Reem Kanj is the founder of top fashion blog Five Five Fabulous. Based in London, she runs the blog with her sister Natalya who lives in Dubai. Reem spoke to Cision about changes to the blog, collaborating with brands and Rihanna’s 777 tour.
How has Five Five Fabulous changed since it started?
When we launched we were just a news and press release blog. Last summer I was getting bored of my own stuff so I wanted to do something a little different.
My sister had just started collaborating with me on the blog and we featured some images from a photo shoot that we had styled and shot together. That became one of our most popular posts for about two months. People seemed to like who we were, what we were wearing and being able to put a face to the blog. So from September 2012, Five Five Fabulous became a hub for our personal experiences – what we’re wearing, eating, places we’re travelling to and things like that.
Initially I was very nervous because I thought no one would come to the blog if we weren’t posting about celebrities or news, but it actually ended up working even better because our audience wanted to see what we were doing. We now get, on average, 20,000 unique visitors per month.
How does Natalya’s content differ from your own?
She has a completely different sense of style because she’s living in a country where the weather is 100% different. She is also doing different things in terms of where she’s eating and where she travels to, so she can feed that side into the blog. I’m layering more trends, going to LFW and things like that.
There is a difference but I think our readers are more interested in the fact we’re living apart and they want to know how it’s working for us. We do a weekly diary gallery for Grazia UK to show them what the sisters have been up to from both sides of the world.
What will be big at this season’s Fashion Weeks?
We’re thinking a lot of neon and midi skirts are going to come out in Autumn/Winter, and we’re also going to carry on seeing the crop top trend. We’re excited to see what happens because we’ve already started saving up for the new trends and it’ll be interesting to see what we’ll be buying.
What does coming fifth in Cision’s Top 20 UK Fashion Blogs mean to you?
It’s great to be recognised! It’s a very tough industry and being a fulltime blogger is very unstable – you have your up and down days. Sometimes you can work your bum off doing a whole feature and when it isn’t the most popular one, it gets you down a little. So to be noticed in Cision’s ranking is just remarkable.
How does the new style of blogging work with brands?
We do about one big collaboration per month. At the moment we’re working with Juicy Couture on its fall campaign – we hosted an event in London and now we’re going to be hosting one in Dubai.
We’ve been doing this new way of blogging for about a year now and one of the most frustrating things is PRs still emailing us about posting news. Clearly they haven’t been on the blog for over a year because we haven’t been blogging news since September. You always have to remain professional though, so I will reply and explain that we don’t do news anymore and would they like to spin the story out or turn it into a collaboration.
Apart from that, PRs and Five Five Fabulous have a great relationship. Probably one of the most important aspects of running a successful blog is maintaining a professional relationship with PRs, so if I was to give anyone advice it would be to work on that.