Photo by David Hart
Nik Thakkar is many things. Publicist, part-time model and occasional compere of EQ Live and he geniunely is one of the people that EVERYONE seems to know that EVERYONE should know. Most importantly he's a lovely guy – one of the good ones.
His AMAZING pop culture blog KARLISMYUNKLE is one of my daily reads and it's an essential tour de force news source on all things fabulous, smart and intelligent. I caught up with Nik recently to talk about life as a blogger, what's it like being so multi-faceted, the celebrity versus stigma of blogging and just why exactly he has a massive obsession with Nicki Minaj and Karl Lagerfield – oh and he's a briefs wearing kinda guy too 😉
Hello Nik Thakkar. How are you sir?
Hello EQ! I am well thank you and very excited to be talking to you tonight!
So – blogger to blogger here we are. So for those who don't know that you're like a totally awesome pop culture blogger by now, why don't you tell us a little bit about KARLISMYUNKLE.
KARLISMYUNKLE started off as somewhat of a pet project, that has been growing exponentially over the last couple of years. It's a different type of pop culture blog, specialising in what I like to call "haute pop culture collaborations", essentially when two or more pop culture elements come together to create a beautiful piece of art, image, film, pop song etc… There is no celebrity gossip and it is all about celebrating creativity.
Is Karl Lagerfeld a bit of an icon to you? What is it about him? It's the sunglasses and attitude isn't it?
A bit of an icon would be an understatement! Karl Lagerfeld is a living legend and creative genius. From his fashion designing to photography, short film directing and style icon status – oh and of course the sunglasses and attitude, who doesn't love that? I was fortunate enough to party with him at the Vogue Bar during Paris Fashion Week last year and am currently working on the strategy for the next Diet Coke by Karl Lagerfeld collaboration – so it is VERY exciting to be involved with a project for someone that I regard so highly.
Why did you start your blog?
I felt that there was a bit of a void in the blogosphere. I wanted to read something that was where a guilty pleasure meets intellectual social commentary. There are hundreds of gossip blogs out there, and a good few dozen (but very dry) marketing and media blogs. KARLISMYUNKLE sits between the two. It offers commentary and (when I am up to it) intellectual insight into the world of pop culture from the perspective of someone who works within that industry and pioneers some of those collaborations. I have such a close proximity to celebrity life and pop culture collaborations through my work, so my perspective is somewhat unique.
Being a fashion and entertainment PR as your day job, was starting a blog something that came naturally? When did you know that you wanted to be a blogger?
Starting a blog didn't come completely naturally, but marketing it and getting it out there and read by the right types of people did. I am really proud to say that readers of KARLISMYUNKLE include various celebrities (online and offline), high profile journalists and bloggers and some of the coolest cultural tastemakers in London. I didn't really know that I wanted to be a blogger, I just knew that I wanted to have a voice online that wasn't confined to a few hundred Facebook friends.
Do you think bloggers are taken seriously enough these days? There still is a tiny stigma when you say you're a blogger, like you're not a real media professional, you just have an opinion that you put on the internet.
Bloggers are a more trusted voice (by consumers at least) than traditional media or direct marketing from brands, and they are being taken more seriously every day. You just have to look at the front row at Fashion Week, or who gets chosen to release Lady Gaga lyrics to the masses these days to know that bloggers are being noticed. There are different types of bloggers, and the successful ones are those that have a valid and intelligent opinion or unique selling point that makes people want to read what they say.
Do you think bloggers are starting to become the new social networking celebrity?
In a word, yes.
What's the most surprising thing that's come about for you since you started blogging?
I was really excited to have been approached by US-based superblog popbytes.com to write a weekly celebrity related fashion column.
There seems to be a lot of pictures floating around with your mug on them lately – are you hoping to be the next internet face? Not that we mind 😉
[Laughs] Not at all! Part time modelling is just another sideline. In this day and age, you've got to be multi-faceted!
Personal factoid – you always smell amazing. You know friendly hugs and all that – what type of cologne do you wear? I won't ask you what's your favourite toothpaste or if you prefer boxers to briefs…
[Laughs] Thanks Raj! It is between Thierry Mugler A*Men and Tom Ford's Black Orchid or Vanilla and Tobacco. Oh and sometimes Marc Jacobs' BANG. I love musky sweet scents, and so do my favourite designers apparently – so that's handy! Oh and briefs.
Why are you obsessed with Nicki Minaj?
Nicki Minaj has redefined female rap. She is unique, talented, incredibly smart and has worked really hard for what she has achieved. I have a lot of respect for her and her talent. And yes, I have no shame in admitting that I know A LOT of her raps and features off by heart!
What are your favourite blogs – go on, plug away.
EQ Music OF COURSE! Definitely a must-read on a daily basis. I also love reading Nicola Formichetti (Lady Gaga's stylist and creative director of Thierry Mugler)'s blog, and Terry Richardson's blog, as well as the Business of Fashion – which is a great insight into the more serious side of the fashion industry.
Thanks Nik – any parting words for EQ readers?
I just want to say that EQ has been my favourite music blog for such a long time, and the "Born This Way" essence of what EQ stands for is being shaped today and now, more than ever before. So keep reading and keep supporting, and thank you EQ for striving to better the world through the medium of sharing pop music.