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Man about Town: The essence of Tommy Hilfiger, captured by one man and his camera

The new Tommy Hilfiger store in the capital celebrated the official opening on Thursday, in association with the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

Jonathan Daniel Pryce. Image: Lewis Simister
Jonathan Daniel Pryce. Image: Lewis Simister

Located on Multrees Walk - an exclusive open-air retail boulevard home to premium brands - it is the latest addition to a growing portfolio of Tommy Hilfiger stores worldwide.

 "I'm excited to open our first store in Edinburgh and have the opportunity to share our classic, American, cool collections with shoppers in the city. Preppy Style was born in the UK and our consumers have embraced the iconic, heritage styles at the heart of our brand - from classic tartans and pinstripes to versatile plaids and pop colors.

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"Our new Edinburgh store embodies our global retail creative identity, with a mix of eclectic furnishings and vintage details that capture the preppy spirit and all-American heritage of our brand." said Tommy Hilfiger himself ahead of the opening.

Scottish award-winning street and fashion photographer, Jonathan Daniel Pryce, was given the following brief leading up to the launch:

"Tommy Hilfiger is all about preppy, collegiate style which fits so well with the Edinburgh aesthetic. I was asked to capture true style in the capital with my photographs - people who would look comfortable in Hilfiger. I think we achieved that."

I first met Jonathan in New York City last year, and was immediately charmed by his warmth and kindness. Since then, I've watched his reputation grow around the world, most notably as he led the way in documenting the global beard phenomenon. And so it was an absolute joy to stroll around the cobbled streets of Edinburgh with him and his camera. 

Knowing he's a fan of tartan, or plaid as our American friends describe the cloth, I asked what reactions he got when wearing it while working:

"People love talking about my tartan get-up. When I wear it on set or to a meeting the client often comments & that leads to a conversation about my Scottish roots. It's always positive and I hear stories of magical childhood summers in the Highlands or great city breaks in the country." 

He's documented style on the streets of Paris and London, so I wondered, how do people in Scotland react when he asks to take their photo?

"The average Scot I always find to be humble, kind and open-minded. Nearly always they say 'yes' to being photographed and are always curious and interested to know more about what I do. They tend to be less jaded than in big cities and usually have a give-it-to-me-straight approach."

Through online media, fashion bloggers are opening windows for the world to see what we are wearing, so I asked Jonathan, is it time for Scottish style to be mentioned in the same breath as other leading creative centres?

"In a way I think it already is. If you go to Japan or South Korea they have a far deeper understanding and knowledge of UK style nuances, textiles and manufacturing than the average Brit. I'm working on a new project called Man/Men to showcase the incredible talent we have behind the brands that we all know. The pattern cutter, the textile weaver - these are the real heroes of the fashion industry." 

Returning to his famous beard photography, I asked him how he felt the resurgence of the beard has influenced the current Scottish style enlightenment, this renaissance of self expression for men? 

"It's been incredible to track the rise of the beard with my 100 Beards project. I began by photographing a beard a day for 100 days in July 2012 and visited Glasgow shortly after the 100th day. I couldn't believe the number of hairy men I saw on the streets - the trend had exploded. For me growth of the beard (pun intended) has gone hand in hand with an overall self-acceptance for men, a return to masculinity and pride in appearance that men weren't comfortable with before. There's been a real bonding around this which can be seen with 'the gathering' events you've started." 

It was great to see him back up here in Scotland, and so I asked him, what's on the horizon for @Garconjon? 

"The main project launching in June is Man/Men, which will be a new website and publication which will feature a number of brands across Scotland and England doing great manufacturing work in the fashion industry. It includes Scottish brands Hawick knitwear and Hancock VA raincoats. Keep watching @GarconJon for updates..."

Onward!

Gx

Additional Images: 

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