Details Style Network
Building an online community through a common passion or topic is nothing new for women as they have dominated the virtual space for hobbies and interests stemming anywhere from DIY projects to organic food recipes. And of course, fashion, beauty and lifestyle coverage is a large focus. It’s only been in last few years – and with the boom of various social media platforms – that men have become increasingly evident in this line of coverage. Through a specialized effort to showcase these style-driven male bloggers, Details magazine created Details Style Network, a win-win partnership for both the independent contributing blogger and to the magazine’s editorial content.
Officially launched on Valentine’s Day, Details Style Network exists separately from the magazine’s website. The sleek and simple layout highlights hand-picked posts by independent bloggers and website contributors from around the globe that have been chosen to share their content.
Details online editorial projects manager, James Oliver Cury, noticed women communities at Lucky and Teen VOGUE and thought it was the right time to give men a similar platform. “We know that readers love our fashion and style coverage. …At the same time, there was a sense that we couldn’t rely solely on our editors to cover everything that is happening in the men’s style arena online,” he said.
Oliver Cury sensed that in mid-2012, interest in men’s fashion and style was hitting a “critical mass” and the only way to find men’s perspectives to style was to rely on Googling phrases like “men’s street style,” clicking on the images tool and hoping that a men’s site had a slideshow of some sort. But usually, these search results were outdated and not helpful.
Through the Details Style Network readers can zero in on what they are looking for quickly and easily. “I wanted to create a way for Details readers to browse content by keywords, because sometimes I just want to see great looking suits and nothing else. Or sharp shoes. Or awesome watches,” Oliver Cury said.
Currently, the network features 85 contributors, with the notion that it will grow organically. But there are strict considerations in place to be a contributor. “We certainly don’t want to have too many sites. Ours is a curated community. We only want the best content in this channel. So we are picky,” Oliver Cury said. “The benefit: readers only see great content. It’s not a hit and miss experience like it is at so many other aggregated communities.”
Other must-haves to be a contributor on the site is to have original content, publish regularly (at least once a week, if not daily), cover men’s fashion, grooming and lifestyle topics (gadgets, gear, tech, travel, food, drink, cars, architecture and design) and notably, have compelling visuals. “Ideally, the photos are exciting, the writing is engaging and the topics are fresh and timely,” Oliver Cury said.
The channel is constantly updated throughout the day and the content is selected by both the Details network staff and contributors. Additionally, each contributor has a profile page of their latest posts, which readers can vote up if liked, sending that post to “Top Stories” with a decent amount of votes.
Undoubtedly, traffic to the contributor’s sites has increased since becoming a part of the network. “We know we’re sending traffic to participating sites,” Oliver Cury said. “There are metrics in the dashboard/platform we all use that measure these stats. And, of course, we see that fans of participating sites are coming to Details.com to see how the content looks – and who else in the community.”
Additionally, the undeniable enthusiasm from the contributors is refreshing feedback to hear. “I was truly honored they considered my blog for their network,” Alejandro Lopez, blogger for Adentro Style, said. “It was also humbling to be included amongst other men’s fashion blogs that I personally love.”
Freddy Rodriguez, menswear blogger for Blue Perk, was on his way back from a three-week blog hiatus in Hawaii when he was contacted by Details to be a contributor. “I initially thought it was about time men had their own cultivated community via a large publishing community like Teen VOGUE and Vogue already have established.”
“We were excited!” Anthony Urbano and Dustin Tyler Moore, bloggers of Closet Freaks, said when contacted. The blog duo has covered personal style, menswear and New York Fashion Week since September 2011.
“I was beyond thrilled when Details selected me as a contributor,” Thomás from MYBELONGING said. “While I am not privy to the nuances of this process, I know that they handpick every contributor and that makes it extra special.”
Izzy Tuason, blogger of The Dandy Project and a freelance PR professional, knew the magazine was a perfect audience for his content to be featured. “I am usually skeptical when it comes to blogger networks, but I thought Details was a good, wide-reaching brand to be associated with,” he said.
All of these men agree; men’s fashion, style and lifestyle blogging has hit a high in terms of both quality and quantity.
“There’s more of it! And not just from men’s magazines. Lately, we’ve seen more men’s fashion/style websites pop up in addition to a slowly growly men’s personal style blogging community,” Urbano and Tyler Moore said. “Guys seem to be less scared of fashion so more people are writing about it.”
To Thomás, blogging takes more passion than just an Internet connection. “In my opinion, it has become more than just putting together the perfect suit-and-tie ensemble. This is where menswear bloggers come to the forefront, because we champion self-expression and make the fantasy of men’s high fashion into a real-life, street style reality,” Thomas said.
Also, Rodriguez noticed a close-knit camaraderie has formed in a short amount of time. “Men’s fashion has changed dramatically since I first started my blog in 2011; there wasn’t a community like there is now,” he explained. “Women dominated the blogging scene, up until a year ago more men started to do their blogs. Catching brands and PR companies’ attention to work with us as a part of press is a great way to get their product in front of viewers. We are a hot commodity as menswear is continuing to grow rapidly right now.”
Of course, social media and technology have helped speed up the sharing process to a greater volume. “I think both the men’s fashion designers and those who cover men’s fashion have grown together and social media and smartphones have helped that happen,” Lopez said. “Half the battle is getting the word out and doing it quickly. One doesn’t have to wait until the pictures of the latest runway show are posted online. Through bloggers and even fashion editors, images can be seen as fast as you can snap a picture and press send.”
As Details Style Network continues to curate high-quality content through contributors, Oliver Cury has additional plans such as new ways to navigate the content, highlighting the best posts on Details.com, and even in the magazine. Also, he has plans to engage with the contributors and readers through contests.
If interested in becoming a contributor, Oliver Cury said to apply on the site by clicking on “Become a contributor” link and one of the editors will take a look at the application to gauge if it’s a good match.
Contact Information & Pitching Tips
Topics covered: personal style, menswear, New York Fashion Week
Favorite social platform: Instagram
“We typically like to feature specific products rather than write-ups of a whole collection. We prefer firsthand coverage for those types of stories. But when it comes to a certain product, we look for an item that fits our aesthetic and is something we think our readers would enjoy and benefit from being introduced to. On trend items and pieces that are unique and well-made is what grabs our attention the most.”
Topics covered: men’s fashion, personal style, DIY projects, lifestyle
Favorite social platform: Instagram
“I like reading about new talent, especially those with an aesthetic I respond to. Pitches tailored particularly to me are a plus. Requests to put in guest posts are vehemently declined. I like to feature things that nobody else is featuring.”
Topics covered: personal style, fashion obsessions, runway coverage, weekly excursions through hip neighborhoods of Los Angeles
Favorite social platform: Twitter
“I typically gravitate to product pitches that speak to my personal style aesthetic or an opportunity to attend a live runway show or collection preview in LA/NYC (during fashion week season). I am always behind a great cause or charity that has a strong tie-in to fashion. Sending me a pitch about a hair loss product, without really digging deep into my content, is a very unflattering gesture.”
Topics covered: men’s fashion and trends with a more accessible aesthetic for the everyday man
Favorite social platform: Twitter
“I’m always open to learn about new men’s apparel, accessories and grooming. I’m also interested in collaborating with brands.”
Topics covered: personal style, menswear trends, press previews, TV show premieres, campaigns and Fashion Week
Favorite social platform: Tumblr
“I’m looking to feature men’s lifestyle products, clothing and electronics. Material that grabs my attention is typically being sent whatever the product may be to make my own original content.”
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