Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist visited Coach on Michigan Avenue in Chicago for a Q&A breakfast “The Future Of Fashion Media” moderated by Susanna Negovan, Spash Editor of the Chicago Sun Times. Much admired by all of the editors and bloggers at the event, Scott was very candid and humble as he told us about how he started ‘The Sartorialist’. He “had nothing to loose” and though the fact that he was started a blog was actually kind of embarrassing, he knew he was “pretty good at photography” (now I wonder if he really needed to improve) but knew that his love of fashion and style would be best expressed with photos. No one was doing this at the time.
Scott thought the idea of street shooting all day would be romantic but found out it is actually hard work. He started out walking with his camera, but now rides his bike to get around. He dose not like to stay in one place, “I am like shark” and he likes to move around. Scott told us exciting stories, one was about getting just the right shot of a shirtless man in Italy “you could see every muscle in his body, the lighting was just right, like a Caravaggio,” he told us.
Susanna asked him if anyone ever turned him down for a photo, and he said, “Yes a few times.” “But you are The Sartorialist!” she said. He said he never tells anyone who he is, and when he shoots his subjects, he always wants to make sure they are comfortable. Scott told us he takes a few shots and says, “OK thanks, I think we got what we need.” But then he takes a few more really quickly, because then they almost always relax!
I love the photos in his latest book The Sartorialst: Closer. I can flip through and see how Schuman truly captures people’s style, and they can be wearing everything from inexpensive to high-end pieces. Scott explained he disposes the look of head-to-toe designer labels, and his photos are not about fashion as much as about the people, their style and the moment he can capture. His best advice about his success was that he always strives to do his best.
– Carol Calacci
Photos: Second City Style