We caught up with Half-French and Half-Algerian Merwan, also known as @whoismero on Instagram, to find out how he started his career with his own unique style using neutral color palette and minimalist streetwear, in the digital space through fashion while developing his future brand.
Interview Conducted By Parker XL | Chris Parker
Can you tell us who is Mero? We’re curious what does your handle mean if it had any meaning?
“My name is Merwan, my friends call me Mero.
I chose this nickname because on social networks, we are rarely totally ourselves, especially when it’s a professional account. I needed to make a distinction between Instagram and real life, and to cultivate the mystery. On Instagram, I’m rather modest, I’m not here to tell my life story, to show my private life, I’m just here to show my style, what I like, my passion for fashion, and to share with people. However, the people I interact with on a daily basis get to know me, they discover Merwan, who is just a 24 years old guy, half french, half algerian, who likes to laugh, have a good time, listen to rap, do sports, and who loves style. It’s not the number of followers that makes you the person you are, I hope Whoismero creates good content, I hope Merwan is a good person.”
Name three words that best describes you and your brand.
“I would say creative, atypical and constantly evolving.”
How can you relate your profession to fashion? Did it just start from hobby to work?
“I work in marketing and digital communication, it helped me a lot when I started at Instagram because I understood that I had to differentiate myself, notably by creating my universe, my feed and my content to be as recognizable as possible. The more time goes by and the more I want my work to be closer to fashion, I know that I’ve wanted to create my fashion brand since I was a kid and having a community on Instagram made me want to work seriously on it, I’m going to release it soon.”
Aside from fashion, what are your other interest?
“I love sports, it’s part of my daily life, it allows me to clear my mind.
I also love marketing and especially branding, how brands (fashion or other) manage to create an emotional connection with their customers.
Beside that, I just started photography.”
What’s your vision and mission as a fashion influencer?
“I started Insta with only one idea in mind: to share what I like and what inspires me. It can be accounts, outfits, fashion items, etc.
Personally, I come from a city where few guys are in the fashion business, I’ve always had a hard time making my passion understood by those close to me, it’s a great pleasure to interact with people who share the same passion.
I just want to share, inspire people, and of course I would love to be able to live from my passion in the future.”
What’s the best part in your career now?
“So far I haven’t had any incredible moments yet, but of course there are some great moments, for example the first time a brand sends you products for you to show them off, it’s great fun even if you don’t really realize what’s happening. On a daily basis, of course, there are people who come to talk to you and tell you that you inspire them, it’s pretty incredible and I tell myself at these moments that I have an impact, that’s what keeps me motivated and allows me to work harder to always make the best content.”
We can see in your feed that you showcase yourself pretty well, using neutral colors and minimalist streetwear, did you take modeling classes?
“No, not at all, I’m just trying to have fun, trying different things. On Instagram you don’t see all the failures, and there are a lot of them. When you try something different and you get positive feedback, it really makes you want to keep innovating.”
What are the obstacles you encounter when you’re just starting in this field? How did you overcome it?
“The beginnings are really difficult on Instagram, you are “nobody” and it can be hard to gain visibility. The bigger your account gets, the easier it is because you’re more easily reposted by pages or people, and on top of that you stay motivated because you get results.. Personally, the strategy was clear and simple, and it’s still the same today:
- Create quality content and post regularly
- Trying as much as possible to differentiate myself while understanding what people like more or less.
- Interact as much as possible with the people whose content you like.”
If you were to talk to your younger self, what advice can you give to him?
“I will tell him to understand what makes him different from others, what makes him unique and what he is good at, and to work on that as much as possible. It took me a long time to get started, probably because I was afraid of other people’s looks or because those around me were not in the same frame of mind. In any case, I would advise anyone to try to work on their passions. No need to let go of everything else, just try things and feel what makes you happy and what you’re good at.”
Can you tell us what does success means to you? Do you consider yourself successful?
“For me, success is having a choice in what we do every day. The choice to work at what you want, to use your time for things that make sense to you. There will always be unpleasant things, life is made that way, but if what you do on a daily basis is done by choice and it makes sense to you, if you feel accomplished, it’s perfect. I think it’s a long process, because you have to know what you want, and also how to get there.
Personally, I don’t feel totally accomplished yet, but I really feel recently that I’m on the right track, I’m in the process of understanding what I want to do for the next few years, and especially how to get there.”