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MOD MEETS

Oh, You Pretty Thing

Tamu McPherson shares her fashion wisdom whilst
showcasing stellar personal style on the streets of Paris

Photography by Moez Achour • Words by Elle Timms

Tamu wears: Shirt by Vivetta. Culottes by Vivetta. Sunglasses by Rejina Pyo. Shoes, stylist’s own.

With a playful approach to high fashion, Tamu McPherson has risen above the ubiquitous influencer label, successfully transitioning between the roles of photographer, fashion journalist and blogger to authentic media personality.

Born in Jamaica, where she stayed until she was six-years-old, Tamu’s family relocated to New York where she went on to study literature then law. At 29 she moved to Milan and settled, residing there with her husband and son. A stint at Glamour.it saw her progress to become something of a street style pioneer, often working both in front of and behind the lens, spending two years as the title’s editor-in-chief, before concentrating on All The Pretty Birds full time, her own concept which launched in 2008.

She meets The MOD in Paris, bringing a positive, approachable disposition and selecting a series of modest looks. Tamu’s ability to add her signature dose of colour and fun is clear. Frequently laughing and joking, she muses on modern modesty, female inspirations and dressing with personality, plus the ever-changing world of digital fashion media:

TO THE STREETS
“LEARNING ITALIAN was key for entering the fashion industry in Italy. Prior to moving there, I didn’t know anyone in fashion. After learning the language, I was able to meet Italian insiders and network in a more meaningful way. That helped me to secure projects and broaden my experience once I started working. I spent hours reading magazines and people watching – that helped me to develop my eye for street style.”

CHANGING TIMES
“THE NUMBER of photographers has increased by the dozens now. A photographer’s perspective of the [fashion week] experience is much more hectic. The industry has also evolved greatly in terms of the use of street style images. Over the past decade, street style images have become an integral part of editorial trend coverage with editors, bloggers and influencers becoming strong, influential style references. Street style pages share the space that was once predominantly dedicated to editorials starring models and market roundups. Online, the feeling is more immediate with street style images inviting clients to shop there and then.”

Sweater by Baum und Pferdgarten. Coat by Mary Katrantzou. Earrings by Racil. Shoes; stylist’s own.

tamu1

Dress by Stella Jean. Earrings by Marni. Bag by Marni. Shoes; Tamu’s own.

The internet and social media are at the driver’s wheel when it comes to the direction that media will take in the coming years

Blazer by Petar Petrov. Top by Solace London. Earrings by Christopher Kane. Jeans by M.i.h.

UNDER THE INFLUENCE
“THE ROLE of ‘influencer’ has developed quickly and is now a central part of fashion communication and marketing. The ability of influencers to connect with an audience creates important exposure and commercial opportunities for brand partners too. I am very happy to have been a part of this media revolution, first as a street style photographer, then editor, and now as a digital talent.”

THE POWER OF WOMEN
“MY MOTHER, aunt, mother-in-law and friends have influenced me the most. They all have unique qualities that inspire me to make choices that I do each day. They are women that play a great source of information on style, culture and so much more.”

MODESTLY NETWORKING
“THE INTERNET, and social media channels specifically, are allowing women of all backgrounds to share their style. It’s a phenomenon, and allowing modest style to be represented more regularly in the mainstream media and fashion industry. Designers, magazines and fashion houses are responding to it now as a fashion preference.”

 

THE RULES ARE, THERE ARE NO RULES
“IN JAMAICA we love to mix our prints and colours. There aren’t any rules, we are influenced by our tropical surroundings and naturally gravitate towards all things colourful. The Caribbean landscape is a collage of influences and this directly informs our love for mix-and-matching. When I was a little girl access to American and European fashion brands was limited so our looks were really imaginative…”

PERSONAL APPROACH
“MY STYLE is playful and adventurous. I don’t have any specific rules, I never say never. Some of my fall backs include denim, menswear inspired pieces, great outerwear and hero shoes.”

WHAT’S NEXT?
“I THINK about the future of the fashion industry every day. The internet and social media are at the driver’s wheel when it comes to the direction that media will take in the coming years. Things are moving quickly and there are many theories, but there is no certainty. The best strategy for anyone working in the industry is to maintain the quality of your expertise and dedicate resources to new platforms as they present themselves. And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun – and certainly don’t lose your passion.”

MODESTY IS…
“…Self-confidence.”

Shirt by Vivetta. Culottes by Vivetta. Sunglasses by Rejina Pyo. Shoes; stylist’s own.


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