Seen With Cloos: @TheClassJournal
In this month's Seen With Cloos, we are excited to present the man behind @TheClassJournal, one of the most famous men’s style Instagram accounts today. Known for his modern-day gentleman style, Victor provides his 125,000 Instagram followers a daily dose of class from his timeless, dapper outfits. Keep reading for an exclusive peek into the life of the loyal Cloos ambassador!
What was your initial motivation to create the @TheClassJournal Instagram account?
Actually, it's quite an interesting story. Initially, @theclassjournal was an account where I didn't use my own content. It was more like a non-personal, motivational lifestyle account where I would post pictures of nice cars, celebrities and beautiful places.
At one point in early 2019 when I had around 50k followers, however, I wanted to produce my own content. I felt that it was a good point to make the transition to a more personal story.
And it actually came down to small coincidences. I was going to Milan for a weekend trip with a Danish friend of mine who is a hobby photographer. We were at a restaurant catching up with some friends and he just took some pictures of me wearing Cloos sunglasses. They resonated incredibly well with people and everyone was like, wow, we would not have expected the guy to be behind this to be like that. Soon after I was contacted by Cloos and we started our collaboration. The images are still somewhere on my feed!
What were your expectations when starting the account, relative to what you have actually accomplished today?
At the time I created the account, I really wanted to use my spare time to start a new business. Instagram was an easy and convenient way to start, so I gave it a shot – but I for sure had not expected what it would evolve into. I never really had any expectations or final goals, I just wanted to see where it could go.
I mean, now I have deals with many great brands that I had never imagined to be working with. I get invited to cool events and get to travel all over the world for which I'm very thankful.
From your experience, what are the best and worst parts of balancing being an influencer and having a full-time job?
I don't think there are really any negative aspects to it. From my part at least, Instagram has never really been work – it has just been something I have enjoyed doing when the time was there. On Saturdays or Sundays and when the weather is good, I just go outside with some friends, we have a cafe or drinks and we take some shots. That’s about it.
In the beginning I was really focused on showcasing a lot of different outfits, which led to the content creation taking up a lot of time, as I wanted to present a new outfit almost every day. Over time, however, I realized that lifestyle content resonated just as good - if not better - with my audience. This overall positioning of the account has made the side job as an influencer much more compatible with my full-time work.
The main benefit of having both parts in your life is credibility. Because I'm not just someone who takes pictures and showcases a nice facade. People take me more seriously because I treat my followers, as well as the brands that I collaborate with, in a candid and professional way.
Tell us about your newest project, the online men’s retailer Visterio. How did you get the idea to start your own webshop?
The underlying idea has been to create a one-stop-shop online space where men can get everything in one place, from their sunglasses, to their winter coat and their shoes. In our modern, fast-paced world, we need a place that people can trust and where you get everything you need in one order.
While there are some really good players in this industry, there are simply not many “have-it-alls”, especially ones that cater to a younger audience, and this is what my mission with Vistero (www.visterio.co) iis.
Do you have any advice for aspiring mens fashion influencers?
What’s really important is to be authentic. Importantly, being authentic doesn't mean that you need to share your entire life, it means that you're approachable in the way that you portray yourself through pictures and videos. It is okay to also show your flaws and your imperfections.
I feel like people are tired of fake influencers living fake lives. They want to see real, tangible people that are relatable. I myself try to respond to every one of my followers that ask me for advice. I know too many people that become snobbish over their success on social media. I think it is important not to define your success on social media based on the amount of followers or likes you get. I actually don't check or care about these things. Rather, what gives me motivation is when people reach out to me and thank me for inspiring them.
You have been a loyal CC ambassador since early 2018. Tell us about your favorite pair of Cloos, and why you like the brand.
It’s interesting, because my go-to pair has shifted over time. Initially, my absolute favorite was the Paloma - Espresso. It's a very classic model that you cannot go wrong with.
I consider myself on a sartorial journey, and over time - as my style has changed - my favorite model has become the Pampelonne - Champagne. I was initially a bit critical when I ordered them, because they are more extravagant – very cool and bohemian, yet classic. I love how they can take any outfit to the next level and send a statement that you are willing to try something outside of the ordinary.