Mario Monforte is a men’s fashion and luxury influencer who has been in the game for more than ten years. Sideqik chatted with the prolific blogger to talk about how he works with brands to help define a luxury lifestyle. Mario speaks Spanish but was kind enough to do this interview anyway. As such, some portions have been edited for clarity. This is part of Sideqik’s ongoing influencer interview series.
Sideqik: What has changed since you began blogging, ultimately becoming a luxury influencer?
Mario: It’s been more than ten years since I started. First, with a blog about art, and after, about fashion and trends. Since then, there have been many changes, but I have the feeling that everything is the same.
Although it’s a very crowded sector, because they call you an anything influencer, I think you need to have an image and a solid name [to suceed]. That is what is most appreciated by the audience.
But [other influencers] are making the same mistakes. There has been a lot of talk about influencer marketing and there is a lot of material to innovate about it. But the digital marketing industry has to keep moving forward.
What are the biggest struggles working in the luxury space as a creator?
No struggles. For me, it is very easy to work with designer and luxury brands. The most important thing is that the brand appears nice and I like to be natural with luxury brands.
Right now there are many trends in social networks. Photos with marble or adorned with Chinese oranges are already very behind and it’s time to be natural or to be creative, one of those two options, because people have been tired for years of seeing the same thing again and again in social networks.
I don’t follow the trends, I prefer to create them and be myself. If I am the first to create something, I’m happy because people accept it and you love the same thing. It’s a real luxury.
What brands do you gravitate toward as a luxury influencer?
Between ten thousand brands that I know I would choose a thousand, I can’t say one.
The only thing that I know is that I like brands that bet on quality and design. This is how to make the difference, with technology to offer product quality and new materials, as well as a design that differentiates the brand from the rest. If you are smart, you will know what you have in your hands.
Product quality is noticeable when you have a luxury product in your hands you don’t want to go back to other kinds of brands.
Since you work in the luxury influencer space, where do you draw the line? What qualifies as a “luxury” brand?
Technically luxury is when a brand becomes a product above its real value. But there are a thousand interpretations of the word luxury.
For some people, luxury is the status that gained from for dressing in a brand. If you ask anyone about a luxury brand, they will say “Louis Vuitton” … But really, is that luxury?
We live a moment of luxury democratization. In the atelier of any brand, they can make handmade products and garments. For me, luxury is everything that is exclusive, creative, handmade, personalized or that nobody owns.
But what is luxury for some people, is not for others, so there are different concepts depending on the person and their situation. Not everything is luxury, although they call it luxury. And you have to know how to wear luxury items because abusing them can be tacky.
I have lost the respect for luxury at this moment, due to my work. One day I can wear luxury clothes, and I don’t mind because the following days I will have to wear something different — everything goes very fast. This loss of respect is very good because you can see beyond luxury and you can anticipate it and the upcoming trends.
What’s your favorite way to collaborate with brands and businesses?
My favorite way of collaboration is the creative way. That way, brands allows me to personalize their product, or mix with art and luxury. Since I think it is a way to add value to what your followers see and they are grateful. But not all brands are open to customize or create a limited edition of a product. It’s complicated.
But, anything to collaborate with a brand, it seems perfect, I’m always there to bring a different nuance to the collaboration.
How do brands reach out to you?
There is always someone who has seen my Twitter and they end up coming to me by anywhere in the world. I receive a hundred emails a week asking me anything.
Maybe it’s time to just work with only one agency or to appear in influencers’ lists, but I still believe in working in a personal way.
What makes you not want to work with a brand, be it how they talk to you, their product, or anything else?
There are several factors:
The product quality. When his products don’t have enough quality so that you can work with it.
The budget for the campaign is also very important, when the rates are low or try to haggle I don’t accept proposals, I like to feel that they value my work.
Politeness. The kindness of a brand’s representatives is very important. Sometimes the wrong work of a single person can ruin the work of an entire agency or the concept you have about that brand.
In short, I like to work for the best brands, and the best agencies,
Appearing on my social networks is synonymous with being the best brand, having the best product or being the best agency.
What do you see as the future of social media influencers such as yourself?
The future will be very good. It will be a year of exponential growth of digital marketing, and marketing of digital celebrities and influencers is already consolidated.
So I think that in a short future I will be very well. The only problem is that the market demands more [humor on profiles] and more youtube. But my audience is over 30 and looking for other things, so I think I have found my own niche and brands know it.
Mario Monforte by the numbers