Want to start your own fashion blog, but live in city slightly off the fashion map? Daniel Stern and Jonathan Pryce proved it is possible– launching Les Garçons de Glasgow from their Scottish hometown in 2009. In just over a year, these shutterbug best friends have reinvigorated the local Glaswegian style scene with their thoughtful snaps, scoring nominations for British Vogue’s Next Generation awards and tricking-out the store windows House of Fraser (posh U.K. department store) and Urban Outfitters along the way. The dapper duo now cover the international beat in London, Berlin and Paris, where Pryce just wrapped his Men’s Fashion Week duties. We quizzed them on their web-smart secrets, style predilections, and why Scottish style is about more than just plaid.
Q: Why did you start your blog?
A: Stern: “We started in October 2009, not long after I had returned from [studying at the University of] Toronto. Jonathan and I wanted to channel our enthusiasm for Glasgow with our passion for photography and style. At the same time, we’ve featured street style abroad, in places such as Berlin, Oslo, Tel Aviv and San Francisco and fashion weeks in London and Paris. Our raison d’être is to document the most interesting individuals we encounter throughout our travels.”
Q: How would you describe the style that you seek to capture?
A: Pryce: “I always look for the person that is totally at ease with their look. Both of us are fans of the more classic, subtle little details you only notice on second glance. My favourite girl recently wore black silk palazzo pants with some red block heel velvet sandals and a still collar white shirt. It was so simple, with her hair tied back, but it was beautifully pulled off.”
A: Stern: “I have preference for subjects who wear outfits that do not directly scream ‘look at me’ but instead grab your attention because of their simplicity. For guys, a quality shirt, chinos, boat shoes – something timeless. And a good jacket is a must.”
Q: How does Les Garçons de Glasgow differ from other fashion blogs?
A: Stern: “The variety of our subjects. We have photographed all ages – from the 60 year-old Canadian wearing a kilt during a visit to Scotland to a 16 year-old out shopping with her family. I would say that one of our strongest assets is our friendship. Photography wise, we have a different approach, this works well as it ensures that the photographs remain fresh.”
Q: Scotland fashion has more to offer than just plaid and has nurtured designers such as Jonathan Saunders and Christopher Kane. What makes the Scottish perspective unique?
A: Pryce: “It always makes me feel incredibly proud when I read or hear about Scottish design talent being showcased around the world. I [recently] saw that Jonathan Saunders has been appointed to create a capsule collection for Escada. Scotland has a long history with textile production and fashion – from tweed to the Macintosh raincoat to cashmere – places it is a leader in luxury production.”
Q: What has been the highlight for your site since you launched?
A: Stern: “The collaboration with Urban Outfitters without a doubt! For two months, we had a window display in their store with photographs from the website. They even organized a party for our family, friends and followers. It was a massive coup for a website that we had created, at the time, less than six months ago.”
Q: What are your future goals?
A: Stern: “For the moment, we’re really not sure where things will go. Saying that, we’ve got a number of collaborations in the pipeline with a hotel chain, a high street retailer and a national newspaper. Watch this space.”
A: Pryce: “We’re also both developing in our own careers – Daniel [is entering the] advertising world and I want to develop my marketing experience with a brand communications role in the fashion industry. What happens over the next 6 months for us will influence what happens with Les Garçons de Glasgow.”
Q: What advice would you give to someone wishing to start a street-style site?
A: Stern: “Timing is everything, as is how you approach people and the schpiel you deliver in order to explain why you want to take their photograph. It is equally important to have a business card to give out with your website’s name and address.”
A: Pryce: “Overall, enjoy it – have fun and make it something you do in your daily routine. Les Garçons de Glasgow has actually changed my whole way of looking at life – it’s an amazing tool to meet people, connect with local businesses and has brought a new meaning to city breaks. Get your camera sorted, keep the business cards on you and start taking photos!”