Street style from The Sartorialist

The following is a partial transcript; for full story, listen to audio.

One of America’s most popular fashion bloggers, Scott Schuman is the creator of the street fashion photography blog, The Sartorialist. His new book of the same name collects some of his favorite photos from the blog. His subjects range from Hasidim on the streets of New York to garment industry insiders in Milan.

Schuman worked in the fashion industry for some time before picking up a camera.  He owned a showroom that sold fashion collections into major department stores.

By the time he was a teenager, Schuman knew he wanted to work in fashion, and while he was limited by geography, he was able to pursue his passion through the retail side of the business.

“Where I grew up in Indiana, there was no fashion business, there really was no fashion. So, the romantic idea of that world was great. I loved the romance of that kind of idea. I didn’t know any designers growing up.  I didn’t know what that lifestyle was like. 

“The only thing that I knew was what it was like to sell.  My dad did a lot of sales training videos when I was young.  I knew what it was like to sell something at the mall.  Working in a showroom, working in the sales end of it, didn’t seem that difficult.”

Then, ten years ago, Schuman started taking photographs and educating himself.

“I have always loved photography, always loved the art of it.  I knew the history of fashion photography, but I never found anything that I wanted to shoot until I had my own little kids.  I started taking pictures of them, started taking pictures of other things, and it just grew from there.”

The world of fashion photography in the last 50 years had been about creating a kind of romance that captivated Schuman as a youth. Some of the work created entire worlds in the space of six or seven photographs, but that didn’t really catch his eye.

“I loved fashion photography, and I appreciated it, but for some reason, I don’t have a lot of patience — when you watch movies, and whenever they do a fashion shoot in a movie, they are in a studio, they’ve got lighting, and all of these people around — that part had no romance to me. 

“I didn’t really know that you could just grab a camera and walk out by yourself and shoot, and get good results, beautiful images.  Once I learned more about photography, I realized that some of the best photographs I have always loved were taken in a very simple way.”

Schuman started The Sartorialist blog and posted his photographs there. Now, just a little over a year old, the blog has been selected one of “Time” magazine’s “Top 100 Design Influencers.” Schuman’s book of the same name, published this year, is a collection of some of his favorite photographs from the blog.

The brainchild of host and producer Jesse Thorn, “The Sound of Young America” is an irreverent weekly arts and entertainment interview program, described by its creator as “a public radio show about things that are awesome.”

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