Gorkana Insight & Analysis Team
Reem Kanj, founder of fashion blog Five Five Fabulous, on being influential, collaborating with brands and why she loves working with PRs.
Where did the blog name come from?
It all started when I wanted to document the struggles of petite models in the fashion industry, the blog was titled 5'5 Girl in a 5'10 World. This soon developed into Five Five Fabulous, becoming an analogy for being statistically 'average' (height wise) but still totally fabulous.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It all starts with my blackberry, replying to emails, organising my calendar of meetings and then of course, getting the right content out to the readers. Throw in tweets and instagram updates and that's typically how the day should be running. Although of course, there are always surprises in the fashion world!
How many followers do you have?
I have more than 10,000 followers on Twitter, but I don't think it's about numbers, but more the quality of your following, I'm more focused on engaging with my followers than on how many I have.
Are you open to PRs approaching you with story leads/ideas?
Always! I love working with PRs and coming up with new and fun ideas and projects to work on.
How do you prefer to be approached as a blogger?
I liked to be approached on a personal level. I tend to not read emails that aren't directed to me, it feels too generic and not something I feel the PR has thought about me for.
What is the best pitch you've had from a PR?
The most exciting ones are actually under embargo at the moment!
Is it clear when a PR hasn't done their research?
Very, it's always obvious and most of the time I just politely let them know I don't cover stories like that and I normally don't hear back from them!
What are your top tips for PRs pitching?
Research and find out what kind of content the blogger works with, use their name in an email and be patient in their reply!
What sort of content resonates most with readers?
Our readers enjoy personal and unique content. We focus a lot on taking a project that say a number of bloggers are involved in, but really making it come across as unique and individual as possible on Five Five Fabulous. My readers also love our interview page with designers such as Reem Acra and Angela Missoni, as well as our latest injection of celebrity fashion on the blog.
How often is new content posted?
At least three times a day.
Do you invite guest bloggers?
At the moment, I have a really small group of contributors that write for Five Five Fabulous on occasion and it's working really well, so I've never really looked into guest blogging, but it sounds like a lot of fun and not something I would rule out.
How did your collaborations with Puma and Sunsilk materialise?
They had approached Natalya (my sister) and I to become ambassadors and it really developed from there. We worked with the brands quite closely for more than a year and it generated a lot of unique content for the blog as well as a great new demographic of readers.
You've been featured by many Middle Eastern consumer publications, how have you built up this following and buzz in that area of the world?
We're both originally Lebanese and we love to represent that, when we were working in Dubai we gained a great following in the region especially after gaining our ambassadorial roles with Sunsilk and Puma.
How big do you want the site to get?
It depends on your definition of big. Our aim for Five Five Fabulous is to be as influential as possible and concentrate on the quality of our traffic. We want to try our best to filter what we enjoy in fashion and hope that others enjoy it just as much. The bigger our readership gets just provides us with more opportunities so we're always excited at the prospect of its growth.
And finally, any other fashion blogs you admire?
I love Cocos Tea Party, Lyla Loves Fashion, Disney Roller Girl and Man Repeller. There are so many out there that are amazing but those four are currently open in separate tabs right now!
Reem was speaking to Gorkana's Shaun Hill.