Tommy Ton was among the first street style photographers to capture the vivid details and wardrobes of fashion insiders around the world. He rose to fame with his super-sharp photos of Fashion Week attendee’s designer heels, bags, jewelry… strucking big deals with fashion publishers such as Style.com and GQ.
Ton started young. At age 13 he met Tom Ford, who sparked the interest in fashion in the young Canadian. At age 15 he interned with a local fashion designer – Wayne Clark, which led to his first job at Holt Renfrew.
Encouraged by the rise of online magazines, in 2005 Tommy Ton launched Jak & Jil, a website originally intended to be a lifestyle publication featuring products and people from Toronto. Ton’s snapshots of stylish Torontonians were particularly well received and soon became the focus of the site, which gradually evolved into a street style blog.
This Fashion Week Photographer’s forte was being one of the very first to the game and perhaps even pioneered how we see street style today. His tenure has awarded him real estate in Vogue, front-row seats to the industry’s biggest shows, as well as well-connected friendships with designers and models, who often are subjects of his best snaps.
Ton’s big photographic break came when Hong Kong-based department store chain Lane Crawford asked him to shoot the store’s S/S 2009 campaign. In the 2009 A/W season Ton was asked to sit front-row at Dolce & Gabbana, along with fellow fashion bloggers Bryanboy, Garance Dore and Scott Schuman.
Publications such as The New York Times and The Boston Globe soon began requesting and running his photographs. Style.com editor-in-chief Dirk Standen asked Ton to take over from Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist, covering fashion week street style for the website.
Ton continued as the main contributor of fashion week street style coverage for both Style.com, and GQ, effectively making him the most widely published photographer documenting the influential street style fashion moment that has informed photography, design and editorial content for half a decade.
Tommy is special because he is an incredible photographer, plus he has a knowledge about fashion that others don’t have. The first time I met him he knew the vintage skirt I was wearing was Rochas from the Olivier Theyskens collection. He’s so young, how does he know that? I understood that he was as obsessed with fashion as me. – Anna Dello Russo
Cover image source: HYPEBEAST