Born in Jamaica. Raised in New York. Now residing in Milan.
I started taking street style photographs in 2006 for Glamour.it. Shortly after, I began writing feature pieces for Vogue Pelle and became a contributor at Elle Italia. I launched All the Pretty Birds in November 2008. Before becoming Editor-in-Chief of Grazia.it in February 2011, a position that I held until September 2013, I had the great pleasure of contributing to amazing publications and websites such as Glamour U.S., Harper’s Bazaar U.S., Metro and Renery 29. After leaving Grazia.It, I held the position of Style Director at Out There, an international creative agency.
Resume aside, I am a lion, distracted daydreamer, hopeless romantic, legally blond, pretty in pink, fiercely loyal, genetically engineered to seek out the happiness of my loved ones, simplistically idealistic, champion for the underdog, too sensitive at times, and just plain human.
Tamu McPherson ~ VOGUE
For Her fashion is playing, dressing-up and being real.
A creative blogger, street style photographer, her looks inspired designers and common people. Tamu immortalizes the style of the moment, foreseeing the trends and catching their essence. Jamaica-born, she lived in New York and now moved to Milan for love and fashion.
“Fashion occupies a large space in my life. My love for fashion started when I was very young, I was the only child in my family so my mother and my aunt basically just dressed me up all day. They played like I was a doll and they would change my outfit and my hair for multiple snapshots. Now I’m super excited because I work in fashion.”
“My style is very adventurous, but I’m conscious because I realized that I can’t wear everything I want so I always step back especially here in Milan, but I love following the trends and experimenting with the trends. But I don’t go too far with because certain things are just not for me. I love dressing up: today I want to be a business man, but tomorrow, maybe, I want to be a ballerina.”
“I was born in Jamaica and I lived there for six years and then I moved to NY and I basically grew up in NY and then moved to Italy when I was 29. I still have some family in Jamaica, not a lot but most of my family is in the States, California and Miami, or in the UK. But my new family is in Milan, my husband and my 3 year old child.”
“I am a street style photographer and I publish a street style blog. I started my career as a street styler photographer four years ago in Milan after meeting Luca Lanzoni, from italian Glamour: Luca asked me to take pictures in the streets and I really fell in love immediately. But in my family you were a doctor or a lawyer or work in finance, so before becoming a street style photographer I studied law and finance, then I worked briefly in New York as an attorney and then in finance, but I’ve always wanted to work in fashion and here I am, I take picture of stylish people.”
What I do
“Basically I take pictures of people in the streets, people whose style I like, people wearing a trend I think It’s amazing or trend developing. Some people have just amazing style and you want to take pictures. And I go to the fashion shows in Milan, New York and Paris.”
“Now I’m starting to develop my technique and I’m starting to do some research and found some masters and trying to emulate their work, but It’s a growing process, a long process you have to reflect and think why do I like that style. I think It’s definitely an evolution.”
“If I’m working, shooting street style, I definitely tend to be more practical and comfortable. I wear flats during the day I’m really into denim right now.”
“I like to be glamorous, we are in Milan and there are a lot of elegant ladies out there. The best thing about fashion playing is dressing up. I really enjoy myself: you can be like a fourteen year old for the rest of your life if you really want to.”
“Get to know your personal style and own it.”
“I’m really influenced by street style, by my friends and my family and one of the most stylish persons I love is my mother in law: I always talk about her in my blog. She is amazing, she is a total intellectual, but she’s so elegant. She’s ladylike. She’s a great eye not only for fashion but for décor and she also helps me a lot with my apartment. And she inspires me every single day.”
“I don’t have a favourite designer because there are so many talented designers out there so I basically fall in love with season and different aspects of each designer’s style. But in Milan I love Miuccia Prada, so avant-garde and timeless, Miu Miu, Stefano Pilati, Yves Saint Laurentand from New York Marc Jacobs. I like to look at the collections to evaluate all the pieces and see what pieces work for me.”
“I moved to Milan 5 years ago, I met my husband in NY about ten years ago. Living in Milan has been amazing first of all because it’s located near so many other european cities within an hour and a half you can be in any other capital. So location is a plus, but the city and lifestyle is amazing. Italians know how to live life, how to enjoy life and the culture is so rich, people enjoy themselves, they have wonderful restaurants and they have La Scala and everyone attends. It’s not as fast as New York, but there is always something happening in terms of art; there’s always an exhibition to see and the there is fashion week and Salone del mobile which is a huge international furniture and design fair. And sport is really big they ski during the winter and in the summer they go to the beach and it’s very important and influences fashion.”
“I’m a crazy shopper because I shop everywhere and for the fact that I’m always on the street I literally shop everywhere. Now I’m so into no name boutiques, in Milan, I like via Torino, Corso Magenta. I like to go to Zara, Miu Miu, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Antonioli, Antonia, 10 Corso Como. I go everywhere and I like to go to the stores specialized in ethnic clothes for the colours and amazing jewellery and accessories and I’ll go to the markets in San Marco on mondays where I buy some fish, flowers, chicken and I’ll buy shoes because they have the most amazing ones from last season’s collections.”
“I love heels and platforms but I reserve them for evenings, events or appointments where I don’t have to walk too far.”
“I love marzapane.”
“I love music I don’t have one genre. I listen to everything, I could find a song in every genre. I adore Cesaria Evora, when I listen to her music I’m in a trance, she’s amazing. If I listen to hip hop I like JC. I can’t get enough of music.”
“I go to the movies, but I like horrible things like girl flicks. I like Pretty in Pink and all the Breakfast Clubmovies and I like Legally Blond. If I have a moment to watch a film I just want to kind of sit there and relax and I don’t need to be intellectually challenged.”
“Irving Penn for street style and for portrait photography and Helmut Newton too. You look at their images and you are, like, Wow!”
“I love Jackson Pollock and my son’s name is Piero Jackson, Piero was his grandfather and Jackson for Pollock when I look at his work I am, like, always blown away.”
“You have no limit with fashion.”
“I love the story behind an object and a cloth, it’s really interesting, that’s way I like to be a street style photographer.”
“My camera is my baby. I use it every day and sometimes I spend more time with my camera than with my family.”
We love her because
She could be a street style icon she photographs. Her approach to people is curious, nice and exciting. For her, fashion is playing, dressing-up and being yourself.
Founder, All the Pretty Birds; Photographer. Milan
Like anyone with a pulse and even a passing interest in fashion, we’re long, long time fans of Tamu McPherson. Her approach to fashion is everything we love about street style (without feeling over-the-top or peacock-y): it’s exuberant, and experimental, and just makes us happy. She mixes colors, textures and prints with abandon (she pins her approach on her Jamaican roots) and somehow pulls it off, too. She has a healthy appetite for Céline, Gucci, and all of the glossiest labels, but styles them in the sort of low key way that makes them feel effortless, not overtly orchestrated or show off-y. In short, you get the sense that she actually has fun when she gets dressed every morning—which is kind of the point, and increasingly overlooked. (Are you starting to see a pattern with our Milanese Coveteurs, or is it just us?)
And so, when the stars finally aligned and we miraculously found ourselves in the same place (Milan), at the same time (two weeks ago), we knew we were in for a really good time. To put it one way, McPherson’s closet was essentially the equivalent of a playground to us—we didn’t want to leave. After giving us the grand tour of her Pepto pink (what else?) walled walk-in shoe closet, Tamu showed us to the clothing rack she dutifully had pre-loaded with a (generously stuffed to the gills) selection of everything she’s obsessing over at the moment. From Christopher Kane, to Proenza Schouler and Acne to relative newcomers like Rosie Assoulin and Johanna Ortiz, McPherson’s wardrobe essentially reads like a shortlist of designers defining ‘cool’—both on the street and off.
Find her at: https://www.instagram.com/tamumcpherson
Photography courtesy: Tamu McPherson