Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
In the street style game, arguably no one is bigger than Tommy Ton, a photographer who rose to fame with his super-sharp pics of Fashion Week attendee's designer heels, bags, jewelry and more. Ton, who struck big deals with fashion publishers such as Style.com and GQ, is one of the most prominent photographers of his medium. So when, three days ago, he announced the death of his street style blog Jak & Jil on Instagram, it felt like just another nail in the coffin of street style coverage.
The Jak & Jil site address now redirects to TommyTon.com, where there's a portfolio of work that the photographer has done for different fashion brands and a studio contact address. Racked's staff photographer, Driely S., reported that Tommy Ton wasn't anywhere to be found outside of the shows yesterday and there a lot of speculation among many of the photographers on whether he's retiring from street style for good.
Tommy Ton is one of the highest paid photogs in the business, and Style.com and GQ regularly publish his photos from fashion weeks around the world each season. It actually appears as though he's still shooting men's street style for GQ according to this style roundup that was published on the site yesterday. As for Style.com, they published a gigantic five-year retrospective with the photographer two days ago that sounded an awful lot like the closing of a chapter.
In the retrospect, he commented that "shooting for Style.com has been the greatest opportunity, and all the friendships and memories over the years are beyond what I could have imagined. Having the freedom to capture whatever or whomever was and still is the greatest joy of my job."
He also alluded to how some of the biggest names in fashion will only stop and pose for him outside of the shows. "I never wanted to stop and speak to these individuals that I looked up to, but eventually they started recognizing me and knew what type of images I was trying to capture," he told Style.com. "So they didn't feel that I was being invasive and trusted me as I documented them running from show to show." If Tommy Ton is no longer shooting street style outside of the women's shows, there's even less of an incentive for fashion's top names to show their faces.
As for whether this signifies a larger trend in the backlash against the over-saturation of street style, only time will tell. "At times the industry has felt that the scene outside the shows is turning into a circus and detracting attention from what's important: the clothes on the runway," Tommy Ton told Style.com. "But with the growing popularity of social media, there's no stopping the phenomenon."
· True Confessions Of Street Style Photographers [Racked]
· The Reality Behind NYFW's Most Breathtaking Photographs [Racked]