Carl aka @calgeary is a denimhead that can also mean tunes on the guitar! Social Media has helped him grow as a photographer and has used it in many different ways, like connecting with other denim heads or even just for keeping up with current events. Enough from me, onto his story.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Cathal, most people call me Carl though. I grew up in Cork, Ireland and moved to the south of Germany just over 9 years ago. Besides clothing, I'm a big music fan, and have been playing guitar since I was 13 years old. While I was active as a musician, I was keen on small, boutique makers in the music equipment world, so I guess it's no surprise that I applied that to my clothing habits. I've been married for over a year and a half to my best friend and long term photographer, Heidi :)
How did you start your Instagram?
I came across some photos on the internet of some dudes looking cool in denim, and turned to Instagram to try and find some more. It just so happens it was a shot by @selvedge1 of @hansjellema and @jeroenbredewold in Amsterdam. It seemed like another world back then.
Fast forward a year, and I had now acquired my first pair of Red Wings and selvedge denim.
I just figured I'd give it a shot, posting my photos in the gear and becoming involved in the community I had discovered. It's an interesting way to record your journey through style, and to develop it also. It's easy to forget that these days.
What does social media mean to you?
It's almost odd to even think of social media as some other entity these days, it's so ingrained in our lives. How you view that depends on your own experiences with social media, I guess.
Personally, it's allowed me to connect with a lot of people, which I'm most grateful for.
I've also learned a lot about photography, discovered I-don't-know-how-many great bands and musicians, read a ton of illuminating articles about important issues, and watched way too much dumb, funny shit on youtube. It's all about how you use it. I'm a live and let live kinda guy, and honestly do not understand the sometimes vitriol and aggressive online behaviour you see from some people.
Any interesting encounters/stories through social media?
Last year at Denim Days Amsterdam, a whole bunch of people from all corners met up there over the course of 3 days. It was a hell of a hang. I'm looking forward to going back this year.
While in New York last February I was lucky enough to be part of an NY Denim Hang at the Red Wing Heritage store, and finally got to meet some people I had been in conversation with on Instagram for quite a while. And I met a lot of great new folk too. We enjoyed some whiskey, and then some of the best pizza I've ever had. It's hard to beat that. These hangs made the trips all the more memorable.
What accounts/hashtags do you like to check out?
That's a tricky one as there are just so many great accounts, which are great for so many different reasons. Just a few I've discovered in the recent past (just so I can narrow it down) would be @okalaninui, @tuckerneffewing, @shallo_end, @thedenimmind and @l.l.wood. I still enjoy discovering new accounts and being inspired by those. Or re-discovering accounts, ones that maybe weren't my thing before, but because of changes in my taste or style, I now appreciate a lot more, so I'm playing catch-up.
What feelings do you have for "Made in Japan" jeans/fashion products?
Made in Japan clothing isn't really that much more expensive in Europe than the American labels, for example. There are also some international webstores that make buying Japanese products very accessible too, so a decent amount of my clothes are "made in Japan". I try to mix it up, but I do love the styling the Japanese designers have adapted from the USA, and how they've just completely immersed themselves in that. Their passion and attention to detail is infectious.
Saying that, I would still say one of my favourites at the moment is @twerd.mfg , from Moscow.
One of the greatest things to me is the connection with the people, and that guy is a real cool dude! That trumps all, in my opinion. I know the person that made my clothes - that makes clothing personal, and not just about the stitchwork, or fabric.