By Katie James
March 14, 2014

The phenomenon of Japanese street style his inspired immeasurable fascination among academics, fashion enthusiasts, and travelers alike. For New York-based photographer and filmmaker Thomas C. Card—it was a calling.

Tokyo Adorned,Card’s new book, available starting this week, is the result of months of pre-production planning; weeks spent roaming the city’s streets scouting girls; and hours upon hours of studio time photographing each individual.

What began as a study of how subjects fit into Tokyo’s various “fashion tribes” soon developed into a broader examination of style.

“By shooting each person in the studio, as opposed to on the busy streets of Tokyo, I was able to understand the true depth of commitment each had to defining his or her own unique identity,” Card said. “I soon realized that the rules of dress I had anticipated for membership in a tribe were no longer relevant.”

The resulting 54-subject portfolio is a celebration of how style shapes and defines identity. “Fashion revolves around trends, but true style comes from an understanding of yourself,” Card explained.

Today’s release marks the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan in 2011. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Second Harvest Japan, the country’s only nationwide food bank.Katie James is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.