Need a crash course on what’s happening with the streetwear scene? Simply scroll through Timothy Suen’s Instagram feed (@timsuen) for all your updates. The 23-year-old student captures the newest faces, the most covetable sneakers and latest party happenings with an artistic eye, then splices those with evocative pictures of cityscapes from his travels. He’s got an impressive resume to boot too, having worked with established names such as Hypebeast and Highsnobiety. How would you say “street” photography is disrupting the image industry? I think street photography has always been around but has been democratised through the proliferation of social media. The impact of that is that traditional, high fashion photography has become more open to accepting this “new” style. On the other hand, with many photographers jumping on this bandwagon, it becomes increasingly difficult to find and maintain your own voice. Which shot changed it all for you? I think it was a simple shot of a queue at the Supreme x Air Jordan 5 campout in Tokyo. It gained traction after Hypebeast asked me to cover it for them. That was followed by a retainer stint at Highsnobiety.
What’s your take on streetwear’s influence on high fashion? I am quite undecided on this. On one hand, I love how streetwear has become so widely accepted. Even in fashion week coverage, you can’t help but notice an increasing number of industry leaders decked in the latest streetwear pieces. This blurring of lines has given the average person an opportunity to identify himself with a more “luxe” image, something he was previously unable to. But just like urban photography, this phenomenon has become so mainstream that a majority of today’s generation have lost their personal identity. Also, with regard to streetwear collaborations with high fashion houses, they have become increasingly inaccessible with higher price points, as such defeating the purpose of streetwear brands.