This month we had the pleasure of interviewing the one and only Denny Balmaceda of Look Rich, Shop Cheap. A top, trending men's stylist, Denny has inspired thousands around the globe through his enthusiasm of men's fashion. We are delighted that he has taken the time to share and give insight on what the male fashion blogger life is like. We enjoyed getting to know him on a more personal level, and hear what he has to say on fashion and how it's changed his life. Happy Reading!
1. Let's start off with a question whose answer we'd all like to know: How did it all begin? What inspired and motivated you to become a men's style blogger?
When I first graduated high school, I was sort of in limbo and deciding what I should do with myself. I took a job as a travel agent and the work and office culture was dull. That being said, I was excited about my first semi-real job and so I put a lot of thought into my daily outfits. During my lunch break or daily errands for the office, I would take pictures of my outfit of the day (long before that was a phenomenon). I would use my digital camera on self-timer and post on Facebook. I was lucky if I even got one “like” on these posts, as they were mostly ignored or heckled with "wtf" comments. But I enjoyed doing it and so I was persistent. Soon after, I was introduced to LookBook.nu and a community of other individuals looking to showcase their personal style. The rest is a slow building history.
2. And with that being said, how long have you been blogging?
I began blogging in 2007. I'm an OG blogger at this point.
3. To get to know you on a more fun and personal level, what is your favorite movie, food/drink, place, book, and color?
I am a huge movie buff. I've seen everything from the cannon of great films to horrible Lifetime specials. My favorite movie is Grease and I also love 80s RomComs and John Hughes movies. My favorite drink is lemonade.
I love coffee table books, graphic novels, and comics. I read a ton of men's magazines & blogs. I've having troubling thinking of a favorite book. My favorite colors are black, hunter green, and oxblood. No orange!
4. Share with us Denny's evolution of style :) Has your taste in fashion changed throughout the years?
I’ve always been into dapper wear and street wear. Those are two very different but very broad styles, which I have explored thoroughly. Within those worlds, I’ve had highs and lows. I find I am most successful and comfortable when I stay away from trends and stick to slightly modernizing the basics within a given fashion genre. A few years ago I was doing some weird horrible stuff in the world of streetwear….my hair was yellow blonde, I was rocking a lot of vintage Chanel bomber jackets and outrageous sneakers. It was a weird time.
5. As a well-known male fashion blogger, you are seen as an inspiration and role model to fellow friends and followers around the globe. Do you have any personal inspirations or fashion bloggers you look up to? If so, can you name few and why?
Sure! What I love so much about the world of men’s blogging is that it feels like a fraternity. I don’t see other bloggers as competition, but rather as collaborators. Lately, I have been focused on working with many other men’s bloggers to create a great alliance and men’s collective. I feel like some of my best looks occur when they are accented by the creativity of my peers. Some standout folks who’s work I love are Steven Onoja @stevenonoja, Toni Tran @fashitect, Eli Infante elisoul01 and Rob Mangano @dressedtoill.
6. Being so influential in the fashion world, do you ever feel pressured to dress or conform to whatever's currently trending? Do you ever find it difficult to stay independent and true to your individual style?
As I said before, there is temptation in trends. I firmly believe that there is a difference between fashion and style. Fashion is temporary; fashion is a race. Style is independent of that...style is story telling.
7. Everyone's got their guilty pleasures, hobbies, and personal interests. Can you please share what other activities you enjoy outside of fashion blogging and what best interests you?
I am a HUGE WWE fan. When I am not working in fashion or blogging, I am on the couch eating junk food with my fiancé and cats just catching up on the WWE network.
8. The fashion shows, travels, and a closet full of dapper apparel - the life of a style blogger seems privileged and so much fun! But I notice and realize that it must take a lot of time, effort, and dedication. Can you please share your favorite aspects of being a fashion blogger, as well as some of the challenges you face(d), if any?
The biggest challenge is that many brands do not want to pay you. They think that sending you a product and asking you to shoot an editorial, write and article and blog, promote or host events for them should be paid for simply by their merchandise, often a single piece. At first, I was just happy to get work and to build my resume and network, so I would work my butt off from a handful of ties, socks and pocket squares. But merchandise doesn’t pay my bills and the barter system discredits my work. I struggle often with finding the way to take the job and the opportunity and also, to make some money for myself. I must say lately things have gotten much better on that front, but the struggle to be paid appropriately is one any blogger can attest to. The best thing about the job is the people I get to meet. My photographers and fellow bloggers are now some of my best friends. I meet incredible artists and designers who blow my mind and inspire me to elevate myself.
9. Going off of the previous question, fashion blogging definitely requires a lot of time and dedication. Has it in any way affected your career? Has it lead you in a new direction in life?
I wake up everyday and get to do whatever I want to do. I get a lot of brands that reach out to me for work but ultimately, I pick the client, they don’t pick me. That is a very unique situation in how selective I get to be. For this reason, I am always doing something I genuinely want to do. Who could ask for more?
10. Last but not least, what do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as a fashion blogger? What would you advise to the next generation of young, inspired fashion bloggers?
My biggest accomplishment is my steady rise. I began doing this when it was barely even a thing. It was a hobby at the least and not ever a full time job. I am just now getting to a point where this is my daily life and I am grateful that’s the case. I’ve always stayed humble, I’ve never bought my followers and I haven’t sold out by compromising my identity or integrity for a brand or a paycheck. As long as you do that, you’ll be solid as a blogger. I wish the new wave of bloggers much luck. Come find me, let’s shoot!
What an opportunity it was to interview Denny! We appreciate his humble and honest words, and are so fortunate to work with such an amazing individual. Having been partners for over a year now, we've come to love and admire his unique sense of style and charisma. We've enjoyed every bit learning more about Denny and look forward to the great opportunities the future holds for us as partners. Until next time!