It’s clear for anyone to see that blogging has become a huge part of the fashion industry – bloggers are now being seated on the front row, dictating the trends that we all wear and inspiring the designers we buy from.
As the industry grows it becomes increasingly obvious that fashion blogging is dominated by women. In the past this might have seemed natural, but menswear has become almost as important as womenswear in fashion over time, and the lack of male fashion bloggers seems strange given the number of fashion blogs out there.
So we asked the men themselves; where are all the bloggers? They told us why men are still avoiding fashion online.
Fraquoh and Franchomme of Attire Club
We started the blog and everything we do because we want to bring our vision to the public – we are interested in the feedback we receive and reading our community’s comments and opinions. We have more to say than just to write articles, so this is why we have also started designing clothes and working on other projects as well.
Fashion blogging will continue to be part of the blogosphere. What’s interesting is that blogs allow you can comment on an article even a lot of time after the post has been written, and if the administrator of the blog does a good job at organizing the data, blogs can become a source of knowledge. It’s amazing how in recent years, human kind has seen this rise of collective knowledge and voicing of opinion in a non-chaotic yet ever-accessible way.
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.
This is why we wanted to write about these issues, to try to put them behind us and focus on building, not destroying. Even though these are difficult issues, they need to be addressed and we will continue to do so.
Colin Chapman of Sharpened Lead
I think the issue is broader than that. 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. If someone’s not interested in fashion that’s fine, if they are then I’m happy to talk about it.
Men are often particularly troubled by fashion, scan the comments on any major newspaper site that features menswear and a few comments in you’ll get the homophobic reactions to the models, the clothes, you can guarantee it. 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.
I still think there’s scope for more taste gatekeepers, not everyone has time to scour the internet looking for things they like, never mind going into shops, and if you find someone who has an interesting perspective or who discovers something you really love, the chances are there will be other things they like or do that you would be interested in as well. Many bloggers are being picked up by mainstream publications and broadcasters, and there will continue to be a culture of bloggers being used as brand ambassadors through social media channels. The challenge is whether people can maintain an independent voice.
Jefferson Pires of SchoolboyCouture
My day job was not fulfilling my creative needs so I started a blog as a way to channel my creative energies. At first I blogged on a wide variety of topics but this has now been narrowed down to menswear and lifestyle topics with emphasis on original content and photography. I always have my camera on me wherever I go – so most of my posts tend to be photography based. I am definitely not a fan of long detailed posts and let pictures do all the talking. Sometimes it’s hard to think of new posts but with the ever fluid age that we live in there’s always something new every day. I always write down ideas in my phone as they come to my mind which helps to plan posts weeks in advance. Switching off can be a nightmare sometimes!
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!
Whilst still few in number, it’s obvious that men are taking up their place in fashion blogging more and more as time goes on. These guys are clearly not worried about the reaction other people might have and reject any fashion stereotypes being thrown at them!
Interview/Words by Rhiannon Davies