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Thursday, 28 July 2016

GarconJon meets Serge Rigvava: Model Off Duty

With a halo is curls and relaxed personal style, Serge Rigvava is the Elite boy to watch. Discovered in the Elite Model Look competition two years ago as Austria's entry, he's gone on to be photographed by David Bailey and walked for designers including Issey Miyake, Dries van Noten and Haider Ackermann. In person, he strikes me as one of life's dreamers and this is reflected in conversation too. See part one of the interview below and the second on

This is part of a new series with Elite Model Management, to see more male model's off duty click here.

Where did you grow up? If I could only remember! I was born in Munich then I moved to Stuttgart and then to Vienna. We made the final move to Vienna because my mum is a musician and she got a job there. I like it because you can live a very comfortable life here but for younger people it might be a bit boring. You cannot pursue your interests as much as you might somewhere else.

What excites you about London? You can do whatever you want, everything is on offer. It just takes longer to get there. The good thing about Vienna is that you can be anywhere in 20 minutes.

Describe yourself in three words. That’s hard. I would say relaxed, bored and creative. I can imagine things quite well.

What is your calling in life? I am in a band and I make a lot of music by myself. I play guitar, I have a D├╝senberg Starplayer. I play a lot of classic rock’n’roll. Otherwise I like to skateboard or do graffiti. I spend a lot of time outside. Except for swimming, that’s inside. Or trampolining and eating.

Where do you see yourself in ten years time? I can only see extremes. Either I am broke or I am on a huge stage in front of an amazing crowd, playing music. I want to be an artist or musician.

What was the best experience you had while modelling? I got to spend a day with my favourite photographer, David Bailey. I shot the campaign for Valentino as he always does them. We shot on location on Brick Lane, near to David Bailey’s studio. We just walked around with him and a lot of Valentino clothes. Just strolling around and shooting. That was so cool. The directions he gave and everything is just so funny! He kind of takes the piss out of you and jokes around. He is just hilarious and you can really feel how much experience he has. It was amazing to have met him.

Do you have any advice for people who want to go into modelling? Try and keep your interests and professional life separate. Except for maybe photography that might be overlapping. It is always good to try and learn about your job and if you can imagine in your own head how you look on a photograph then you know how to get the best picture. It is harder if you don't have the imagination and don’t have a feeling for composition. Doesn’t mean you cannot get a good picture though.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Protection: Porta Genova, Milan

Simple black suit with a tieless white shirt, outside the Armani show in Milan.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Monday, 18 July 2016

GarconJon meets Henrietta Street, London

To celebrate Covent Garden After Hours, a series of parties and events this July, I've photographed seven characters from five of my favourite outfitters on the street named Henrietta.

As the likes of Club Monaco, Oliver Sweeney and Albam Clothing will be keeping their doors open late, Covent Garden will come alive with food, drink, live music and art. There's a real sense of community in the area, particularly since Henrietta Street has grown to become a cluster of likeminded menswear. I regularly stop by the likes of The Real McCoys and Nigel Cabourn, so this is a real treat.

Don't forget to head down to Henrietta Street for Covent Garden After Hours on Thursday 21th July as it's one for the boys with late night opening hours, live music and drinks until 9pm. 

Ben. The Real McCoys, 15 Henrietta St.

Jack Norman. Club Monaco, 29 Henrietta Street.

"I love London because you can create an identity here. Fashion is so diverse and therefore expressing yourself isn’t limited. Just be yourself and be great at it!"

Mark McGowan. Albam Clothing, 31 Henrietta Street.

"There are many people that I draw inspiration from but I look up to people like my dad. He was an engineer when I was growing up so had this calm, logical way of thinking. At the same time, he wasn't afraid to be creative and forward thinking. I suppose he's the reason I had the balls to leave the small Irish town that I grew up in."

Matthew Schembri. Albam Clothing, 31 Henrietta Street.

"I don't really have any role models or aspirational figures. I just want to be a good person, an informed person, an educated person and a compassionate person. I relate to people like Jerry Garcia and Jeff Bridges. Just trying to spread the love and stay cool and mellow. Stop, Listen and Be True."

Richard Humby. Nigel Cabourne, 28 Henrietta St.

Marc Ellwood. Edwin Store, 25 Henrietta Street.

"It's better to be late in this world than early in the next. Something my dad always said to me when I lived at home and I was driving somewhere and was in a rush. It's so true."

George Bebb. Club Monaco, 29 Henrietta Street.

 "My Grandfather, Roy was the hardest working and most caring man I knew. Also the only man I knew that could eat twelve sausages in one sitting."

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Galih: Strand, London

Galih Richardson, musician and hatmaker outside his store Laird and Co on the Strand, London.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

GarconJon meets Scott Fraser Simpson

There are few men I know as dedicated to a life of style as Scott Fraser Simpson. As a vintage collector and creative consultant, his knowledge of the history of menswear is as impressive as his apartment filled with vintage finds. With probably the largest collection of vintage knitwear in Europe, I got him to try on a few of his favourite pieces while we chatted about his life growning up in Hong Kong, building vintage mopeds and where he gets his creative inspiration from.

Not only is Mr Simpson a menswear enthusiast, he also has his own line of products that respect the mid-century aesthetic. Find out more at and see photography from our shoot in South London below.

Scott Fraser Simpson, Vintage Collector 

What's your star sign? Scorpio or the year of the Snake.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? It changed so many times. From about 4 I wanted to be a horse rider, from 8 a primary school teacher, 13 a stunt man, 15 an Ad man and then by 17 years old I wanted to be a tailor. That's currently where I’m at and it seems to be working with my own colletion. &

Describe yourself in 5 words? Determined, entrepreneurial, collector, meticulous, proactive.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in Hong Kong until I was 13, then moved to Brighton (England) until I was 17 and now I’m living in South London.

How has living in different countries influenced you? I think that living on two sides of the world has made me a bit more inquisitive about what else was out there - Growing up I was fascinated by Chinese and Japanese style and the fastidious detail that they put into everything they do. When I moved to England my world was opened up to British subcultures, the depth of history and culture that came out of these scenes has kept me busy and interested since.

Scott wears 1950's British made Beacon coveralls, Scott Fraser Ochre short-sleeve shirt, Scott Fraser neckerchief and Stacey Adams lace-up ankle boots.

Best place to live and why? It may sound biased but it’s got to be London. The diversity and acceptance in regards to what you wear and do is just second to none I’d say. Music-wise you’ve got everything from be able to go to a Punk gig on the same night as funk club - it never stops amazing me and that’s why it keeps me here I guess. Saying that, New York has always got a little place in my heart and I’d be tempted to try it out, but I think I’d just miss all the British sensibilities that I get over here. Finally Berlin, I just got back after wanting to go for ages - I was blown away, the place was brilliant and really inspiring.

Why not Brighton? You've got a strong connection to there and the style is presumably in-line with your taste? I've lived in London for coming up for the last 9 years. There is something about this place, it's hum, the people, the different little villages of areas making up this big city. Spending my teens in Brighton was great, but being city boy at heart being born and raised in Hong Kong, I felt that at the end of my time there I needed somewhere bigger. Saying that, my Dad now lives there and I get to visit whenever, so I guess I'll always have that connection. It's all about leaving every door open in this life.

Where did your passion for vintage style begin? It started about 10 years ago. When I was about 14 I started to get interested in the 1960s Modernist thing. Living in Brighton it was something that you really couldn’t not be influenced by. I went to a small shop called Ivy’s in the lanes which is still there, known to most as ‘the dead mans wardrobe’. It's owned by a 70 year old guy who had mountains of coats, suits and bags. Here I scored, from memory, my first piece which was a Donkey jacket - a navy blue wool coat with tartan lining and leather patches on the shoulders and elbows, most commonly used by bin men in the 70s! Days later I'd returned to pick up some Macs, leather double breasted coats and shirts with elongated collar. I was hooked as all the items cost £5 each.

What's your favourite classic film? I’m not a film buff by any means, I’ve watched my share but I’d have to say it is Casablanca from 1942. There’s something about cream linen suits and hats that I just can’t get enough of, set in an era which I would arguably say was the glory days of menswear.

Scott wears 1950s Home-made roll-neck jumper, 1940s wide leg trousers, Stacey Adams lace-up ankle boots, Scott Fraser pocket chain, 1950s fedora hat and 1970s Persol frames.

We both have a love of the Austin Healey – is that your ideal car? If you could own any what would it be? I can’t only say that my love for old things came from within, my Dad is very similar to me in ways and he was the person that introduced me to the world of vintage cars. When I was growing up, he would take me to school in his 1961 Austin Healey or 1959 Mercedes 190SL. I think although the Healey is up there in my favourites I’d probably have to go with the 300 SL Mercedes, which is the gull-wing version of the 190.

When we shot you had seven bikes in your garage. How did you get into riding? What started out with a way of getting into college everyday when I was sixteen has now grown into a love affair. I started riding a 1980s Vespa 50 Special, joined a scooter club down in Brighton, where I spent my teens, it was here they showed me how to work on them and enjoy them. In the last 10 years, I've built scooters and bikes from boxes of parts to complete scooters. I used to sell them on after riding them around for a while, but after putting so much thought and attention-to-detail into them it made it quite hard to let them go. I guess it's like having kids.

See the full shoot by clicking below.

Friday, 8 July 2016

GarconJon meets Victor Ndigwe: Model Off Duty

Discovered in the Elite Model Look competition in Nigeria, in the past few years Victor Ndigwe has worked with some of the most notable designers in menswear. Walking for Hardy Amies, Balmain and Versace this season, I caught up with him after the Dries Van Noten show in Paris to talk about his life as a model, writing hip hop at home in Africa and his words of wisdom.

This is part of a series of interviews with Elite Model boys, with Part 2 of this interview over at See my photographs with French model Hugo Villanova here and new British face Alistair Waterfield here.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Nigeria In Lagos, precisely. There is the island and there is the mainland which is where I stayed. I moved house once. I lived with my parents now it's a thirty minute drive from where we were before. After I won the call from Elite modelling, people started to approach me too much there so my mum said I couldn’t stay here anymore. I attract too much attention.

Where do you live now? I still live in Nigeria. I love it there, it is my home. If I want to continue in fashion I should leave there soon. It is very hard and expensive for me to be flying there and back. But yeah, I still live in Nigeria.

We first met in my home town London, what strikes you most about the city? I like the vibe of the city. Everyone is always moving, everyone is always willing to help. You see different people and different faces, the Africans, the black Americans, the Asian people, the Indian people. I love this kind of thing where you walk down the street and see people. It is a fashion city. My favourite clubs are here, too. Basically everything, I love it here to be honest. It is really expensive but I really love it.

If you had to describe yourself in five words, what would you say? Victor is unpredictable, Victor is fun, Victor is… I mean Victor is Victor. I don’t know what to describe myself as. I don’t think I know myself to this extent. I just know I love the company of good people. I love having fun, I love music, sports, art and being creative. Maybe dapper? I keep wanting to buy the clothes. Very very spontaneous! And maybe I am naughty.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I should be established in whatever I am doing. I could still be modelling then. Not like modelling in the way that I am now. I mean I don’t plan to be a model for too long. I just think in ten years I should be able to feed myself and my family. I hope that in ten years from now I will be a good man with a wife and kids.

What is your calling in life? I’ve been doing music since I was in high school with all my friends. We would just hit the table and make the beats. Just like rapping, singing. Back then I wouldn’t say I could write anything, I just wanted to hear the beat. I could hum to what I had in my head. I tried to write the first year and the second year but I wasn’t really getting anything out of it. But I just kept on doing. The first time I was in a studio, he chased me out. The first three times. He is my friend now though. He could have just taken my money but he wanted to help me. Now I can write, I would say I can write comfortably. Maybe write parts and a chorus. Pop, Hip Hop. I could write R’n’B songs. I don’t like them very well but I can write them. Pretty much as long as I know the beat and hear it, I just put myself into it and it works for me.

Back in school I was captain of the basketball team. Four years ago after I lost a basketball competition in which my team was cheated, I told myself I am not going back there. It was frustrating. We put all our effort and money in, not getting support from the school and we clearly won. In the last minute it was 98:99, we had the point and they gave a foul to the other team. It was completely out of the blue and they scored. It was really devastating. Since then I haven’t played basketball.

What has been experience you've had at fashion week? The best moment during fashion week was the last two seasons. Season after season it just got better. Dolce, Versace, I mean doing these shows! Basically, in my life I never thought I could be a model, it's just one of the best things. Being able to travel, meet people. I am really grateful for it. I put in a lot of effort, trying to get things right and when these shows come, I am very emotional about it. I don’t tend to show it but I am like really happy. It makes me want to cry. This is one of the best moments. When got a campaign from Missioni, I never believed that one day I would be doing all this.

Leave us with some words of wisdom. Don’t try to be like anyone, don’t try and cut your hair, don’t try and get piercings, don’t try and be like others. Don’t get a septum ring, don’t get tattoos, just be yourself because everyone else is taken. Don’t try to be different because everybody is trying to be different. Just be you. That’s the only power you have. No one else is you. The industry just keeps changing so you never know what happens tomorrow. And learn to love each other, everyone should love one another. And that’s it, there is a lot of positive energy around when people love each other.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Alistair: Regent's Street, London

Elite Model Alistair Waterfield on the street during London Collections Men. I photographed and interviewed him last month, see the post here.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Real McCoys: Henrietta Street, London

The staff outside Real McCoys store on Henrietta Street at London Collections Men.