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Meet Anthony Villegas of Menswear Mag in Tarzana / San Fernando Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anthony Villegas.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started men’s fashion blogging back in 2013. My original blog was called ‘Of Mice & Menswear’. It was a hobby that quickly became a viable career for me. I went from sharing simple style tips with my fraternity brothers to attending New York Fashion Week, being featured in GQ Magazine, and earning a spot on some NY Daily News & Bustle ‘Best Dressed’ lists.

My resolution to myself this year was to pick up with a website I had (but never utilized) called Menswear Mag (www.menswearmag.com). My vision has always been for it to become a resource for men to learn about the most luxurious, refined fashion & lifestyle products out there.

Since the start of the year, I’ve written over 20 new articles and even got into vlogging topics like product reviews and unboxings. I’m trying to understand different landscapes of content so that I know where I can scale the fastest. Have about 500 monthly readers from over 20 different countries, but each month I’m seeing more people from more places reading my content. It’s a great feeling to see that kind of traction and growth in just six month’s time.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road. Because life happens, I had to take a break from men’s fashion blogging back in 2016 because of serious life events.

In my early 20’s, I was struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, which became one of the biggest barriers to my own creativity and potential. Between my struggle with addiction and an assault in January 2016, there was nothing left in me in for other things. I needed to heal on multiple levels – emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically.

My first blog (Of Mice & Menswear) ceased to exist as a blog or website, though it’s still my Instagram handle. However, after rediscovering my love for writing, fashion, and myself, I decided to continue pursuing Menswear Mag. Instead of being the main feature of my website, I knew I wanted to move onto something that focused solely on my knowledge of the topics I care about.

Personal style blogging (where I’m in the photos and have to model clothing) came with so much baggage, i.e., insecurity, comparison, and navigating an over-saturated landscape, that writing is my peace. I get to continue doing what I love without the extra pressure of staying relevant.

I’ve been sober for almost five years now. Menswear Mag is more than just a blog, it’s become sort of like my own personal magazine that has its own readership, engaged audience, and catches the interest of people on a global scale. I do have a modest readership of around 500 people per month, but to me that’s hundreds of individuals that are seeking knowledge on what I share. Despite my hurdles and hoops, I love where I am today and the confidence I have knowing that my writing is coming from a place of passion and love, not the necessity and vanity it came from before.

Please tell us about Menswear Mag.
Menswear Mag’s tagline is ‘All things good living’ and I strive to write about products that uphold that. The scope of my articles feature luxury brands and products that I would love to have in my own collections. It all comes from a personal place – I would never recommend a piece, product, accessory, or style that I wouldn’t wear myself.

I’m a one-man band. I research the trends, research the keywords for SEO, write the articles, do the graphic design, design & build the website (it’s a work in progress), and promote my articles across social media. The reason I mention this is that I’m proud of how much I’ve been able to achieve by myself and get lost in the daydreams of what I would be able to achieve if I had an assistant, a partner, or others willing to write with me and for me.

My biggest challenge at the moment is turning my brand into a business as I had before. In style blogging, people pay you to wear clothing, but with content, there are different business landscapes to figure out. Catching the interest of advertisers and brands has been difficult since everyone is going for influencers with tons of followers. As my readership increases, I hope the number of advertisers interested in my site do, too.

I think what sets me apart is I know what I’m doing and it’s authentic. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to focus on building a brand or business around content covering men’s fashion and lifestyle products. What that translates to for Menswear Mag is a strong sense of identity for the brand, its direction, and the scope of what it will cover. I’m writing for me, knowing that everyone else who cares for the same things will find my content over time.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was pretty bubbly. I always had a passion for things like clothing, but my taste back then was pretty questionable. I’d read my mom’s magazines and would skip right to the numbered collages that had all those luxury products. The ones that intrigued me the most were the products that said ‘Call for Pricing’. I’d always been drawn to that.

Flash forward to today, I’m 27 years old and I’d say I’m still the same as I was back then, just more confident. I’ve got a strong sense of self, where I’m headed, and what my true potential is. I’m in a really good place. I don’t operate in a constant state of fear or worry, which I feel clouds anyone’s ability to be their true selves and reach their full potential. When I was younger, I had so much doubt surrounding what I could achieve, but I think young me would be surprised with everything he would go on to do.

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