Mr P. by MR PORTER
Being men’s style aficionados, many of you will appreciate just how strong menswear e-retailer MR PORTER is in terms of brand offering, presentation and customer service. Since 2011 MR PORTER has served countless Ape to Gentleman readers with some of the finest designer labels on the planet, and 2017 saw perhaps its greatest stride to date – the launch of its own label, Mr P., with the tagline, “Easy pieces. Smart details. Enduring style.” Translated: wearable, simple, and stylish clothing (and now footwear) designed for everyday wear.
I’ve bought into the range since it launched, both from an Ape editorial perspective and for my personal wardrobe. Mr P. represents great value for money, thanks to its focus on classic style and high-quality materials, but the pieces are extremely versatile too – I can wear them everyday for a variety of situations, be it in the office at my desk, out for a meeting or to an evening event.
Mr P. My Way
MR PORTER currently has a series running named “Mr P. My Way”, where the brand teams up with a wide variety of creatives who share an insight into their lives and personal style. Ape was recently invited to take part, and what better way to convey our message than by explaining what Ape is all about, and our philosophy. Consider it a guide for those of you considering starting your own fashion blog. “Our Way”, if you will, and of course – wearing exclusively Mr P. for that smart causal, comfy and confident style.
The foundation of any good blog, or online magazine. Get your house in order before you do anything else. Ensure your website design not only looks great, but provides a good user experience (also known as “UX”) – this includes everything from ensuring your website is usable on every device (responsive design), quick to load (no one waits longer than 2 seconds for a webpage these days), secure and safe (your readers need to trust you), and has a logical navigation structure (makes it easy for your readers to consume information).
With the vast choice of topics already being covered in depth on the internet, it’s important to find your niche. Being a jack of all trades and a master of none is so often the case.
Before you even contemplate starting a blog, you need to consider your strengths and where your passion lies – you should write about what you enjoy or you’re an expert in (this will shine through to the reader), and decide whether you’re doing it as a hobby or hoping to make money from it. If the latter, you need to examine your niche from a business perspective – is there an audience thirsty for your work, and how do you plan on both building your audience and monetising your content?
Frequency and consistency is key. Not only in terms of daily content publication but also brand message, value, authenticity and transparency. Readers need to know what your publication stands for…
Ape to Gentleman: The online evolution of a traditional men’s magazine, dedicated to timeless yet contemporary style, intelligent living, and value.
Set targets and hold yourself accountable. Wholesome intentions are one thing, but creating a real business plan and strategy detailing exactly how are you going to achieve your targets are vital for growth and to keep you motivated. These will evolve over time (you may even pivot entirely), and that’s okay – but you need aims and objectives to strive for.
The most important aspect of any website: generate really good content. This means genuinely useful and informative editorial that will enrich your readers’ lives. Not only will this help you develop a loyal following of fans that come back consistently, but Google’s promise is to reward the best content with better search rankings.
To finish, there’s a few personal nuggets of wisdom I’d like to impart, which I’ve learned over the years:
- Do your competitor research but don’t imitate – it’s important to forge your own style and voice.
- I’d also encourage mindfulness – step outside the race every now and again, to appreciate the simple things. Read a book or take an iPhone free walk at lunch, for example – you’ll be surprised how many ideas and new strategies pop into your head.
- When working with brands and PR agencies, be thankful for the information they provide but also know your worth. You’re running a business after all, and if you’re promoting a brand to your trusting audience outside of your editorial, it deserves monetary remuneration and should be labelled sponsored content. People are becoming more and more aware of marketing tactics used online, so it’s important to be transparent and honest with your readers.
MR PORTER provided the clothes for this feature free of charge, no money exchanged hands.