In the past Schuman has been pretty outspoken about his success and his general disgust for mainstream fashion media. He continues the dialogue (rant?) in the latest issue of GQ, which hits newsstands May 22. Schuman spouts off to Alex Pappademas about everything from why blogs are better than magazines (historically one of his favorite topics) to his complicated relationship with Dolce & Gabbana. Even Kanye West pops up in the story to offer some worshipful quotes about Schuman. Click through for the highlights of the very entertaining story, which you can read in full here.
•Schuman threw a lunch for some of his favorite street style subjects, and no one recognized Kanye West when he walked into the room:
And then a guy in a white tuxedo jacket walks in, and even after Schuman introduces him, there are definitely some people who don’t know who the guy in the white tuxedo jacket is or what he does for a living, which is funny, because the guy in the white tuxedo jacket is Kanye West.
•Kanye West wants to get into photography and invent a new camera:
Kanye talks about how the flash on the BlackBerry blows out people’s faces when you try to take their picture with it. He says he wants to invent a camera where the flash comes at the subject from the side, somehow. He says this to no one and everyone, as if maybe someone here will take a note, jump on this sideways-flash project immediately.
•Kanye will drop everything for Schuman:
“Scott gave me my first opportunity to be photographed in a different light than the normal rap way. So anytime Scott does anything, I don’t care where I am in the world, I’ll be there.”
•On other fashion blogs:
On one level, they’re competition, pure and simple. But Schuman also wants them to succeed. He wants more advertisers to funnel money they currently spend on print ads into dedicated blog-ad budgets instead; for that to happen, independent bloggers need to become as central to the fashion mediascape as magazines. To put it in Daniel Plainview terms, he wants the overall milkshake to be bigger so he can drink more of it. (The shake is already pretty rich. Schuman assures me with a grin that his site turns a healthy profit…
•On recounting how he wanted to make Ron Frasch, the chief merchandising officer at Saks, pay attention to him:
“He’s looking right over my head,” Schuman says, “and I remember thinking, I’m gonna make this fucking blog so he looks at me when I’m talking to him.”
“It shocks me when young kids still say, ‘I want to do a magazine,’ ” he says. “Really? Do you want to do a magazine because you want to be an editor—what you think that life is, that romance—or do you want to communicate? Because if you want to communicate, why the fuck would you put all those obstacles in your path and have to print pages, as opposed to going right on the Internet and actually communicating?”
•On trying to protect his subjects from “mean” blog commenters:
He probably won’t put the guy’s picture on the blog, he says, to protect him from getting ripped in the comments section. He’s careful about that; he’ll sometimes wade in and tell someone who’s being not-so-chic to take it elsewhere. “I don’t want people to be mean to him,” he says.
•On sitting front row with other bloggers at that “historic” 2009 Dolce & Gabbana show:
“They got a humongous amount of press,” Schuman says. “Look, we brought the bloggers in and gave them the front row. Look at the dancing-monkey bloggers! I could barely bring myself to sit down.” It’s true, in the picture he almost looks like he’s trying to escape. “Like, ‘Ugh, I don’t want everyone looking at us.’ Like, Oh, look at the cute bloggers! Isn’t that cute! Are they playing Angry Birds?”
•On his complicated relationship with Dolce & Gabbana:
Last season Dolce asked Schuman to host a party for them during Pitti Uomo, for free, and he said no—not so much because they wouldn’t pay him, he says, but because Pitti Uomo’s his busiest period and they wanted him to host a party at four o’clock in the afternoon, prime shooting time—and so they wouldn’t give him and Garance tickets to their womenswear show later that year. And then the day after that show, someone from Dolce & Gabbana actually e-mailed Schuman, he says, and asked him if he’d come to this fence-mending breakfast meeting, and Schuman didn’t even write them back.