In the 3rd volume and last, (for a while) of ‘Having a gander with...’ we visited Anthony Lee in Liverpool. Anthony is a photographer and Content Creator, he grew up in Hampshire and has lived in Liverpool for the past 5 years. Anthony took us to a local Cafe where we had a little chat about Photography, wearing Workwear as a youth and the content creator/influencer stigma.
- What started you off in photography?
I started out photographing architecture whilst living in London and my wife was blogging at the time so I often got roped into that too. Then after becoming mates and hanging out with guys like Oliver Hooson, Matt Buckets and Jordan Bunker I kind of just fell into it. Meeting guys like that through Instagram, it’s a nice little community you can find yourself in.
- Would you say you are a Fashion Photographer?
Erm yes, it’s difficult to pin down a genre but I’d say it’s a hybrid of street photography and fashion in my work. With the term fashion photography, you can often think of art school types that are super polished and posed; that’s not me.
- Photography / Content creator in your bio - Which would you say you’re more of?
I’d probably say photographer if I’m totally honest. I think if I could clone myself and shoot my own stuff, life would be a lot easier, not to say that the guys that I work with are crap, it’s just easier when you share the same eye. Content creation kind of feeds off that in a way, it’s an easy way of covering a lot of bases and I think versatility is key nowadays in such a crazy landscape. There’s also a real stigma towards the word influencer and I try my best to stay away from that. If someone asked me ‘Do I have influence?’ I would say no. I can’t guarantee a brand that they are going to sell anything if I post it. I almost don’t want to have any influence over people, I just like sharing good shit and that’s as far as it goes to me.
- We’re in Liverpool today - did you grow up here?
Nah, I grew up in Hampshire, and my wife is from Liverpool. I like Liverpool, it’s got a lot going on under the surface. It’s just not always that aesthetic when it comes to the type of work and streets I’m looking for. The food and drink scene here is awesome though, and you’ve got Outsider’s store and Sevenstore here, so there are a few shops that are knocking about.
“come on let’s go have a gander down to the docks” Anthony joked - nice mate, not heard that one before.
Anthony - ‘How did you come up with the name gandergandergander?’
Calum - ‘To be fair it’s just gander, I think the Instagram name is misleading but gander or gandergander wasn’t available so now I just inherently confuse people with that. I always used to use the word to go for a mooch or to have a look at something and it just felt right'
- What do you like to do in your spare time? We met at Purports Run Club in Manchester, so I know you’re a fan of your running.
Yes mate, I love a good run but to be honest, chilling at home with my dogs and wife will always be my first pick. I’m a proper homebody. A lot of my spare time is spent thinking about and creating content if I’m honest, it’s something I enjoy and practice makes perfect, right? Besides that, not a whole lot! I’ll take downtime whenever it comes. Love a decent film or series to binge with a beer. I do think a couple more hikes would be mint this year, however, so let me know if you’re about. Seems a waste to be so nicely located between the Lakes, Peaks and Wales to not take advantage.
- What brands or influences got you into clothes - what was a young Anthony donning?
Haha, young AL wasn’t saying much if I’m honest. However what I will say is that when I used to find a brand I liked, I fell in hard. What kind of started me off into fashion was the Workwear side of it - Carhartt WIP was my bread and butter, Dickies, Stussy and Palace on the odd occasion too. I had a few mates who used skate back then, so hard-wearing and stiff materials were priority 1 followed by graphic tees, double knees and vans, you know the vibe. I was also working in UO in Covent Garden at the time, before moving jobs to Shoreditch, so I was exposed to a mix of styles. I don’t think I settled style-wise until I came up here; I think the savings in rent helped me experiment a bit more and try new brands and styles. I’m probably still moving style-wise if I’m honest, I think we all grow like that. Tastes change.
What brands/styles/items are you currently wearing?
I’m still very much in a l fit era. I think comfort is king for me now, so if there’s a piece that’s too fiddly or not feeling 100%, it’s not getting worn. I’m enjoying this point in fashion at the moment if I’m honest though, technical materials, functionality with a looser cut are all my bag. So many brands are pushing out and experimenting more and it’s great to see. I will refrain from using the word Gorpcore too, I think similar to ‘influencer’, it’s become a little too cliché and gives off the wrong vibe now. Just put a guy in a full Gore-Tex fit, stick a dead bird on his chest and send him into Sainsbury's on a drizzly day, that’s probably where my head’s at with Gorp now, you know the memes.
We spotted a Jeep Wrangler - ‘Would love a Suzuki Jimny such sick little 4x4’s - have you seen the tent attachment on the new Cybertrucks too? Mad.’
There is a running theme through this blog that we reference motors, Harry was a Defender, Mills was a Tesla and Jeep and now Anthony is on the Suzuki Jimny.
- What do you think is going to be the next hype whether it be an activity like climbing/running or a brand or item?
Rollerblading, haha no I’m joking. Swanning down Liverpool Docks on some rollerblades, life doesn’t get better.
Hard to say if I’m honest, although I’m going skiing in a few weeks so that’s all I’ve been seeing lately. Snowsports will be my next hype for definite haha. I think there’s a definite demand and awareness for functionality now, you know Gore-Tex ain’t going anywhere, especially in the north. But I am seeing a lot more softer, tailored cuts coming through, but still including those technical influences.
- You’re wearing the Peveril Jacket in Willow and the Peveril Pant in Black today - what do you like about them?
The jacket is a perfect cut mate – a nice, cropped boxy fit with plenty of adjustment, and in this colour too, I think it’s a properly nice piece. And the pants mate, it’s super nice to see a proper wide fit in a technical material like this. I’d say I struggle with finding pants most of all in my wardrobe.
Also, I think with the logo, you’ve smashed it. The Stone Circle is super nice man.
Calum - ‘Thanks - yeah I wanted a proper unambiguous logo which referred to hiking/the outdoors. People get it mistaken for a flower but I can confirm it is a stone circle with the middle stone taken out.’
Anthony - 'It’s really hard for brands to start fresh with outerwear as you need the trust.
‘Yes, I didn’t want to just start a clothing brand with a white or black tee design. Not knocking people who do, that way just wasn’t for me and I wanted to be different. I think that’s been the hardest part of the journey so far, trying to start a brand off on the technical gear is so difficult. The industry isn’t set up for it so we have had to take risks to get to this point and a bit of luck along the way.’
Any current projects your working on you can tell us about?
Nothing crazy at the minute mate, although I’ve been fortunate enough to be blessed with a couple of trips over the past month so that’s keeping me buzzed. I do have more work for Mizuno I’m excited to share soon, think that’s been a super fun project to work on where I can direct and spend a little more time on the photography and styling aspect rather than having to stand in as model as well. Besides that, there’s always new shit landing in at This Thing of Ours keeping me busy. Easily one of the best menswear stores in the UK right now although I may be a little biased.
Cheers mate, thanks for having me!