Theo Sion

Theo Sion is a London based photographer who has shot our most recent look books. He’s renowned for his subversive take on normality and twisting the mundane in his works and recently was nominated to be one of the Dazed 100.  We grab a few minutes with him to ask him if photography is really art and what exactly ‘subverting the norm’ means.


Do you recall your first memory of McQ ?

Actually yes. My brother shooting something for McQ when I was about 16; the model was the same age as me and went to a school not far from mine. He said to her something like “oh you probably know my brother”—she didn’t at the time but we met soon after and have been friends ever since!


Why do you think you and McQ were such a great marriage?

I think I’ve got a good understanding of the direction and atmosphere of the brand from the campaigns—I loved the one of a masked Kati Nescher in a doorway by David Sims, and Frank Lebon in clown make-up by Steven Klein.


You’re known for “subverting the norm” what does that mean to you?

I’ve always been interested in archetypes and borrowing from pre-existing visual languages as a way of communicating an idea. When I first saw Saul Steinberg’s ‘Techniques at a Party’ a lot of things made sense to me.


Talk to us about the brilliant biannual magazine “Hot and Cool” you create with Alice Goddard, what is the criteria for the content inside and why did you start it? 

There’s no specific criteria for the magazine. The content comes from whatever Alice, me, and our contributors are interested in over that 6-months.


What was your first picture you ever took? 

I think it was probably my parents on holiday, I remember my dad explaining how to half-press the shutter.


And the last you took on your phone? 

There’s one of a bit of paper with a wifi password, and one of a really nice tap.


What to you makes a “good” picture? 

I think that’s probably a very instinctive thing.


Is photography art? 



And who or what would be your ideal subject? 

I watched Ghost World last night, so Thora Birch!