Islandistas we love: Tamu McPherson the fashionista photographer

Equal parts style star and style spotter, photographer Tamu McPherson is a fashion favourite whose influential street style blog All the Pretty Birds is cited by Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and beloved by celebrities such as Tracee Ellis Ross.

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross - seen at right showing one of her Tamu-inspired outfits, is a big fan of the Jamaican-born blogger.

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross – seen at right showing one of her Tamu-inspired outfits, is a big fan of the Jamaican-born blogger.

The Jamaican-born, New York-raised fashion blogger moved to Milan in 2005 with her Italian husband and their son, a move that allowed the former attorney and finance professional to explore her heart’s true desire–fashion.

The Jamaican lenswoman is often photographed herself due to her distinctive style. (Photo credit: Hugh Findletar via Lucky Magazine)

The Jamaican lenswoman is often photographed herself due to her distinctive style. (Photo credit: Hugh Findletar via Lucky Magazine)

An introduction to a senior editor at Glamour.it in 2006 got her a commission to do street style photography. While the concept was still fairly new at the time and Tamu was not a professional or even amateur photographer, she took on the challenge and thrived.

She started All the Pretty Birds in November 2008 and it has brought her acclaim and opportunities since then, such as her two-year stint as the editor-in-chief of Grazia.it. She now focuses solely on her blog and travels the world covering street style in the fashion capitals – New York, London, Paris and her own hometown of Milan.

Despite her corporate career origins, Tamu had a long-time love for fashion which was nurtured as a child by her Jamaican mother and aunt who taught her the magic of playing dress up.

“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, ”she told Vogue Italia.

Her sense of style has won her as many kudos as her photography. It shows off her skilful mixing of bright colours and prints, and clearly shows the influence of her vibrant native island.

“I was born in Kingston, where everything is bursting with colour. I can still clearly see the vibrant flowers, peach houses and tropical prints,” Tamu told Lucky Magazine, where she is now a contributing editor.

(This article first appeared in Islandista (Barbados) Magazine, Summer 2014 edition)

 

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