We are extremely excited to bring you this interview with Antonio Centeno of Real Men Real Style, an industry leading Men’s Style Blogger and YouTube Influencer. Antonio covers a wide range of topics, from men’s style, to the psychology of fashion, grooming, dating, social confidence and the science of style!
Please find below both his recorded responses to our questions, along with a transcription of the entire interview:
What is your main message that you are trying to get across with Real Men Real Style?
You know for me Rishi, I think the big thing is to help guys – give them practical information that they can use when it comes to style. So I love helping them leverage the science of style to basically earn more money, attract opportunity and command respect. I think a lot of guys have put in the time and they have put in the effort- they’ve got the experience, they’ve got the education, they’re even passionate about what they’re doing and style for some reason is something they haven’t paid attention to.
I like it to the missing tire on a Ferrari. If you can imagine, a 3-wheeled Ferrari going down the road and I’m that missing tire that’s going to help you go from 10km/hour and not looking good to all of the sudden, 100km/hour - a 10x multiple simply by putting on that right tire.
You used to operate a bespoke suiting / custom menswear business. How did you transition from a product based business to running a content based business?
Well I saw that the content was working and the custom clothier was not. So, what I did was I doubled the prices of my clothier – which actually didn’t hurt business, funny enough. That gave me about six months to make the hard transition. It was pretty lean times but I basically burnt the ships. I had already had some success with the content so we were already starting to pick up a little bit of traffic, so I knew make it a “go”.
What inspired you to start the Real Men Real Style blog and YouTube channel?
Well, the blog came out of - I actually had a blog over at A Tailored Suit, my clothier and that started doing well. But I wanted to give it a separate channel, (1) I always felt that if somebody saw a blog on a company’s website they wouldn’t trust it as much as an independent source. So that’s what Real Men Real Style was and the YouTube channel, simply I felt that video was easier for me than actually writing.
Most style bloggers focus on timeless style, as fashion trends come in and out of favor. However, there are certain items from a “style” perspective that seem like they are here to stay, whether it’s the renaissance of the double breasted suit, pocket squares or knitted ties. What is your take on items that have made a strong renaissance over the past few years?
I do, I’m all for it. I think things go in trends. How can you say it…they go in circles. And we do see things return that were popular before. So, if you know your history you’ve seen that it’s a renaissance but you know, we are going to see, and I think this leads to your next thing about fit. I think that fits will change. We will see them get closer, we will see them get looser. It won’t feel, and to the new generation, it will look great.
I mean it’s not like it’s going to be exactly like it was in the 80's and 90's when it comes to a loose fit but it will be something that we see it and we won’t be able to tell but we will be able to tell a decade later. Be able to spot, “ah, yeah – that right there is so 2030 or 2020”. We’ll be able to pick this stuff up ten years past.
What’s your overall take on where men’s style is heading, because it seems to be in a really good place right now.
I really like, so I look at the young men. I look at the millennials, I look at iGen and I do see them paying more attention to the way that they present themselves. So I think that we are, you know just going through a golden period. As generation X gets older, as the boomers move out. We’re going to see men, in general, start to dress better. We see athleisure, we see a wide range of different other things coming in. But where’s it going to go beyond that? I don’t know. I always look to the younger generation. What are they going to think?
Caring about your appearance, men should always care about this, but you know, what’s going to be perceived as a good-looking appearance? That’s what will change.
You have collaborated with some leading men’s style & grooming bloggers over the years, including Aaron Marino with Alpha M at your annual style conference, Men’s Style Con. It is refreshing to see leading influencers collaborate instead of trying to keep the whole pie to themselves. What is your philosophy on this and what made you gravitate towards reaching out to other leading influencers?
My thing is, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Nah, just kidding. But it is something that I realized I, even if I was the top guy in this industry – which is very difficult – I would always be fighting. I see people on top that stay on top. People that really become big in an industry, they in a sense, bring everyone together. And that’s what I felt was a strength of mine and something I would rather focus on. To be honest, I don’t see myself forever in this industry. So it is something that I feel that I could have a bigger impact by being the glue that brings things together.
Your content over the years has really grown to cover new but related topics in both tangible and intangible areas, such as, grooming, the psychology of fashion, social confidence, dating confidence, networking and first impressions. Do you see any new topical areas that you would like to start covering moving forward?
You know, I think there is plenty. Everything you put here – we have a lot that we still need to cover. The science of style, I want to double down on it and I do want to get more into body language, first impressions and networking. So you’re going to see me just simply double down and really try to get more of experience, education – bring in more of the science.
Content across the board continues to evolve, whether its blogging, you tube videos, or the recent focus on podcasting. Do you see podcasting emerging as a source of men’s style inspiration, or do you feel like the focus will be more on (understandably) visual content?
Podcasting for our type of content, as you pointed out, is difficult because it is very visual. However, I don’t see it becoming as large as the visuals. Instagram works really well for us and there’s been a lot of growth over there. YouTube continues to work well. Podcasting, I don’t see it as being one of the top ways of getting out that information.
You seem to be very passionate about helping people, especially veterans, as you were a former Marine. What other side ventures are you working on where your passion is to make an impact on the communities around you?
Well, I’ve got my Menfluential media company. I’ve got my Menfulential conference. I still have a company called High Speed Low Drag that does help veterans, but one of the things that I’m really proud about is that we are able to take money that we make at RMRS and work with orphans in Ukraine. We have a group called Orphans Hope that we work with and we’ve been helping actually transform orphanages in Ukraine. Yeah, that’s something that we’ve been doing.
Alright, Rishi. Hopefully this helps. Thank you very much. Sorry to miss you this year at Menfluential. It was a great one, but we’ll see ya in 2020, right. Alright man, take care.