On the drive to Washington, D.C. Tuesday evening to attend Scott Schuman’s book signing in support for his second anthology of street-fashion photographs titled The Sartorialist: Closer, I started to think about the remarkable time that we live in. Greatly attributed to the Internet, geographical distances are virtually no longer a barrier to connecting people. This holds true for much of what we do at Ledbury and was also my initial draw to The Sartorialist when I discovered Schuman’s blog years ago. Through Schuman’s photographs, we are given a glimpse into the lives of people living in the cities that he frequently photographs such as New York, Paris and Milan, as well as other cities further away from the fashion capitals such as Tokyo, Stockholm, Johannesburg, and Madrid. With a diverse subject matter spanning race, gender, profession, and age, Schuman’s photographs transcend beyond capturing the latest trends in fashion by providing a live documentation of the numerous facets of contemporary life. Being one to never shy away from sharing his opinions on a subject that he is particularly well versed – style, Schuman’s “call it as I see it” personality has been received as coming off as harsh in recent years. When it was time to have my copy of Closer (a copy I pre-ordered from Amazon as soon as the book was announced) signed, he greeted me with an unpretentious “Hi Brian, I’m Scott.” I took a seat beside him and began to tell him the abridged version of how he has had a huge impact on my work as a photographer and blogger over the last three years. Far from the person Schuman is portrayed as in interviews, I found him to be incredibly gracious as he listened to everything I had to say. As I walked away, he breaks from greeting the next person in line, looks up to me and says, “Keep up the hard work.” Our meeting lasted no longer than 5 minutes and felt no different than when the kid offers Mean Joe Green a bottle of Coke after the game. This was actually my second time meeting The Sartorialist with the first being at his last book signing in Washington, DC three years ago. Meeting one of your heroes on a once per three-year average is no small feat and this speaks highly of Scott’s accessibility. This does not come as a surprise because his work is incredibly accessible. The Sartorialist created a niche and you wouldn't be hard pressed to find a similar version of “me” in a countless number of cities globally. On a final note: I noticed that Scott was wearing a pair of double monk strap dress shoes – a possible style tip he picked up from his friend and frequent subject, Lino Ieluzzi, who’s style we profiled earlier this week on our blog. -BM
December 21, 2012 — Ledbury