By: Gary Warnett
The GQ ‘Oral History of Menswear Blogging’ was amazing. It read like pitch-perfect satire, with talk of elaborately strapped shoes and a pervading sense of self-congratulatory bro backslapping that was two steps from college dudery (less Take Ivy, more apply Rohypnol), hi fiving over semi-conscious co-ed spitroasts. It was awesome. Menswear blogs might be influential, but there’s still a feeling of an emperor trotting around in Allen Edmonds Double Monkstraps, but sans clothes, resulting in an oral history of something that could’ve just been summarised with, “We got bored of Dunks so we write paragraphs about pants.” Of course, A Continuous Lean is excellent, but from his contributions to the GQ conversation, it’s evident that Michael Williams just started a project based on his personal interests and the rest of the internet took notice. I’m not familiar with many of the other cited sites — maybe it’s an American thing. Recently Scott Schuman made a bit of a cunt out of himself when he wore a fancy scarf and sneered at children who’d built mini fashion empires. An adult mocking a child for their business structure is a bit like swearing at a cat for not knowing how to drive — it’s unnecessary.
My main bugbear is the sheer volume of characters who look like they should be great company are just a walking spending spree with nothing to actually say. I blame the internet. Do people beyond PR folks looking for a quick fix buy into this cliquey bullshit? Judging by the ad spends and traffic, I guess they do. Camo shorts, beards, Dirty Bucks, beards and no fucking depth will get you far in life, but this uniform look masquerading as individuality is a solitary placket detail away from Ed Hardy douchebaggery. There seems to be a lot of mileage in guides on how to wear ties by people who don’t need to wear ties. If you slavishly follow that stuff, then you’re part of the problem. Fuck your blog.
2. You Still Give a Fuck About Blog Mentions?
It’s nice to be recognised, but there’s got to be a bigger aim for your brand, site or “steez” than a mention on a blog that’s got you at page three by 6pm. Aim higher. Blogs are hungry for information so they might mention your product — there’s more product out there to counter that increased appetite, so it’s flattering to be featured. Shit, it might even drift through Tumblr for a few weeks too. But you can murmur about longtails all day long, but you’d still probably get more lasting attention if you hired a town crier. Of course, if your product is exciting enough to elicit the holy click through, cool, but if you’ve ever been featured, count those clicks to your page and try to calculate how that can be profitable before you start doing the Carlton on amphetamines dance. There’s at least twenty more things covered extensively that day that will drown out your product and create the equivalent of white noise (beige pixels?) that’s impossible to differentiate between. Step your game up and brands paying for online PR need to be more vigilant of the byproduct of blog mentions. Brands need to be a little more flexible if a “leak” happens too – that’s better handled if you employ people who know their stuff rather than a legion of jobsworths who are clueless enough to crumble and demand deletions when a smarter solution would suffice.
To read the rest of the article head over to Hypebeast.