'Winter is coming' some say, so if you want fashionable lapels to turn up against the chill breeze then our chat with Anthony McGrath – editor of men's fashion blog Clothes Make The Man – should point you in the right direction.
Tell us about your blog, how did you get started? Why did you choose your subject?
OK then, the blog’s well written, informative, informed and it has a good sense of humour! My background in fashion journalism has given me a good grounding of the industry and understanding of how it works. Essentially, if guys (and gals, of course) are looking for a stylish read for their lunchtime, there isn’t a better choice. I set it up as I saw a gap in the market for a men's style blog that covered menswear from the point of view of how men actually shop, whether that's high street or high end, but also had a sense of humour when interacting with them – and never patronises them.
How do you source content for your blog?
Everywhere, to be honest, not just from press releases, PRs and press days, but from exhibitions, trips away. In the words of Sir Paul Smith, “Inspiration is everywhere”. I’m totally open to genuine contributions; please drop me an email!
Do you have a favourite post or one that best sums up your blog?
Without sounding too self-help book, I try and put a little piece of me in every post I do. Sorry if you're throwing up now, I do apologise. I’ve enjoyed interviewing certain people, particularly if they get into it like Mr Hare, Richard James, or Christopher Raeburn. But I also love my gift guide for Valentine’s Day or Christmas and 6 of the best posts which are proving really popular with the readers, gawd bless 'em.
Do you write reviews? How many people read your reviews?
I do write reviews and it's proving to be really popular as I think people trust your recommendation far more than a magazine or newspaper, as they know you have nothing to gain from giving a rose-tinted opinion which is biased towards their advertisers. If a brand wants to work with me I make that very clear from the offset, and they – without exception – have all agreed and expressed that as a reason for coming on board, which is always nice to hear.
How did you build a following for your blog?
Honestly, I just kept my head down. It's a lot of hard work and there really aren't enough hours in the day. But it's very rewarding to see your following grow organically. There’s no secret to it but hard work and interesting content; sorry.
Are you a PR friendly blog? Do you accept contributions and content for your blog?
Absolutely! If they’re a good PR, which the vast majority of PRs are, we are already working together. Sometimes I accept contributions, but not from brands trying to be clever and passing off essentially advertorials as honest-to-goodness editorial content. We all have a living to make!
How best do you like to be approached by PRs?
Don’t treat me any differently to the other sections of the press. Communicate with me in a considered manner. Contact me in plenty of time before the launch of the product/event/collection, or whatever you want covering; we’re here to work together. If you like what a blogger’s doing, encourage the brand to invest in them, FINANCIALLY.
Blogging is great because….?
It's a great creative outlet where you are the master. The way you want to write it, lay it out, the look, the feel – everything is all down to you. It's a great experience.
Anthony can be found tweeting @ClothesMakeMan.