Every man has his reason for growing a beard. This is what Scottish style photographer (my dear friend) Jonathan Daniel Pryce quickly discovered when creating the 100 Beards project in July 2012. He went around London and other European cities (Paris, Milan, Berlin, Glasgow) documenting the cult of a beard over 100 days initially on his blog and tumblr. Both his photography and the inspiring stories behind the beards were so intriguing that they quickly went socially viral and gained popularity in publications such as GQ, Elle, Mr. Porter, and i-D.
One man’s reason for having a beard was to honour his late father (who wore a full beard too) in his own personal and private way. The underlying thought it seems is a mark of physical masculinity, confidence, and uniqueness. Many say that this spiritual gift from nature makes it easier to meet girls. A lot of men admit to much preferring their physical appearance with a beard, saying that it’s a bit of a game changer.
What has become apparent from reading the second edition of this incredible book and attending the launch last Wednesday, is that facial hair has been re-embraced, especially in editorial and advertising (i.e. Gap’s 2013 holiday campaign). Beards are even becoming socially acceptable past the world of hipsters and into that of the corporates. Men’s grooming is the decades biggest male trend, and the beard, as Jonathan puts it, “has re-emerged as an ultimate accessory for the modern gentleman”. The truth is, just like piercings and clothes, beards are a way of expressing yourself. An art, if you will. These men take pride in their beards, and many have created a modelling career out of them.
Jonathan (who also photographed me for LFW) has created a community of bearded men, which I personally got to meet at his 100 Beards book launch on Wednesday. It was such a great event. Who would have thought I would ever end up in a room FULL of bearded men? Shown above are the front and back covers of the book, a taste of what’s inside, and photos from the live shoot at the event on Wednesday. Limited signed copies of the book are available at Foyles Bookshop.