Style. Some have it, some don't. And a select few build a career from it. Matthew Zorpas founded online platform The Gentleman Blogger in 2012, and has since grown into a global brand, winning numerous 'Best Dressed' awards from leading luxury publications. When this man speaks, it's a wise idea to listen.
How did you become a fashion blogger?
I emerged into the industry from the business part of things. After graduating in PR and Global Media and practising digital marketing for a few years I decided to launch The Gentleman Blogger, to not only communicate my lifestyle but also challenge the entrepreneur in me towards the more creative parts the industry.
What do you think makes your blog so successful?
I think the clarity in terms of style (it’s classic, easy, adaptable for every man of any age), and diverse in terms of lifestyle (I have the opportunity to travel twice a week to places that are distinct and varied) add to the influences that a man can accumulate into his own lifestyle.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Transition. Flux. Change. The adaptation challenge fascinates me.
And the worst?
Time. Seconds. How it all adds up. For a story to be published, for communicating an event, for sharing an image, for understanding each moment’s worth.
What’s the biggest misconception about your job?
I believe we all struggle with the misconception that our work is “easy”. It is very attractive and glorified as we only share a result (a beautiful image.. instead of the eight-hour flight to New York for a meeting and back). Or sometimes the lack of a ‘moment’s calm’.
You’ve travelled a fair bit – which city has the best style?
London and New York continue to inspire me. The mixture, the clashes and how easily everyone fits into their surroundings contemporary, modern or old and classy – I am in constant awe of it.
What’s your favourite garment that you’ve recently worn?
My new favourite is a navy blue double breasted Hugo Boss suit paired with a turtleneck worn while in New York for Fashion Week. It was that combination of a classic fitted suit modernised with no tie but a polo.
What advice would you give for someone trying to follow in your footsteps?
Just like any other business, it is not about following someone else’s footsteps but its about taking the status quo and twisting it, deconstructing it. Creating something new from its parts. A copy will always be a copy. Find your unique perspective, explore it, develop it and communicate it.
What have you learnt in your time as a fashion blogger?
I’ve realised how careful I should be with my advice, proposals, insights. People listen, and we should be wary because we have developed a trust between us.
How has the industry changed since you started?
The industry constantly changes, many brands are finally catching up with the idea of digital. Many have struggled to understand and invest, and therefore in my opinion lose and disappear in the public eye.
What would you do if you weren’t a fashion blogger?
I would work for a tech startup. I love the process of creation of something not existing yet but necessary.
What would you say defines a ‘gentleman’?
I’m from the modern bunch. A gentleman embodies integrity and honour and takes a great effort in all of his interactions and transactions with others. He also has a great interest in fashion, art, pampering and food, while he appreciates travelling and discovering the unknown. It's not the suit or the polished english brogues, but more importantly the search for enlightenment and spirituality that makes a gentleman.
Could you give us one style rule to live by?
Invest in a good pair of formal shoes every year. Shoes can either make a look or break it.
What are your ambitions for the future?
The Gentleman Blogger continues to grow and expand towards many areas, including interiors and food! We are also working on a product launch hopefully beginning of next year.
Tell us one piece of gear / kit that you can’t go without – e.g. watch, clothing, etc?
My IWC Portugieser doesn’t leave my wrist. Time is crucial for my job and an attractive timepiece is essential.
For more information, see thegentlemanblogger.com