it’s striking, but I’m seeing a lot of Scandinavian brands seeping its way into the London lexicon. Lots of unstructured functional wear, elongated garments without the foppish logo’s or bold graphics. Generally, I believe we are getting smarter, more fashion conscious in the UK, but that could be the circles I move in. One striking trend I’m seeing is the ankle sock and high cut trouser, revealing a lot of ankle. We used to save the ankles for boat shoes and flip flops, now it’s open season on brogues, moccasins. I appreciate people might want to show off the fine tailoring of a trouser or chino, and everything is subjective, but I wouldn’t mind getting past this look soon.
What is your main advice about becoming an Influencer in the fashion industry, and what do you consider to be the most profitable aspect of the digital media sector?
Never marginalise yourself and criticise 99% of the bloggers-sphere who like wearing ankle socks with brogues. I don’t class myself as a menswear influencer, it’s a term that has been hijacked by every blogger and his dog. I’ve never claimed to be anything more than a writer, which probably sounds even more highfalutin. The most profitable aspect of the digital media sector? Video content.
What rules do you have for choosing the right products on e-commerce platforms like Asos and Circle Fashion? Would you recommend these sites?
I don’t personally shop on these platforms but that’s not to say I wouldn’t recommend them. I’m old fashioned and shop on the high street, but when it comes to e-commerce, remember what looks good on a porcelain skin model ten years younger, won’t look the same on you. Manage your expectations when it arrives.
How do you effectively communicate and interact with your large online audience?
Interaction and engagement with our audience is crucial to us. We don’t like to bombard them with content, no daily newsletters or Instagram Stories. We only say something when we feel it’s needed to be said or written. We do one Newsletter a month for example and rarely more than one Instagram post a day. Again, this is just how we do things at MWS, we appreciate that everyone has their own ways of communicating and needs to make themselves present.
What do you feel are some of the best ways for Brands to communicate with their online audience?
Get David Beckham to hold,wear or drink their product. (Only joking, though had you ever heard of Haig Club before he became an ambassador?) Aside from that, they could start with asking more from their ‘influencers’. What is the ROI on each campaign and what are the hardcore stats, impressions, unique views, etc. Marketing platforms like Buzzoole have analysis tools which measure ratios of social media reach compared to engagement.
Finally, what would be your key piece of advice for Brands and Influencers in the world of male fashion?
They should realise the blogging industry is quite incestuous. We all talk, compare and get chagrined when we realise another party, writer, influencer, is getting paid more handsomely for being on the same junket. As well as our good selves check out the likes of Nik Speller, Adam Tanous, these people can talk about brands versus PR versus Influencers for in perpetuity. Like I said I just write, cynically. For menswear influencers I would always recommend going that extra mile. When I deal personally with a Brand I like to extend all the imagery of a shoot, not just the ones that make it on our social feeds. Or do a YouTube clip, offer something on top of the agreed package. It can always be a case study for something else. Also, knock it off with the ankle socks.
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