About 10, maybe 11 years ago, on Tumbler I believe, I stumbled across a shop in Hong Kong called The Armory. I’d never seen anything like it before.
Up until then my main exposure to menswear was just the mainstream brand – Polo, Gant, Barbour. Don’t get me wrong – all still great brands, but they are quite mainstream.
In the Armory, I came across products and images I had never come across before, and a style I wasn’t aware existed. From the shop fit to the staff that worked there back then, (most have left and gone on to do their own thing) I loved it all.
One brand in particular stood out at the time - Drake’s.
Their look was amazing, and having followed them with interest for several months, I realised this was in part down to the photography and the photographers they were using.
One that really stood out to me was Jamie Ferguson @jkfman.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, Kempt had a photoshoot based in Dublin with Jamie.
In the early days of Kempt, I never imagined that we would be working with someone like Jamie. When planning for this shoot, I noticed that the most interaction from people and the biggest interest shown towards products were from images featuring me wearing the brand. It struck me when I think back to the images that caught my eye from the Armory or Drakes, they didn’t feature models. Rather they were either people from within the store, or more ‘regular’ people as the face of the brand, which for me felt more genuine. Despite being very self-conscious, we decided on featuring myself in the photography.
Not knowing Jamie’s schedule, we decided to reach out – if on the off chance he would be interested in working with Kempt. We anticipated that he would respond to say he was too busy – and had a waiting list of brands eager to shoot with him, but in fact, we were delighted when he replied to say that he would be interested in working with Kempt.
We were right about one thing – his schedule was crazy, but we managed to find a suitable day Despite being exceptionally self-conscious about being photographed around the centre of Dublin, the shoot seemed to flow. After a short while, he put me at ease. The shoot was really raw – no lights, no make-up, no stylists – just him and his camera.
A week or so later, we received a selection of shots which we couldn’t have been happier with.
All in all a great day and another great milestone in the story of Kempt so far.