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Photo Essay: The Swankers

Photo Essay: The Swankers

"If a Man Can stand up to the mirror...he can stand up to life"

TJ Lemon is a Johannesburg-based photo-journalist whose award-winning work on the Swankers, a group of men who regularly compete in dress-up competitions, won first prize in the Arts and Culture category of the 2001 World Press Photo Competition. In these pictures, he captures the story of these men, who all have regular day jobs but who spend large parts of their salaries on bespoke suits and fine leather shoes in order to be crowned the evening’s best-dressed, or swankiest (hence the name “swankers”) man. Most of the pictures were shot in the basement of a hostel in Jeppe in downtown Joburg. Judges for the competitions are amateurs randomly sourced from the streets of Joburg and paid a small stipend for their services…

“And tonight’s
king of the evening is…”

Photographer:

tj lEMON

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