Part of the vanguard of a new generation of cultural and critical observers in the fashion industry, Tommy Ton is driven by an obsessive and extensive knowledge of fashion design. As a street photographer, he is admired for the wit and energy of his stylish shots. Yet as a portraitist of the leading stylists and editors whom he photographs in and around the catwalk shows, Ton is revered for his rare ability to pick up on the garments and styling details that forecast the trends of the forthcoming seasons – often before they are previewed on the catwalk.
His eye for an eloquent image, combined with his acute awareness of the key fashion innovations makes him an arbiter of taste for industry figures and online enthusiasts.
The image-maker originally began taking photographs of parties in his hometown of Toronto, Canada. But Ton’s first job, at the age of 16, was assisting the Canadian eveningwear designer Wayne Clark. He went on to work for the Toronto department store Holt Renfrew, swiftly graduating from shop floor to the buying department, where he honed his taste for international fashion brands. From there, Ton was appointed as a columnist at Flare magazine and also consulted to Linda Latner’s Vintage Couture website, where he gained a grounding in historical fashion.
Ton’s technical role at Latner’s site encouraged him to launch his own online project in 2005, a constantly updated platform for his snapshot images. Adopting the objective perspective of the fanatical online fashion-follower, with whom Ton claims to identify most, his inventive images capture the moment elite glamour of luxury fashion collides with the reality of the world outside.
His street reportage finds its most extensive global audience online, a relationship with his audience that took the form of a uniquely fruitful relationship with Style.com and GQ.com that lasted several years, an online purview of the last decade of street fashion, unmatched in scope and detail.
Articulating directional fashion content through the language of style photography – the jewel-encrusted Balmain heel sunk into the gravel in a Parisian park, perhaps, or else the rear view of a celebrity stylist, pictured facing a pack of photographers outside a catwalk show – Ton has also captured the imagination of commercial clients. Clients including the likes of Lane Crawford, Louis Vuitton, GAP and Club Monaco have commissioned him for unique take on fashion and trends, whether tapping into the energy of his photography, or working with Ton on a capsule collection collaboration.
Ton now continues his ongoing exploration of the evolving progression in fashion trends with his latest self-publishing project TommyTon.com. In addition to this site Ton continues his ongoing collaborations with brands as well as evolving in his role as a social media influencer with a unique take in fashion and culture.