Nik Thakkar, pop culture specialist and columnist for the Huffington Post, launched his visual “pop couture” blog KARLISMYUNKLE five years ago. It now claims more than 100,000 visitors a month. Thakkar talks to Gorkana about how fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld inspired him to create the blog, his “hype beat” readers, the high fashion brands he’s worked with and the “super mutual respect” he has with PRs.
I’ve been editing KARLISMYUNKLE for almost five years and the idea was to create a cultural hub that represented art and high fashion from a menswear perspective, so you’ll find curated creative content (films, music videos, fashion film, short content, etc) as well as original content (editorials, travel features, think pieces and spotlights on creative individuals).
Your blog is inspired by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. Has he seen your blog?
I was lucky enough to work with Karl Lagerfeld twice. When we talked about my rationale behind naming the blog after an industry creative hero, he was very flattered and also found it quite funny. Lagerfeld understands digital in a really unique way.
What is the mix of content on the site?
Style, fashion, music, travel and grooming are the key areas, but also creative content such as short films, music videos, fashion films and so on.
How often do you post new content on the site?
Four to five times a week.
**How would you describe your readers?***
KARLISMYUNKLE has a very “hype beast” demographic – early adopters, luxury enthusiasts and super high profile industry leaders due to the nature of my creative work outside of the blog.
What does a typical week look like for you?
I’ve been travelling a lot more for work which is great – and one of my biggest passions. I love exploring art in new territories but then again I spend a ton of time at my computer, working and in the studio (photography and fashion) so it really depends! No day is ever the same.
How would you describe your relationship with PRs?
PRs that I work with on a global level increasingly understand the value that original creative content means for the brands that they represent, so we have a super mutual respect.
What’s the best opportunities on offer for PRs?
There’s so much! What I love doing, and have done before with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, Salvatore Ferragamo, Forever 21 and Samsung, is to create unique content around a new product, so either a fashion film or digital editorial work. It gives the PR and marcomms teams within these brands the opportunity to access my audience and also generates original content for their social channels and PR.
What should PRs keep in mind when approaching with a pitch?
I am open to working with most brands. Creatively, I have the ability to raise the value of a commercial product through alignment with a strong luxury demographic.
What’s the best way for PRs to send products?
I prefer to be asked first and then I can decide whether it is something that is suitable for me to work with.
Finally, Do you think PRs think enough about the value exchange when making an approach?
Definitely more so now than three years ago! Understanding the fact that digital influencers are essentially media hubs within themselves (a hybrid between the advertising and editorial realms) is much better understood on a wider level. That said, there is still a lot of education that needs to take place with brands, particularly more old school marketing leads that are still spending much more on print media than they should be.
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