Street Style Photography May Be a Circus, But Scott Schuman Feels Okay About It

The founder of The Sartorialist says that in some ways, the growing numbers of street style bloggers make his life easier.
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Eliza Brooke
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The founder of The Sartorialist says that in some ways, the growing numbers of street style bloggers make his life easier.
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Although street style photography scene outside the fashion shows has reached a fever pitch, The Sartorialist's Scott Schuman says it doesn't stress him out. As the granddaddy of street style blogging put it in a talk at SoHo's Apple store on Thursday evening: "I'll let everybody else get caught up in the circus."

Schuman says that rather than complaining about the dozens of imitators that have proliferated since he founded his site in 2005, he's simply changed up the way that he shoots. In fact, he seems to be taking a surprisingly sunny attitude toward the throngs, noting that they have made it easier for him to move around unnoticed.

"When I go to the shows now, if anything now I'm less interested in shooting editors, and I'm walking around the standing line or the back part of it trying to find — you know, I don't want to say 'the next Anna dello Russo,' — but the next person that piques my curiosity, that I don't know," he says.

The desire to seek out those who express an honesty and realness in the way they dress is something Schuman has said before, and that's not changing. And it's generally the subjects he knows less well, or not at all, that make for the best shots, since it's easier to see them in the "perfect, romantic" way that he'd like to see them.

Although many have said that street style photography has lost the integrity it once had, Schuman says that the big story in street style mania is that people feel more connected to fashion today than ever before, a point that many miss. Rather than being an impenetrable pack dressed in black, editors are something akin to approachable rock stars.

"I think now a lot of people that say they have a blog or they're taking pictures now — a lot of those pictures are never going to make it anywhere," Schuman says. "I think what's really happening is that [there are] people that want to meet Franca Sozzani because she's their hero, and now because they've got a camera they've got a reason to go up and talk to her, whereas they might have been too embarrassed before."