Meet the Aussie Design Duo of NYC-Based Brand Tome

April 26, 2019

Aussie expats Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo met in 1998 while studying fashion at the University Technology. At just 19 years old, the duo made a pact that one day they’d establish a fashion label of their own. After graduating, each forged their own paths within the industry (Ramon went on to become a designer at J. Mendel and Derek Lam, while Ryan worked as one of Australia’s most popular fashion stylists) before reuniting in 2010. 

Together, Ramon and Ryan launched Tome in Fall 2013. The NYC-based brand has become known for their clean lines, sharp tailoring, and focus on social and environmental responsibility. We sat down with the pair to talk art, style and sustainability.

Inside the Spring 2019 Collection

What was the inspiration?

Ramon: The focus of the collection was to make women feel powerful, but at ease.

Ryan: We’re really inspired by the female impressionist artists of the 18th century. If you don’t know who Mary Cassatt is, look her up.

What piece is the most rent-worthy?

Anything tie-dyed. It’s the season of color.

RIGHT: CANDY STRIPE DRESS, CENTER: TAN KARATE PANTS, LEFT: CONTRAST TRIM TOP

Fun Fact About the Collection:

The blue-and-yellow tie-dyed dress is made from temple flowers found throughout India.


The Shift to Sustainability

In 2014, Tome launched The White Shirt Project with Freedom For All—an organization which fights human trafficking and slavery. The partnership was an impetus for Ryan and Ramon to reexamine their own supply chain with an ethical eye. That meant shifting to transparent processes, producing locally to offset waste, and regularly visiting their factories to ensure the welfare of the female employees.

Sustainable Quick Tip:

Ryan: Never throw anything out. You’ll always find a new use for it.

Ramon: You could hoard everything like Ryan, or just do what I do and bike to work.

Now, Let’s Get Personal

What’s your morning routine like?

Ramon: Coffee, toast, paper, bike ride.

Ryan: Tea, green smoothie, instagram, meditate in car.

What’s the first thing you do when you get into the studio?

Ramon: Water the plants.

Ryan: Drink more tea.

Describe Your Workspace in One Word:

Ramon: Order

Ryan: Chaos

When the day is over, how do you unwind?

Ramon: A cocktail.

Ryan: Many cocktails.

Last read, podcast or Netflix binge?

Ramon: Time magazine with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the cover.

Ryan: Elena Ferrante’s Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay.