John Tan is a fashion stylist and casting director.
He is a secret bullet of the fashion industry. A believer in paying dues the old school way, with genuine favors and the right kind of back-scratching, Tan is finally getting his due as a team builder, respected stylist, and go-to-guy for finding just the right models.
He was born in Hong Kong and raised in New York, his eclectic resume includes stints as magazine art director, fashion show producer, and early on, a graphic designer at a publication that had more to do with fish than fashion.
Tan aims to keep it humble. He tells his own story as a creative individual who paid some dues, just happened upon styling, then gravitated toward casting as a happy coincidence.
One significant break came in 2005, as designer Raf Simons asked Tan to cast models for his first and only presentation in New York. Typically, the casting director works in a world of beautiful children, ushered into fashion by demanding agents, anxious parents and fickle designers. And it’s occasionally staffed by some infantile personalities who should have grown up, like, twenty years ago.
John Tan is one of the rare fashion players who have built their reputation on a code of respect given, respect earned. He’d rather share the location of his favorite Vietnamese pho joint in Chinatown, than throw back drinks at the new, swanky hot-spot.
Courtesy and diplomacy are key for him, but most important is a kind of mind reading, an ability to take a designer’s cues and translate them to the boys finally tapped to walk.
Tan’s notable clients include Ansel Elgort, Jake Gyllenhaal and Adam Driver.
Check his online magazine HERE