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Saturday, 29 November 2014

GarconJon meets... Matthew Zorpas at #BacardiTriangle

Last month, I travelled to the Carribean island of Puerto Rico with Bacardi for an event like no other. Staying on a private island at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, we partied with Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding and Kendrick Lemar to celebrate Halloween and on my arrival was pleasantly surprised to see my old friend and fellow blogger Matthew Zorpas of We took the opportunity to do an impromptu shoot on the beach, a follow up to our lookbook shoot with Duchamp London in 2012.

See the full shoot by clicking below.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

My Story, My London #MakeHistory

London is a place with such well documented history, that when I first moved here I thought it may be hard to create some of my own. Is it possible to carve a niche for yourself in a place with such a developed art world? A city where everything's already been done? For me, the short answer is 'Yes'. Over the past few years I've felt a distinctive shift in the cultural landscape, one where voices are heard & collaboration is king. This side of London has given me so much, making me grateful that my work is valued and that I'm in a place that offers me such nurturing inspiration.

This has been playing on my mind recently when I first spoke to Jim Beam bourbon about their #MakeHistory campaign. It's obvious why history is so important to the brand as they've seen seven generations of family members run the company since its inception in 1795. Looking at a company who've trailblazed in their field for over 200 years makes me wonder how I'm creating my own story. My mind instantly goes to life in the city. How has London, as a capital of creative culture, contributed to my personal history? What locations will I pass by in decades to come and still remember why the streets and buildings have become part of the fabric of my life and work.

Here I've selected some of my favourites - the London that makes me who I am, my history.

Brick Wall Lane: "Sometimes it's best not to stick to the routine"

Down a side street in Hackney in 2007, I shot a portrait of a girl holding flowers on a Sunday from Columbia Road Flower market. The image was a turning point for me as it not only produced great results that I was proud of but it was also the first image to be seen on my blog & purchased for commercial use. The image gave me the confidence to pursue photography as a career and if I hadn't decided to take a walk down an unbeaten track I wouldn't have discovered what I had. Sometimes in life it's best not to stick to the routine.

Tate Modern: "Work hard and stay humble"

People often as me what is it about London that trumps other international cities. For me there's one simple answer - the galleries. Not only do we have some of the best art from around the world here but many of the galleries are also free. TATE Modern is a place that's constantly redefining my image of beauty - opening my eyes to new and exciting work. The grand venue itself help to put my work in context and if I'm ever feeling uncertain or distracted, I know TATE will bring me back to centre. This is more than simply a place of inspiration for me as it'll be forever part of my history a key stockist of my 100 Beards book. It's a reminder to work hard and stay humble.

Kings Cross Station: "In such a big city it's nice to have a reminder that we're all connected"

It seems strange to hold personal value on something as communal as a train station, but when I think about it, much of the London experience is about public transport. My experience of the station most frequently come from my journey to see family in Scotland brining a mixture of excitement and optimism. I always have loved a good cross-country rail journey even as a boy. I particularly love Kings Cross since it's rebuild - it's a juxtapostition, geometric and industrial - filled with steel & concrete beside sandstone and tradition. In such a big city it's nice to have a reminder that we're all connected, no matter how overwhelming the surroundings may appear.

Victoria House "Connecting with new people is what life is all about"

My greatest pleasure in working as a photographer is the ability to meet people. Victoria House will always be a special place for me as it's the place I booked my first ever campaign shoot in the midst of a busy trade show. Every season the building is transformed into a show space for fashion week, a place where I've shot shows and met icons from the industry season after season. It offers something new each time I visit and keeps me aware that making connections is what life is all about - you never know who you're talking to so keep your mind open at all times.

My Studio: "It's a small step forward each day that keeps me on my toes"

There's no more sacred a place to a photographer than his studio. Although I've become know for my location work, particular through street photography, my studio is a place to experiment & grow. It's important to keep a fresh portfolio and my studio gives me the chance to consistently update my creative history. For me, it's a small step forward each day that keeps me on my toes.

Thanks to Jim Beam for sponsoring this photography.

Monday, 24 November 2014

GarconJon meets Ryan Fitzgibbon #HelloMr

The rise of the printed publication continues to build. There isn't a month that goes by when a new article on "Return of Traditional Media" is published - in October it was the turn The Economist to anaylise this phenomenon. Along with vinyl records, it seems to be growing at an impossible rate, connecting with an audience starved of tangibility.

One of the trailblazers in this world of print media is Mr Ryan Fitzibbon who's publication Hello Mr. has been making waves since it's launch last year. Only 4 issues in and he's already got an enviable readership, visible to all in the @HelloMr social channels. I caught up with Ryan at Ace Hotel in Shoreditch this month, while he was in town to deliver a talk on indie publishing. Check out our chat below on the challenges he faces with Hello Mr, living life as a Brooklynite and his perspective on London menswear.

Ryan Fitzgibbon, Publisher and Founder of Hello Mr.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in Midland, Michigan. After school I moved to San Francisco but did quite a bit of traveling with my job at IDEO during the three years I was there, including a five-month stint in Singapore. In 2012, I moved to Australia and spent a year between Melbourne and Sydney. Now I’m living in Brooklyn, NY where I feel the most settled I’ve felt in a while.

What's your star sign? Leo. I’m told that makes me loyal and easy to love, but that I need to work on my ego. I’ll buy it.

Current album on repeat? LP1 by FKA twigs.

Describe yourself in 5 words? Contemplative. Not afraid to dream.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? First a painter, then a chef. Both were my creative outlets as a kid and I’m beginning to think I should start them up again…

As an editor you have creative control over a huge amount, how would you describe your actual job? Traffic control. Being an editor, publisher, sales rep and creative director means there a countless conversations flying through my inbox each day. In order to produce an issue or plan a party, the most important role I play is making sure that no one is waiting on me for an answer. Things always have to be stay in motion. Of course, that’s a very mechanic way of looking at the business. The best thing I get to do is connect people to opportunities and share their work with the world. In less than two years, I’ve worked with hundreds of talented individuals whom I hope see Hello Mr. as a platform for growing their audience and experimenting with work they’ve always wanted to create.

As you said, Brooklyn's your most recent home. How has the city changed your point of view? It’s both caused and enabled me to step up my game. At the same time, ironically, it’s encouraged me to narrow the focus of what’s possible to what’s essential to creating an identifiable and consistent brand. It may be time to start dreaming again, and given my moving history correlated with professional achievements, it’s hard to say if staying in one place can provide the creative motivation I need to grow.

What is the best thing about Brooklyn? The separation from Manhattan.

What's the most challenging thing about living in NYC? Dating.

When we met, we got chatting about the huge international draw of New York based solely on media attention. I know so many people who's dream is to move there without ever having visited. What do you think the biggest misconception about life in the Big Apple? New York is the city that you love but doesn’t love you back. Everyone here has to work really hard to stay here, so the “off-the-clock” opportunities you get to actually enjoy all it has to offer are far and few between. Then again, I could just be doing it wrong.

Favourite place in the city for:
A dance? Friends and Lovers in Prospect Heights.
A drink? Joseph Leonard in the West Village.
A coffee? Five Leaves in Greenpoint.
A walk? The Williamsburg Bridge.

See the full interview below.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

GarconJon wants... Winter Warmers

Since Monty the Penguin launched into the cultural consciousness last week, John Lewis got me prematurely excited for the festive season. This, paired with the temperature drop, has me focused on stocking up with winter resources so I spent my Sunday afternoon making a wishlist of items in preparation for December. Here's what I came up with.

See the full details below.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Team Thom Browne: Boulevard Vincent Auriol, Paris

One of the best elements to the menswear industry is comradery across brands. There's a frenzy that happens outside the menswear shows when team Thom Browne approaches and despite this, the chap on the right still had time to say 'hello' to his friend.

Apologies for the lack of updates on GarconJon this week, I've been working away on many exciting client projects as well as my new personal one 'Manufacturing Menswear' which launches next month. More info coming soon!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sovreigns Travel: Le Metro, Paris

A lesson in how to wear men's jewellery from the always stylish Robert of Thousand Yard Style blog.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Discovering Shoreditch Street Art with Uniqlo

This month, Uniqlo asked me to shoot a series of street art images around Shoreditch to showcase the truly unique visual inspiration available on every corner in East London. I took a jaunt from Benthal Green to Brick Lane, wearing some of Uniqlo's new washable extra fine merino wool and was followed on film to capture what I discovered.