“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.” This is how Tamu McPherson, street style photographer and fashion editor, defines her blog All the Pretty Birds. Born in Jamaica and raised in New York, today Tamu lives and works in Milan where, observing her fashion editor colleagues, the people she meets and photographs, as well as her own personal style icon (her Italian mother-in-law), she captures the trends of the moment inspired by designers and fashion enthusiasts.
Tamu stars in an exciting dance contest for shoescribe.com wearing the most beautiful shoes of the new Fall/Winter 2014-15 collections and reveals her life and career through an exclusive interview with us.
Your first shoe memory?
A pair of oxfords with buckles, bought in London at the age of 13. In the 90s you could never find anything like these in New York.
Most memorable shoes in a film.
The ones of Dorothy of course. It’s impossible not to fall in love with a pair of red sparkly shoes.
The most essential shoes for fashion week.
Sneakers – they’re also now seen on the latest runways. By now sneakers are no longer synonymous with a sporty look – you can wear them with everything – even a dress. Trendy and comfortable, I love them all: from classic models to those that are more avant-garde.
The shoes that make you dance.
Classic stiletto pumps. I love them, even if they don’t entirely reflect my style. They’re sexy and have the power to transform who wears them into a femme fatale.
Your rules for matching shoes to an outfit.
No particular rules – not even bad weather is capable of stopping me from wearing a pair of shoes. To wear floral sandals on a rainy day puts me in a great mood. In the end all you need is an umbrella!
How do you organize your shoe closet?
Those that I wear everyday – like sneakers and ankle boots – are on the floor, ready to be worn. The others are put in order according to the height of the heel: first kitten heels, then high heels. My favorite shoes are in the middle, this way I can see them better. Some are true works of art – with decorative function. In the end our wardrobes are a part of our houses.
What does your shoe collection reveal about you?
That I love shoes…and that I’m adventurous, in the sense that I like to experiment with fashion. I’m a boyish girl. I have a lot of menswear-inspired shoes but many that are frivolous, feminine and colorful.
Shoes are a feminine passion. Why?
Sporty or sophisticated? Sexy or functional? Women may be different people according to the shoes that they wear. High heels, for example, are a weapon: they make you feel more secure and help you to face a difficult situation with more determination. Shoes are possibilities!
Has Milan influenced your style? How?
The typical Italian style is more “formal” than the American one that is definitely more casual. Italian elegance is very much linked to tradition. Italian women are incredible and inspire me every day. In Italy I learned, for example, to love navy blue – it’s an extremely elegant color.
Caroline Issa, Carine Roitfeld, Yasmin Sewell, Eva Chen and many other women who work in the world of fashion. But first of all my mother-in-law! Italian and elegant, she is my quintessential style icon.
My seven-year-old son, sports, food, music… and dance.