We meet the man behind social media stardom, men’s style blog and brand consultancy, Mahmoud Sidani, to discuss how he’s crafting his brand.
Why is MR MOUDZ so important?
To be honest, I don’t even know! I started this page up to make a difference and to reach a group of people who want to stand out from the crowd, who have different interests, and who have a voice. I cover so many things on my page from fashion for both men and women, to travel, to life lessons and quotes – so I guess people, no matter who they are, found something that sparked their interest.
What do you think it is that you do that makes your followers engage with your content so much?
I think people relate when they see you doing your own thing – in my opinion, people respond to that. We all want to be comfortable in our own skin, and I hope that people see me doing that through everything I post, and aspire to do the same in their own way. Plus, a lot of what I post has a positive message, people want to relate to that now more than ever.
What is it that you want to give to the world?
I always said that I want to use my platform to make a difference in the world – I grew up being bullied for being different, and I went through a dark phase, but I now see that it was part of my journey. I had to go through that in order to get to where I am today, a place where I can now use my past to strengthen me and allow me to help others. I want people to know that it’s okay to be different, to have a vision of your own. I wish I had more of that growing up, especially at such a young age when everything around you can shape the person you will grow up to be. It Is great when a social media platform can be a business for you, but we also have a social responsibly to use that platform to make this world a better place. I want to leave this world better than how I found it.
Do you consider yourself a brand?
I do. It wasn’t my aim when I started Mr. Moudz – but it turned into one. It’s become a lifestyle, and a vision that people can relate too, and more importantly one that brands want to collaborate with on an artistic level. I will say however that who I am as a person, is so different from who my brand or persona is – we’re worlds apart. What we do with social media, is build a brand, a lifestyle, a dream that we are “selling” to people in all honesty. You just need to make sure that the dream can be a reality for others, that’s where you can mess up.
What’s the key business objective running behind your brand strategy?
I want to build the Mr. Moudz brand into something that can truly reach people are the globe and send a positive message.
How much honesty do you feel there is in the industry?
I would say there isn’t enough of it sadly. People can often be driven by the wrong intentions when it comes to the world of social media.
Tell us your first memory of being in the spotlight?
I remember it so well, I was still working as a buyer for Level Shoes at the time and the team and I were on a buying trip in New York. We were doing store visits, and as I was walking towards the shoe section of Bergdorf’s, I hear the voice of a 16 year old girl say, “excuse me, are you Mr. Moudz?” – I was almost sure my co-workers set it up to mess with me). As soon as I turned and saw a girl standing with her father, I knew it was in fact a follower who recognized me (and in NEW YORK CITY!!!! A place so far away from home). That was a big moment for me, to see that you have the power to reach a different generation and in a place half way across the world!
What’s the most challenging thing about what you do?
Opening yourself up for judgment on a daily basis with every post you do by people who don’t really know you as well as they think they do. You have to be willing to make yourself vulnerable in this industry in order to reach your audience.
How do you balance your lifestyle?
It may surprise a lot of people, but I’m actually a very private person – from relationships, to family, I like to keep as much of that part of my life just for me as I can. What people sometimes forget is that we are in control of what we share with the world. I’ve seen friends post the full timeline of their relationships on social media, then when it comes to an end and the followers ask questions, they ask for privacy. I never got that, you were the one who invited them into that part of your life, you asked them to invest in it, then when it went south you decide to go MIA – leaving followers there confused and looking for answers to questions you wanted them to ask. With that said, I am VERY careful with what I put out there and what I say in public, I’ve learnt that the hard way. I also have a close circle of friends and family that keep me in check. I will also say this, I really enjoy quality time at home alone, where I can regroup. I think it’s so important to have that, with so much of our lives now in the public eye, we need whatever time we can have with ourselves to just stay sane.
How do you choose the most important opportunities?
It’s easy, I always study the long term effect of them, and go from there. If it’s something good for me long term, then I go for it.
When was the last time you got out of your comfort zone?
A month ago, I went to Cappadocia in Turkey with my family, I got on a hot air balloon and had my first ever panic attack! Social media though, saw me having the best time of my life, and not me curled up on the floor of the hot air balloon trying to catch my breath.
What does your brand look like in 5 years?
I hope it continues to grow with me as I grow and learn. I can’t give you a real answer for this because if you asked me where I would be in 5 years, 5 years ago – Never in my wildest dreams would I have told you I would be here, in this moment.
How was your shoot for D-journal?
It was AHHHHHMAZING! It is the first time I felt an alter ego come out when that music came on and the camera started flashing. I felt so comfortable, and the team was nothing short of pure greatness.
Which was your favorite look?
That would definitely be the Zegna sweater with the puffy sleeves, what a cool look. I may actually buy that sweater!
What are you looking forward to most in 2018?
Seeing more of this world, places I’ve never been, and meeting new people – growing more.
Tell us the three things you can’t live without…
My family, my phone, and travel.
What’s your mantra?
“Be kind to every person you meet, for each person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about”.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Barry’s Bootcamp! No joke, it’s the first thing I do almost every day of the week.
How important is creativity vs commercialism?
It’s a balancing act when it comes to creativity vs commercialism. You need to be creative in order to show what truly differentiates you from others, but you also need commercialism as that is what reaches a majority of the audiences.
What are you celebrating right now?
I’m celebrating my 100,000 followers by doing my biggest international giveaway EVER!
Top three brands?
Fear of God