BBH Chief Digital Officer Lindsay Nuttall commissioned me to help the agency create a new men's premium grooming ecom site. Working closely with BBH New Business Director Carly Herman on initial idea generation and customer profiling, I created a full editorial strategy, and ultimately created the content – putting together a small creative team, including talent and location – for the site itself. So far it's surpassed all its KPIs and the finished product looks great – find it here at: http://www.gentldn.com
Man Made: The Art of Male Grooming by Dan Jones is published by Hardie Grant Books.
It's a guide for men and manly people to be a little bit better groomed with features on how to care for your beard, how to pick your first tattoo, how to not look like a dick in a photo, and how to shave your balls.
Modern men's mags are still mired in a centuries old, weirdly gendered approach to male grooming; Man Made goes a little way to rectify that. It was made 1000X better by Brooklyn-based illustrator Libby Vanderploeg who turned all my shit Dad jokes into something otherworldly.
It dropped in October, 2015 and is getting great press coverage: from i-D Magazine to a full page in Time Magazine (below, left). Wow!
It continues to be sold internationally with new translated print runs throughout 2016.
I worked closely with Brand Communication Director Sanaa Sadik to deliver the forward-thinking denim outfitter's consumer content – from the Lee 101 paper, Lee.com features, newsletters, and window decals to the brand's massive collection books, press releases and news updates, product and site copy – even tee and sweatshirt slogans, hang tags, and general design inspiration.
I started working with the label in 2014 at a time of intense brand renewal and expansion, and Sanaa and I have set about creating and honing a fresh, approachable and considered tone of voice.
I worked from my London studio with regular briefings in-house at the Lee Jeans HQ near Antwerp.
Sanaa has a young, talented and super-friendly team – they love denim and know everything about it. Plus they have an amazing on-site canteen that, as a freelancer, I'm totally excited by every time I visit.
My role with Lee Jeans involved multiple projects each year – and with their creative collabs, special projects, and big campaigns, there was always something new to look forward to.
Also, I've developed a growing knowledge and obsession with all things denim.
I moved on in mid-2017 to complete a fiction-writing project – I miss Sanaa and the team!
Working closely with Topman Marketing's Tanya Adams and Drew Hughes, we've grown Topman Magazine from a printed store catalogue into a fully-fledged bi-annual print title. Together, we work out a rough theme and what product stories we need to talk about; as a way to showcase their brand, Topman want to be as creative as possible. This means real editorial freedom – and the chance to make a genuinely interesting magazine. We're proud to have featured writers like Skye Sherwin, Owen Myers, and David Jenkins and collaborate with brands like Modular Records and Little White Lies magazine. Topman Mag is then produced in house where I work closely with the Topman creative team.
Gin: Shake, Muddle, Stir is a collection of more than 40 of my favourite gin recipes (plus a little liquor history) illustrated by Daniel Servansky and published late 2016 by Hardie Grant.
50 QUEERS PROJECT
50 Queers Who Changed the World (published by Hardie Grant, October 2017) introduces the boundary-busting, equality-loving LGBTQ+ heroes of history. From Harvey Milk to RuPaul, Audre Lorde, Oscar Wilde and Ellen Degeneres, 50 Queers is a primer to the world of queer culture and its finest (and also forgotten) stars.
Metropolitan Magazine sent me over to Paris to meet designer Olympia Le-Tan ahead of her first ever flagship store opening. She's lovely.
THE MIXER'S MANUAL
The Mixer's Manual is a cocktail recipe book I produced for Hardie Grant Books. I'm an amateur cocktail maker and the recipes are pretty failsafe. It dropped in 2014 and so far it's been translated into many different languages.
Rum: Shake, Muddle, Stir is all about one of my favourite spirits – the crusty old mariner's delight/ hen party rocket fuel – with 40 rum cocktail recipes, illustrated by Daniel Servansky and published by Hardie Grant in 2017.
In early 2015 I was accepted onto two competitive creative writing programs – one at Faber & Faber and the other at Curtis Brown Creative.
I'd already spent a day at the Faber Academy on their Start To Write course with Richard Skinner – it was wonderful and terrifying in equal measure (biscuits vs on-the-spot writing tasks, reading your work out loud, and general stranger danger that pressed all my anxiety buttons) but, in the end I chose CB Creative, lead by writers Louise Wener and Anna Davis – with Liz Jensen and Jeremy Page as guest tutors. After six months of classes, talks, and writing workshops I aim to complete my manuscript late 2016.
The class has continued to meet every two weeks in London to workshop our writing.
I dropped two books in late 2016 – one for Hardie Grant (Gin: Shake, Muddle Stir, a follow-up to The Mixer's Manual) and another for Octopus Books' Design Museum imprint (Fifty Male Fashion Icons That Changed The World).
I also contributed to a very handsome-looking gift book about scarves illustrated by Libby Vanderploeg – and another, on white shirts (out 2017).
I'm currently working on two other Hardie Grant titles – a follow up to Gin and another on Queer Icons.