NEW YORK, United States — In seasons past, industry-watchers have spoken of the growing presence of bloggers at the New York shows, but this is the first season where bloggers have come to New York from all over the world, gaining backstage access, front-row seats and even juicy scoops, in a full-on, international blogger invasion. Bryanboy is here from Manila. Susie Bubble is here from London. And Julia and Jessie from Les Mads are here from Germany.
What's more, at many of the shows, bloggers and web editors have been seated together, allowing for some spontaneous exchange and an opportunity to meet the faces behind some of the finest fashion websites around. Already I have met the super-smart Tommye Fitzpatrick of Fashionologie, the stylish Christene Barberich of Refinery29 and streetstyle maven Phil Oh of Streetpeeper.
But most of all, I was delighted to meet Tommy Ton, the man behind Jak and Jil, which recently won the public vote for the best fashion blog in the Dazed Digital RAW Blog awards. If there was one blog to which BoF was happy to lose, it was to Jak and Jil's genius photography, editing and fashion moments, as captured by this humble, soft-spoken young man.
I missed Tommy on my recent trip to Toronto, but he introduced himself in the pouring rain outside the Preen show. Truly dedicated to his craft, I subsequently spotted Tommy at show after show, snapping his trademark shots of serious fashion week style — a pair of Louboutin heels here, a feather vest there, in the midst of the New York downpour — before rushing in to catch the shows himself.
In just one year, Tommy has managed to use his blog to build his own offline business as well. Apart from shooting campaigns for Lane Crawford, the venerable Hong Kong department store, he also hosts a blog on the Lane Crawford website and works with hot young designers like Rad Hourani on photo shoots and look books. Based on this kind of trajectory, you can be sure that this is only the beginning for the talented Mr. Tommy Ton.
As for his trademark style of photography which fixates on standout accessories, runway pieces and shoes, Tommy says "I like to think of myself as an editor, more than a photographer," focusing his attention on the editors, it-girls and models, off the runway.
Imran Amed is Editor of The Business of Fashion