It’s been 10 years since Scott Schuman, better known to the world as ‘The Sartorialist’, launched his eponymous fashion blog. The 47-year-old's latest tome candidly documents the clothing culture of people from places such as Bhutan and Bali to the four fashion capitals.
“That’s always what I wanted my books to be but when I started, I didn’t have any money and I could only go to places where Style.com or GQ would send me, and that was London, Paris or Milan”, explains the New York-based snapper.
Now, making “a little more money”, Schuman can jet set himself around the globe to show fashion in all its diversity, while still finding time for some of his favorite cities, like Milan, where we caught up with him.
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How does your new book differ from your previous three tomes?
I think it’s my best book so far. It’s more diverse — there are photographs from Peru, Dubai, Bhutan, Bali, Mumbai, Varanasi, South Africa, Morocco, plus the traditional fashion capitals (New York, Paris, Milan and London). …The thing I’m most proud of with this book is that you never know where you are going to be on the next page. The photographs are hopefully nice portraits of these people and their clothes help create the idea of who these people might be.
Do you think street style has changed the face of fashion?
Yes. Before I think fashion felt a little too elitist. … When we started shooting people in the street, whether they were wearing designer clothes or vintage or whatever, we saw a great variety of people: tall, short, fat, skinny, people with a lot of money, some with very little money — it just made it more realistic.
How has the street style world evolved since you started?
There were always people shooting street style, like Bill Cunningham, but he was focusing very much on New York and a little bit on Paris. I was the first to do it on an international level and on the Internet — the most modern medium. When I started, there weren’t many people doing that. Now there are a lot of people doing this; some do it better than others. I still like my pictures to be good portraits of the people and the clothes help create the story of who that person might be.
What is your personal definition of style?
One of the most important elements of style is consistency. People who jump around from one thing to another tend to look a bit like a fashion victim because there is no underlying consistency in terms of the way they dress. The people I know, who I think are very stylish, always look like themselves.