When I started writing about fashion in 2004, street style photographers were not yet a breed. Well, at least not in the Western world. But with advent of The Sartorialist in 2005, that all changed. Today, just about every fashion related website, blog, what-have-you boasts some form of street style photography.
And while Scott Schuman, founder of The Sartorialist, may be the pioneer, he is no longer alone in his work. The streets surrounding fashion week runways have become flooded with a special type of paparazzi--the kind who you want to be bothered by.
Other than a good blog post, and some great inspiration, what do street style photographers get out of this work? Well, if they're smart, they'll leverage it to score other projects. Think about it: Garance Dore's collaboration with Gap, her work for British Elle and Club Monaco, Schuman's Burberry campaign, Tommy Ton's Style.com retainer--none of these would have happened without those trusty blogs.
So that's how we determined 2010's Most Influential Street Style Bloggers. Much like our personal style bloggers' list, this isn't wholly scientific. However, we did consider a number of factors, including: blog traffic, overall appeal, notoriety, and maybe most important--big deals, placements, or campaigns that can be credited to the blog's influence.
We've narrowed the field down to the 10 best. Are your favorites well-represented?
1. Garance Doré
Her relationship with fellow photographer Scott Schuman may get more ink than praise for her talent, but counting out Garance Doré would be a travesty. If we were media planners, we'd be buying ad space on her site. Doré's fans are twenty and thirty-something women who have money to spend. And they'll often spend it on items the photog herself is after, or pieces worn by her always-beautiful subjects. We're inspired everyday by Garance.
2. Bill Cunningham
Bill may be old school, but don't count him out just yet. Not only has he paved the way for this new generation of style catchers, but he also reaches more people than any of the others could even begin to imagine, both through the New York Times Sunday Styles section and on the paper's website.
I sat next to Cunningham once at a show in Paris, and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life--we talked Balenciaga and Alaia. The rest of the conversation I'll keep for myself, because it was too special to go blathering on about.
3. Phil Oh
Phil Oh, the mastermind behind The Streetpeeper, is not only a great photog, he's also a great businessperson. While he's sure to impress with images during Fashion Month, his real talent is in selling those images to magazines throughout the year, and selling lots of other stuff, too. He's got about a million projects going on at once, and that's why he'll remain successful.
4. Rei Shito
Street style photography has been a huge part of Japanese culture for years, so it's no surprise Rei Shito, who's worked at magazines dedicated to street style in the past, is the master.
5. Yvan Rodic
Photog Ivan Rodic travels all over Europe for the best street style, and his attention to detail shows in each look. Proof of his success? Lots of traffic to Facehunter's Blogspot home, and a book, which was released earlier this year.
6. Vanessa Jackman
Australian-born, London-based professional photog Jackman is our personal favorite, mostly because she shoots tons of people, from fashion starlets to real girls and boys. You can also see the former lawyer's work in pretty much every international glossy.
7. Scott Schuman
The man who--save for Bill Cunningham--started it all, Schuman's transformed his work into a form of celebrity. He's constantly at the top of these sorts of lists, and has also done big campaigns for the likes of Burberry and DKNY. We're unsure if his day in the sun is about to begin or end. If he and Dore actually are starring in their own television show, then Schuman's fashion stock may begin to plummet, but his notoriety is sure to rise.
8. Tommy Ton
9. Maya Villiger
Los Angeles-based Villiger may not have as much name recognition as the others on this list, but that's sure to change very soon. We love her mix of still portraits and collage.
Hanneli may be as well known for her personal style as she is for her photography, but believe us--her standing on this list is well earned. The former model just happens to rival her subjects when it comes to good outfits.