Pin It

James Gardner: Subversive Glamour

The New York City-based digital media entrepreneur might very well be the best connected photo blogger ever as his Subersive Glamour site shows...

Who's the most connected New Yorker? Who goes to all the best shows and the most exclusive parties? Well, that's impossible to say, but James Gardner, AKA Subversive Glamour, sure is a contender to the title. Born in the UK, Gardner has been NYC-based for many years, and when setting up the photo blog two years ago he made it his mission to get all his famous friends - and celebrities he just bumped into - to pose with him in front of his Blackberry phone. That's right, Subversive Glamour isn't fed by some state-of-the-art technology, just a normal camera phone. But the low-fi feeling of the equipment is easily matched by the glamour and flamboyant hedonism that Gardner documents by night. During the day though, Gardner is busy setting the agenda of digital media and opening up the boundaries of internet consumerism through his work at Createthe Group, a creative and interactive web agency that Gardner founded and is now the CEO of. So whatever time of the day you find him, Gardner is always tinkering away in cyberspace, working hard to entertain you. Dazed Digital spoke to him about Subversive Glamour...

Dazed Digital: How would you explain Subversive Glamour to an outsider?
James Gardner: Subversive Glamour is an alter-ego that has become a caricature of myself.

DD: What is the main objective behind Subversive Glamour?
James Gardner: To entertain!

DD: Do you take all your images on your Blackberry? Why?

James Gardner: Yes! Always with me, instantaneous, intimate... And that's my thing!

DD: How, When and Why did you start Subversive Glamour?
James Gardner: I was at my upstate house one weekend in late 2008 and set up Tumblr and Twitter accounts. I quickly became obsessed, and it gave birth to Subversive Glamour. We talk about the power of social media to our clients and my Creative Director, Diana Hong, said I had to embrace it. It turned into something that is a lot of fun and people seem to enjoy it... 

DD: A lot of images feature yourself - do you treat it as a diary blog?
James Gardner: I guess I would call it a tongue-in-cheek diary blog, I know it's a little ridiculous... especially the Subversive Glamour 'Blue Steel' pout!

DD: What's Subversive Glamour's USP compared to all other blogs out there?
James Gardner:  I'd like to think that there aren’t too many CEOs with an alter-ego, a micro blog and a fashion addiction out there.

DD: Sometime I get the feeling I'm flicking through a magazine when I look at Subversive Glamour - is that the reaction you want?
James Gardner: Sure... if it’s digital, glamorous, glossy and a little naughty...

DD: You work with digital pioneers CTG; do you think the future of media is totally and unconditionally digital?
James Gardner: Not totally, but it's certainly a huge part, as I think people now realise.

DD: As a Brit living in NYC, what do you miss the most with the UK?
James Gardner: I'm very lucky to have clients like Burberry and Dunhill in the UK that require frequent trips back so I don't miss too much...but my family of course...

DD: And the least?
James Gardner: Grey skies!

DD: A lot of your images are party snaps - how does NYC compare to London (and other world cities) in regards to their party scene?
James Gardner: NYC is high-glamour-cool-downtown-strong-cocktails, London is high-fashion-street-looks-hot-music-lots-of-not-so-strong-cocktails, Paris is tres Gay and Milano will not be the same without Plastic!

DD: Do you see yourself as a photo journalist, a fashion observer or more of a business man?
James Gardner: Can I be all three?

DD: What's next for Subversive Glamour and James Gardner?
James Gardner: For Subversive Glamour, a cocktail and some BB snaps.... for James Gardner & CTG, lots more exciting digital innovations!

Catch Subversive Glamour on the blog, Twitter, Vimeo and Blip FM