Street Style Photographer Tommy Ton Wants to Be a Designer

In an interview on Stevie Dance's new online shopping zine, Shop Ghost, the street style photog let his design aspirations out of the bag saying, "I definitely feel that another five years [from now] is probably when I would do a collection." While we're sometimes skeptical of fashion admirers becoming designers (Kanye, we're looking at you), Ton is one of the few individuals who is talented and experienced enough to actually pull it off. I mean, can you imagine better market research than to have been photographing fashion's A-list for the past few years?
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In an interview on Stevie Dance's new online shopping zine, Shop Ghost, the street style photog let his design aspirations out of the bag saying, "I definitely feel that another five years [from now] is probably when I would do a collection." While we're sometimes skeptical of fashion admirers becoming designers (Kanye, we're looking at you), Ton is one of the few individuals who is talented and experienced enough to actually pull it off. I mean, can you imagine better market research than to have been photographing fashion's A-list for the past few years?
Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

Tommy Ton, fashion designer? Maybe so.

In an interview on Stevie Dance's new online shopping zine, Shop Ghost, the street style photog let his design aspirations out of the bag saying, "I definitely feel that another five years [from now] is probably when I would do a collection."

While we're sometimes skeptical of fashion admirers becoming designers (Kanye, we're looking at you), Ton is one of the few individuals who is talented and experienced enough to actually pull it off. I mean, can you imagine better market research than to have been photographing fashion's A-list for the past few years?

And it doesn't hurt that Ton's wee shopping addiction has lead to an archive full of Balenciagas. "I actually have an archive because I buy old Balenciaga, not like old, old Balenciaga, but I’m talking about early 2000s Balenciaga," he told the online mag. "It’s mostly women’s. Helmut Lang and Balenciaga. The archive will serve as a reference if I ever design a collection."

He added: "The clothes that I want to design will be very reflective of what I’ve liked for quite a long time or what I think is missing." The photog has already tried his hand at design, collaborating with Club Monaco on a backpack and messenger bag that fit his minimalist aesthetic to a tee--Needless to say, we'd be excited for a full-fledged collection!

We reached out to Ton to prod him a bit more about his design aspirations, and he just got back to us despite being on the job in Seoul. In case you don't know Ton is one of the hardest working and humble guys out there. Here's what he had to say:

My desire to design anything really comes from that inner teenage geek that had aspirations to be a designer at one point but never did but what's important is that I take things day by day and I rather focus on right now what I'm good at and the amazing opportunity brought upon me. I don't have any immediate plans nor should I because I'm not a formally trained designer but neither are some of world's top designers.

Like any good career man, he's got a five year plan:

I'm extremely fortunate that this design collaboration with Club Monaco has been a success and that the bags have sold out but it's not like it means that I should be a designer because of it. I'm just entertaining the idea of possibly designing a collection but it's not any time soon. It's just part of a five year plan and like any person who works in fashion who has many creative outlets, I'm hoping designing would be one but who knows, I'm just a street style photographer right? I grew up watching Fashion File religiously and reading Style.com and riding my bike to the library and borrowing magazines, so it's only natural that a part of me has aspirations to be a designer. I love clothes, maybe a bit too much, but I love trying to collect pieces of my favorite collections and I hope one day, if granted the opportunity, that what I do fills a void and what I think is missing in the market.

And if that doesn't make you fall in love with Tommy Ton and reaffirm your faith in fashion I don't know what will. We just have one question: Tommy, why wait five years?