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August 31, 2009 at 10:41 am
I hope he hasnt' given up either. who knows, he might just make it out of the slums one day.
http://www.justnorman.blogspot.com/the blog that no one knows about
August 31, 2009 at 10:42 am
He doesn't even look that homeless! The peacoat is nice, and the jean-short is very au courant and pairing it with trousers might even become a trend. Leave it to Scott to find the most stylish homeless man.Fascinating.
Bibi in wonderland
I definitely agree with you. This shot conveys a sense of hope and dignity that's really moving.
August 31, 2009 at 10:43 am
I feel you on this one. Great photo.
You are so right! I think this man has a really interesting charisma and the matching colors are so nice.
August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am
Yes he hasn't given up ! He is so elegant even homeless ! A kind of consciousnes and love for himself. I visit your site everyday but never leaves comment except today. I appreciate a lot your insight for people and your "humanity". Sunny Side
August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am
August 31, 2009 at 10:47 am
Scott, this is EXACTLY why I visit your site everyday. I never know when I am going to be moved. "…hasn't lost his need to communicate and express himself through style." Well put. This blog is the perfect example of style and substance. Thank you.
August 31, 2009 at 10:48 am
This is the essence of New York…the old New York.
Teresa @ good-grace
oh. my. Not to sound trite, but this is one I'll remember forever. I'm hoping you are right – that this gentleman had not given up hope.
Aia Phillip D'Onofrio
August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am
August 31, 2009 at 10:54 am
beautifully said… brings tears to my eyes. inspiring as always but done differently today.
August 31, 2009 at 10:55 am
Wonderful photograph, really beautiful and moving at the same time.
I don't usually shoot people, either, but I'm glad you took this picture and shared it.
August 31, 2009 at 10:56 am
That is awesome!Beautiful really!
Well put. You can just tell by looking at him that there's some sense of style wanting to be unleashed.
August 31, 2009 at 10:58 am
I feel touch for the sincerity of your testimony. Your sensibility for keep the respect for this men who have dignity and self style even in a hard situation of life.
The blue shoes are AWESOME
(Sorry for my bad bad english, jajaja)
August 31, 2009 at 10:59 am
Really cool pix… I guess he would like it :)
August 31, 2009 at 11:01 am
judging from the confidence and silent challenge of his pose he surely din not give up.
it's an inspiring shot.
August 31, 2009 at 11:02 am
A beautiful photo and a powerful presence in this gentleman. Thank you for sharing this.
August 31, 2009 at 11:03 am
It's a beautiful shot of a strong man. You can tell this man has been hardened, but he hasn't been broken.
Thank you for this photograph.
Wonderful. In all its truest sense.;)
Something strange: since 9.00 AM, they're no comment!!!! It's very strange on the Sartorialist. So I'm the first one to post about this man: this is the true style. It's not about what you are wearing, but it's an energy coming from the inside. And this homeless is the perfect exemple that could be find. BRAVO.
August 31, 2009 at 11:06 am
I love this photo, what it is and what it represents. Something to save for your second book perhaps?
August 31, 2009 at 11:07 am
Are you sure that he is homeless? He is dressed a bit warmly for summer. In any event, he looks amazing. Seriously. As for taking pictures of homeless people, I have mixed feelings. Sometimes, when roaming around the city with my camera, I have been asked by some to take their pictures. I think that it can make a person feel relevant and visible again. Anyway, good capture.
August 31, 2009 at 11:08 am
Thanks for this, Scott. Good job and thoughtful commentary.
August 31, 2009 at 11:10 am
What a incredible sense of blending the colors of blue. He is certainly more put together some people with homes/apt walking around NY.
I think it is a beautiful photo and you've captured his self-expression. Thank you for sharing your work.
August 31, 2009 at 11:11 am
PS When I was younger I worked in Washington D.C. (I'm Canadian). I volunteered in a large homeless shelter downtown in my spare time. (I'd never in my life seen anything so big.) What struck me was the art work in the shelter. Over the years many very talented people had passed through there and left evidence of their visual creativity and immensely powerful self-expression. It really stayed with me.
August 31, 2009 at 11:12 am
I like this post, Sart. There are a lot of homeless people near where I live and I notice that they have a lot of creativity and ingenuity. I respect them and this man as well!
Amen. Great post! I first noticed his size and how he is totally occupying the space. Then the books and the beard, the glasses, the gloves, the pants (very clean fellow, I must say – sort of spotless in fact – a major feat for many who live on the street).
Most of all, I noticed how your title matches so well with your subject.
August 31, 2009 at 11:13 am
Scott, what was your interaction with this man like? I'm sure, like all your other subjects, you asked his permission to photograph him, so what did he say to you?
August 31, 2009 at 11:16 am
Thank you so much for this image and for your words. I have just posted an article about your sens of style and your umanity on my blog ! What a coincidence !Sorry for my poor english but I wanted to let you know how moved I am by your pictures and this one especialy.
"what did I do to be so black and blue?"
Love the posture, beard, layers, and blue glasses!
the F word
August 31, 2009 at 11:17 am
i want thsoe boots!!!!!
August 31, 2009 at 11:18 am
Thumbs up :D
August 31, 2009 at 11:20 am
August 31, 2009 at 11:21 am
If it weren't for the thoughtful text to the photo, one might be a bit troubled! But it's beautiful. It's powerful. It turns things around.
This photo says a whole lot.
Chou Chou Design
August 31, 2009 at 11:22 am
I find Homeless people having the most creative style a lot of times. The way they layer/ coloring/ mixing patterns are so powerful! I always find them inspiring. You said this photo isn't about fashion. What is Fashion anyway? I thought this is pretty fashionable.
August 31, 2009 at 11:28 am
You almost wouldn't think he's homeless…
August 31, 2009 at 11:29 am
I like it. Self expression is important for everyone. Thanks for this perspective.
August 31, 2009 at 11:32 am
…also, i believe the colors of the outfit not being washed out also help. Do I make sense at all?
August 31, 2009 at 11:36 am
Amazing shot; I can see why you were drawn to him!
August 31, 2009 at 11:40 am
Yes – power and grace.
August 31, 2009 at 11:45 am
It's so easy to believe that homeless people are down on their luck, but really they have a freedom the rest of us in society do not. The chaos of uncertainty can yield a freedom that eludes the rest of us with our perfectly clean lives…
August 31, 2009 at 11:55 am
So, are you sure he's homeless or is that an assumption? You mention that you barely stopped walking to take the picture, so I imagine you didn't speak to him. Do you know anything about his circumstances or how "down on his luck" he is, or are you creating a story for him in your mind? Interesting that everyone so far has bought into the narrative. There are many levels between Bryant Park and shelter…
August 31, 2009 at 11:57 am
Just read the article in British Vogue over the weekend and was struck by this photo.
I'm so glad you're getting the recognition you deserve, and that you shine the spotlight on others.
August 31, 2009 at 11:59 am
que chuleria.. Ilove the photo and the man
August 31, 2009 at 12:10 pm
Clothes don't make a man. They only reflect his character. Homeless or not, this gentleman definitely has an elegant soul.
i have to admit that i can not help to feel that this is a very romanticized way to look at – whenever i encountered homeless, which is fairly often considering living in New York and taking subway everyday- as much as i felt a sense of sorrow for the misfortune – the forever question has always fell back to the "why" and "how" – this is really a wonderful picture and i can definitely tell where "the style" came from – but again, for this handsome gent (i think we can all agree that he is or was handsome) with obvious a natural sense of style, i question how he ended up on the street??? ….thanks for posting this and it certainly provoked my thoughts, which is a good thing for Monday morning :D, xoxo
August 31, 2009 at 12:11 pm
He's got style… you gotta give him that.
August 31, 2009 at 12:16 pm
Are you SURE he's homeless?
Paolo Convertito Blasio
August 31, 2009 at 12:17 pm
wow love this post.
check my blog:
August 31, 2009 at 12:18 pm
this photo is great. in my top ten sart photos
I always love your posts so much but this. wow. BEAUTUFIL picture. You say it isn't great but I love the slight imperfections. And the contrast, also the matching blue glasses that you have to examine a little closer to see. I adore the light and dark in this photo and also how he is sitting, almost as if on a throne. I love it! Great inspiration!
August 31, 2009 at 12:29 pm
This post is a whole lot of profound packed into a tight, economical package and is certainly one of the reasons The Sartorialist is so much more than a fashion blog.
Thank you. Sincerely.
August 31, 2009 at 12:33 pm
hope it didn't offend him. love the thought behind it and the photo. he seems powerful. love the blues.
August 31, 2009 at 12:34 pm
This picture is gorgeous! Very inspiring and touching at the same time.I love his outfit and the color of his boots are so beautiful!This is a very inspiring photo!Giovannahttp://www.bohomarket.blogspot.com
This proves one thing:
All the money in they world won't buy you STYLE!!!
August 31, 2009 at 12:36 pm
There but for the grace of God go I.
You seem to be able to see past the obvious and tune into the energy of the people in front of your camera.
Jorge from W Palm Beach
August 31, 2009 at 12:39 pm
I often look at homeless folks for inspiration on what to wear. There is a certain softness to the clothes after being worn day-in, day-out. I also think they tend to wear exclusively what is necessary, something not too warm for the day, and a warmer layer for nights. I particularly remember a certain gent in Cincinnati who would wear a perfectly coordinated outfit until it got dirty, and then he replaced it with another, also in perfect coordination. What he thought about fashion, I'll never know. Jorge from WPB
August 31, 2009 at 12:42 pm
this is beautiful. I'm somewhat emotional so I was kind of teary eyed after reading it.
I hope you don't mind if I share it on my fb account.
August 31, 2009 at 12:48 pm
August 31, 2009 at 12:50 pm
It will be great if the man gets to keep this image of himself; it'll be rewarding to know he made an impact, even if its for a day in the blogosphere!
I'm really not feeling his look…the blue shoes are just a tad too much
August 31, 2009 at 12:54 pm
sense of style declares a sense of self and awareness. many times i look at people and ask the retorical question," homeless or fashion?" not in a joke but it is a joke because people can spend large sums of money on an ensemble and not carry it well. those people tend to look a bit broken. on the other side. folks like this man (who we are guessing is homeless)he looks put together and he carries it well.
August 31, 2009 at 12:55 pm
I see dignity.
A Treasury of
August 31, 2009 at 1:01 pm
He seems a little like a Wes Anderson movie character.
Which is always a good thing.
Glad you didn't censor yourself and snapped his photo anyway!
God's Favorite Shoes!
August 31, 2009 at 1:03 pm
amazing shot:) And I love your rationale for taking the picture.
August 31, 2009 at 1:07 pm
wow, is he homeless? how do you know. he is a lot more pulled together than most people around here.
August 31, 2009 at 1:09 pm
well done my friend. well done.
August 31, 2009 at 1:11 pm
What an inspiring photo and gentleman…I agree he does look hopeful and also in my opinion displays a keen fashion sense
August 31, 2009 at 1:15 pm
this is a an absolutely beautiful picture. it just shows that there is beauty in the most obscure places.
August 31, 2009 at 1:20 pm
I wonder how my comment would have been withour reading your thoughts/ explanation below…
this way: very strong picture!
August 31, 2009 at 1:22 pm
Seriously? Has everyone drunk the Kool Aid? Homeless Chic? I hope no one really got teary because he had the presence of mind to match blues (do we even know that he did this intentionally? Sart, did you interact with him?). Your comments had me thinking Zoolander, and specifically Derelicte, the homeless inspired clothing line.
August 31, 2009 at 1:28 pm
well when you are homeless no-one lets you talk
so you have to find a better way of communicating with the people that walk past
this man did
August 31, 2009 at 1:37 pm
the blue of his shoes are such a perfect shade!
August 31, 2009 at 1:38 pm
I'm not sure if this picture is taking me to the same place as you are (as well as the majority of the commenters). Elegant and dignified? Not 100% on that. However the picture does have some sense of gravitas. Like a statue, in many ways.
August 31, 2009 at 1:42 pm
LOVE the blue boots and wonder if they were a conscious choice or if they're simply something he was lucky enough to find in a dumpster. Either way, they're fab.
The Lady in the Red Trench Coat
August 31, 2009 at 1:43 pm
Wow! He really does have style even with his luck being turned up-side-down. Great photograph and writing- very touching.
That's a problem these days- back when- homeless people had a very distinquished look. Poorly presented to say the least. Whereas today I am seeing more and more homeless people who actually look like respectable people. It's so sad to see our once middle-class people finding themselves homeless. I hope they never give up, and I sure hope things change.
August 31, 2009 at 1:45 pm
I can appreciate why you took the photo, and it's with far more reason and thoughtfulness (even if subconsciously) than many photographers do. I am disgusted whenever a big fashion magazine does a "homeless chic" look – it's not just cruel, it speaks volumes about the low quality of people that the photographers, models and magazine editors are to participate in such a stunningly insensitive project.
"But for the grace of God."
This had more thought, and what you noticed wasn't blue – it was grace.
August 31, 2009 at 1:46 pm
There is something about his posture that makes me think of an old photograph of a soldier from the 1800's. I couldn't help noticing his eyes and the way he engages the viewer. Both photographer and subject are telling us something.
Thanks to you, Sart, for finding beauty and strength in our everyday places.
Montreal Street Views
August 31, 2009 at 1:50 pm
Scott,I have been shooting the homeless for over 20 years, but I stop and speak with those I shoot, I want to know their stories, not just shoot and run. Most are very open to sharing their experiences, some get very upset, but very few. Some the stories are horrible, and even if embellished by 100 percent, are still too horrible and no human should have to endure what some of these people have lived and much can be learned by spending some time. It pains me when people shut at the to "get a job" with no understanding of the fine line that separates them from the average person walking by.Thanks for posting this picture Scott!
August 31, 2009 at 1:54 pm
i think this photograph, it shows the man still has a sense of hope. i only have one issue with the photo, the man is homeless… he probably didnt have a choice but to wear those clothes, those might have been the only things he owned. so for all the people who say he has a great sense of style… thats not style its nessesity.
August 31, 2009 at 2:09 pm
Maybe he is not homeless.
August 31, 2009 at 2:13 pm
So, so beautiFULL …
August 31, 2009 at 2:14 pm
a few months ago I passed a man on a highway exit holding a sign that said "homeless but hopeful".
by the time I turned around to ask him about it he was gone.
I still can't get that out of my head.
Thanks for posting this, and for sharing your thoughts.
August 31, 2009 at 2:18 pm
"I barely stopped walking when I took the shot". did you ask him? did you give him something? did you explain it to him? did you buy him drink? did you treat him differently than your usual models?
August 31, 2009 at 2:20 pm
I just realized this was shot in April — hence the warm clothes. Although, with the chilly summer we are having in New York, it might have worked. Cannot stop looking at this photo. It is powerful. Really excellent work, Scott. You and Garance are helping to turn fashion blogging into a powerful enterprise!
August 31, 2009 at 2:27 pm
as said earlier, at least in my opinion, I did not think he was homeless when I first looked at the picture. Love the blue boots. Hope he makes it out of his situation.
August 31, 2009 at 2:32 pm
oh come on, this is trite
August 31, 2009 at 2:34 pm
i get what you mean. there's some trust in life in his eyes and attitude. besides; his shoes are awesome!xx
YOU RE RIGHT! AND YES I DO FIND SOME STRENGTH IN HIM. LOVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
JouJou Loves You
August 31, 2009 at 2:44 pm
Second best dressed homeless man I've ever seen. The first is in downtown Tunis, Tunisia in the Medina. He has the most amazing coat and hair I've ever seen. I've taken many photos of him incognito. Fascinating creature he is….
August 31, 2009 at 3:01 pm
Brilliant! Totally agree with you.
198, Butterfly: Design, Fashion and Architecture:
August 31, 2009 at 3:07 pm
very insightful and admirable.. love the photo.
Great shot! Are those Timberlands?
August 31, 2009 at 3:08 pm
Don't think he's homeless. Timberland Boots aren't cheap…
August 31, 2009 at 3:10 pm
He looks like a pretty cool dude..I hope he hasn't given up either.
August 31, 2009 at 3:11 pm
It's the blue glasses that tell me he still has a shred of hope. Maybe he'll find his chance and become a snappy dresser and you'll shot him again down the line.
http://style-geek.blogspot.comLife, Love & the Pursuit of Fashionable People
August 31, 2009 at 3:13 pm
what i want to say is not really about the man, it's about what you said. it's a powerful and digniful figure, indeed, but what seems to me most important is, that style and the way someone presents himself is really a way of communication with the world and a way to express someone to the world. it's not only about fashion, it's about having A PERSONALITY…that is also why i like your blog, because you don't see just colours and patterns or fashion victims, you try always to link it to life.
August 31, 2009 at 3:21 pm
Wow… I've never seen a man quite like him (in a good way).
Here's hoping that things will look up his way soon!
August 31, 2009 at 3:32 pm
The blue boots say it all, don't they?
Isn't it amazing when one article of clothing can speak volumes without making a single noise?
August 31, 2009 at 3:33 pm
I´m a bit surprised about this picture. I don´t know if showing it is a good thing or not. Maybe the matching colors are there by mere chance.
August 31, 2009 at 4:09 pm
August 31, 2009 at 4:13 pm
Amazing!! I saw him in April in NY… but I didn't take any pictures of him.
August 31, 2009 at 4:14 pm
How did you know he was homeless?
August 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm
Thank you for sharing.
Yeah. It's definitely NEVER about the latest trend in fasion. It's ALWAYS about your own (original) stlye.
Greatest photo ever to be posted on this blog when it comes to original style without even trying to fit with the fashionscene.
August 31, 2009 at 4:23 pm
August 31, 2009 at 4:24 pm
He looks very cool, I love the blue shoes! My favorite item he has on :)
love ur photographs so much
August 31, 2009 at 4:31 pm
I hope you're right!
August 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm
i've never come upon a homeless man like this while walking around nyc. i love that although he is homeless, he hasn't forgotten about the color blue and whatever it may mean to him-whether it's for a personal reason or memory, or whether he just loves the color.
August 31, 2009 at 4:36 pm
This man is truly inspiring. He's even listening to music! No matter the situation we're in, having a positive outlook mends the cruelest of tribulations. Thumbs up Scott… this is meaningful photography.
August 31, 2009 at 4:37 pm
Anonymous 12:50: you did get the part that he's homeless, right? Having said that, to be quite honest, this man looks as well put together as many others on this very blog. I love those shoes and the blue frames! Awesome.
You are such a great person dear Sartorialist (:I'm in love with his shoes!
Peace and love!
August 31, 2009 at 4:40 pm
With his collar up and barely scuffed shoes, I agree that he does not look homeless. Perhaps he is an out of work designer/artist/musician, waiting for his next break.
August 31, 2009 at 4:48 pm
It isn't quite the same thing, because it's more infuriating to the locals than inspiring or romantic.. But the Squeegie kids where I live (East Coast Canada) are so styled. I don't want to say they're fashionable or elegant, because they're atittude is certainly not one of caring about fashion, but a limited economic situation hasn't stopped them from getting the best finds at value village. It becomes awkward only because the feeling among many of the urban population seems to be that if they can afford to look like grungy hipsters and while around on the commons with their german shepards (when not squeeging) than they can't be very desolate, and on the matter of the dogs I wholly agree but it is refreshing and in every way inspiring to check out their punchy outfits as I walk by. B.S.M.
August 31, 2009 at 4:54 pm
I love what you wrote. Very well said!
August 31, 2009 at 4:59 pm
Just because he's black, bearded and blithe doesn't mean he's homeless. Some people live in downtown Manhattan condos; others live on the street — most live somewhere in-between.
August 31, 2009 at 5:02 pm
gorgeous pic and that man is so stylish.style is not about money is about sense of colors proporcion and fantasy…this picture proved itxxx
"why I took the photo"
Because he is a human just like anybody else.
I love blue.
August 31, 2009 at 5:05 pm
No matter what this brothers circumstances are, he's one spiritually powerful cat. A photographer might not have been able to capture this, an artist would. That would be you!
August 31, 2009 at 5:13 pm
your commentary just made my day.
August 31, 2009 at 5:16 pm
August 31, 2009 at 5:18 pm
this is some bullshit. hes homeless. this is when fashionand style has gone too far. and u r romanticizing the situation.
August 31, 2009 at 5:27 pm
For Anon 11:55
This was shot on the Bowery outside a shelter. If he is not homeless then he is living in that shelter – both would count as "down on his luck" to me.
regarding our interaction, we didn`t speak but communicated through a short series of nods,shrugs, and pointing – basically Manspeak.
August 31, 2009 at 5:32 pm
I found this really interesting. Loved it!
August 31, 2009 at 5:35 pm
Are you sure he is homeless? Did you have a conversation? Just curious how you asked to take his photo.
August 31, 2009 at 5:36 pm
what makes this photo amazing is the contrast of his light and dreamy blue to his "dark" and "mournful" blue. not only do his efforts signify hope, but his color choice also expresses hope. This man's spirit is so rare!!
August 31, 2009 at 5:50 pm
beautiful thoughts. great shot.
definitely one of my favourite posts
August 31, 2009 at 5:52 pm
August 31, 2009 at 6:02 pm
You know, it is probably just by coincidence that his clothes and accessories are matching. Maybe it was premeditated or maybe it wasn't, personally i don't think a man in his position is going to care a great deal about how he looks or is perceived. That's just my perception of the scenario, and you've shared light on yours. Neither is right or wrong i guess, there is no reality after all just different ways of perceiving things.
August 31, 2009 at 6:04 pm
i hope good things come to him. he still looks like there's spark in him.
August 31, 2009 at 6:06 pm
August 31, 2009 at 6:09 pm
WoW! Sart! I am totally floored. I see what you saw, I feel what you felt, all through this picture. He is sitting upright and strong and proud. He shirks to nothing. The picture also captures his best efforts at being attired and presentable. Isn't that what it is all about?! You got into me deep with this picture!!!
August 31, 2009 at 6:14 pm
True indeed. Very well stated.
great photo. great expression
August 31, 2009 at 6:29 pm
i can't help but feel that you are exploiting this man by taking a photograph at your whim and then posting it on your blog for everyone to consume.
maybe you should stick to shooting fashion people.
August 31, 2009 at 6:49 pm
Loved reading your article on UK Vogue, and when I saw the pic of this man, and your detailed description of his outfit, I wondered if he was indeed homeless, all his pieces look great! :)xx
Lucy in the Sky
August 31, 2009 at 6:50 pm
amazing, just goes to show that style does not require new expensive clothing. though I'm not sure if we should easily assume that this man was "expressing himself"…what if he was simply wearing the clothes he had? who knows.
August 31, 2009 at 6:54 pm
even without a home this man still has style. good luck to him.
August 31, 2009 at 6:55 pm
wow, what a waste of time your observation is.
August 31, 2009 at 7:05 pm
Style is so not about money. Great shot.
I'm fascinated by how people project their values and assumptions about him, and tell you what your "should" do. Interesting that the young woman in the floaty long dress, or dozens of other subjects do not earn you a slap on the wrist for "exploiting" them.
August 31, 2009 at 7:07 pm
This person shows the world that, no matter what happens to you in life, you should never ever ever give up…style. And style doesn't mean money.
August 31, 2009 at 7:08 pm
He doesn't strike me as homeless at all (although I'm sure he is!). He kinds of looks like one of those typical dudes on Bowery, but more stylish. Great picture. :)
August 31, 2009 at 7:29 pm
I already posted here but I just received my copy of The Sartorialist book in the mail today and I just finished it. I had a smile on my face the entire time. I can't tell you how inspiring it is to me how you find so many different styles and elements of style in so many different people. I can't wait to look at it cover to cover again.Beautiful book. Thank you.
very touching and inspiring story…
August 31, 2009 at 7:43 pm
He's certainly got it all goin' on. I like him.
August 31, 2009 at 7:53 pm
I'm not sure I agree with the idea that "while down on his luck, he hasn't lost his need to communicate and express himself through style." While this may be a fashion blog, I think the caption misses the true nature of the picture, being that his 'style' is most likely accidental. I don't think his clothes reflect or convey a true part of himself, but are moreso a product of his circumstances (taking what he can, really). If, in fact, he is homeless, I doubt fashion, or any derivative of it, is in any way a priority.
August 31, 2009 at 8:18 pm
I really don't understand why almost everyone assumes that because this man is living in a shelter, he therefore must be a dignified/good/proud/strong/interesting character who is worthy of empathy and praise. We really CANNOT tell from his appearance (posture, blue boots, facial expression, etc.) what his true situation or history is. Sorry, but I just think it's irresponsible and foolish to romanticize homelessness like that (and maybe that's why you don't usually shoot homeless people). Cute boots, BTW.
August 31, 2009 at 8:24 pm
Anonymous is an idiot.Thank you for sharing. The feeling from this picture is one of survival – and he seems to be comfortable in that feeling as well.This made my day – and the recession!
August 31, 2009 at 8:45 pm
why does everyone kiss your ass? This picture is repulsive. I can tell from this pic that you took it in front of the bowery mission and am surprised you didn't get your ass kicked. Your type is the reason NYC is DEAD. Way to kick someone when he is down. This picture reminds me of the homeless fashion show in Zoolander which was a joke, I assume this isn't not cool.
August 31, 2009 at 9:03 pm
Why did you assume he was homeless? Also, homelessness is not about "giving up". Mental health is a clear comorbidity of chronic homelessness – nothing to do with "giving up" or "dignity".
August 31, 2009 at 9:05 pm
Interesting enough, I've seen a lot of hipsters trying to pull this look of now for the last year 1/2. Great post. Dignity is always worth it's weight in gold and this gentleman seems very wealthy in that respect. Thanks.
August 31, 2009 at 9:06 pm
I recently did the same thing don't feel bad lol! will post when my site is back fully operational http://taevonpalmer.com
August 31, 2009 at 9:07 pm
Sally O I think you may have it backwards … I get the sense that it is because this man is homeless that people are surprised by the notion that he might have some semblence of dignity or character … I mean a homeless man matching his socks to his boots … the shock! the awe! Perhaps Giuliani could have saved a load of cash by passing out some nifty argyle socks…
Beauty is power
Very nice post
August 31, 2009 at 9:14 pm
Scott, you are a treasure.
Noelle + Kendall
August 31, 2009 at 9:45 pm
He's got some pretty cool boots
-N + Khttp://www.fanseapants.blogspot.com
August 31, 2009 at 9:49 pm
Anonymous is not an idiot, he is stating an opinion. If he is really homeless, I doubt that he is really that picky about what he wears. I'm sure that he wouldn't turn down new clothes because they don't fit his "style". Lets just be honest, homeless or not, the guy is dressed like crap. Making blue glasses and boots don't make up for jorts over nylon pants.
August 31, 2009 at 9:50 pm
i see him all the time outside the bowery mission..hes got a pair of brown ones too…
August 31, 2009 at 9:57 pm
I hate saying this because I don't know him or his situation. But after seeing the picture and living in Portland (homeless people are rampant) I know the difference between "homeless" and homeless. Typically, the key to telling how poorly off someone is is to look at their feet. Shoes tell a lot. I know this because a homeless man told me. A man in relatively good shape timberlands would fall under "homeless". Its really unfortunate because there are a lot of people that pretend to be homeless and make a incredibly good living (40k plus a year). The same people are selfishly taking away from the people that do need help. I'm not saying he is one of them, but it is something to think about.
August 31, 2009 at 9:59 pm
if homeless people dressed like this they shouldn't be called homeless but something else…actually i like the word "homeless" but i don't practice it,only a few hours a day and then i go:"screw you guys i'm going home"Eric Cartman
August 31, 2009 at 10:12 pm
it is interesting that people are going at each other about what this gentleman may or may not think. stop it. absolutely pointless arguments.
he can be appreciated in whichever sense you see fit without having to "figure out" anything. he is. so just be.
August 31, 2009 at 10:19 pm
Powerful photo. I hope things make a turn for the better for him.
August 31, 2009 at 10:54 pm
Keep this up, Scott.
We all like to fantasize about the "Giraffes" As one commentator called the models you shoot.
But essentiallly, and once we all get down to it, it's self esteem and dignity. All embedded in relationships, clothes, status, and the people we love.
Forget about class and money. It's about the world we share.
August 31, 2009 at 11:13 pm
How do you know he is homeless? You took a picture and walked right on by, according to your description of the process.
If this is explained somewhere, please show me!
August 31, 2009 at 11:29 pm
He use to be homelessNow he's an emperorwith new clothes
August 31, 2009 at 11:33 pm
Um, no one can possibly imagine his situation if he is truly homeless.
I have close family members who are homeless. I would really hope that no one would try to capture their misery on camera. I've seen too much of it and it's quite awful.
August 31, 2009 at 11:43 pm
You people make me sick. These are probably the only clothes this unfortunate man could scrounge up and I'm quite sure he would trade them for a new set of clean, unfashionable clothes if you would have taken even a second to offer some. But no, you're too caught up in your own delusions to think this man might actually be suffering. He was probably too weak from hunger to tell you to get your camera out of his face and allow him what little dignity he might have left. Maybe you can go tell him all about the many arse-kissing, sycophantic comments you've garnered at his expense.
August 31, 2009 at 11:47 pm
This is one of your best posts, sart.
August 31, 2009 at 11:53 pm
Beautiful. Thank you for capturing this!Allison.
September 1, 2009 at 12:00 am
Love the empathy and flashes of humanity but HELLO!… this financial "Correction" has taught us that we are ALL a paycheck or two away from what everyone is assuming this man's situation is.
September 1, 2009 at 12:27 am
actually it is my bet that his color savvy choices are indication of a psychological compulsion. often compromised mental states gravitate towards a specific color that represent a moment, or stability they are seeking. reference the movement of 'color therapy' , it is utilizing that compulsion. not to be a downer… but it's a common behavior.
September 1, 2009 at 12:52 am
yes! your observation is very interesting- to value such a simple thing as self expression in clothing, when homelessness often connotes voicelessness in all areas of life. It is a sign of the man's spirit still being intact. The photos of yours that have been attractive to me have been those ones that seem to capture the naturalness of play in clothing that brings a sense of happiness to its wearer
September 1, 2009 at 1:22 am
He was waiting for you.
September 1, 2009 at 1:39 am
This is a powerful, beautiful photograph. Aesthetically and otherwise. He reminds me of some of the clients I have worked with- I'm a psych nurse, and we treat people from all walks of life at my hospital-…not sure what else to really say. There is power and grace in his stance to me, he is asserting himself- guarded, too. Thank-you for sharing…
September 1, 2009 at 3:23 am
even more – I think he symbols that he is defying the crisis and shows that – even if it's hard – one can overcome it.
You actually were authentic not overlooking him but putting him into the focus – beeing part of our society we should never forget how well we are off and that others who are part of the system too, might not be in the same situation
September 1, 2009 at 3:26 am
Just because someone is sitting outside a homeless shelter dosn't necessarily mean they are homeless. I visit a family member in a mental health hospital and am regularly visible there, but that dosnt make me mentally ill.Also when my family member is not in the hospital he is actually living on the streets and I can tell you now Ive never seen anyone living hard look that clean,serene or composed!Maybe this dude works there or volunteers there and if that is the case I wonder what all the comments on his 'style' would be then?
September 1, 2009 at 3:56 am
I think it highly likely that people who subscribe to this are of a typically bourgeois sensibility. living in comfort, you don't have a clue what it's like to be homeless but somehow think you can commiserate with him, romanticise the whole situation and then feel better about yourself and the world.
Diabolina Da Fashionista
September 1, 2009 at 4:06 am
I think we look at other people and see what we want to see – order in the chaos, chaos in the order. I think as long as we look at other people – really SEE them, SEE that there is no seperation between us and them, see that we are all one – that's what matters.
September 1, 2009 at 4:12 am
Like others have said – this man's "style" choices are likely not choices at all. His glasses appear too small for his face, his pants too short. Are those style choices as well? How about all the layers in April? Style choice or a necessity because he doesn't want what he owns to be stolen in a shelter on the street? Without having asked this man for his story – none of us know the real situation. But the romanticization of his situation is problematic and dismissive of the issue of homelessness in America.
September 1, 2009 at 4:39 am
maybe he just love the color blue?
September 1, 2009 at 4:46 am
Uhm – not to take this away from you guys, but did anyone ever think that – possibly – the guy just wears this stuff because it's all he has? The fact that there's so much blue in there could be a mere coincidence. And immediately, the fashion-obsessed think he's a style genius…. to me this is kind of paradox – not to say cynical. Not everybody cares that much about their outfits.
September 1, 2009 at 4:55 am
thanks a lot:) this picture really gave me hope.he's homeless but he's strong, he may be in need but he's not desperate… maybe sad but definitely not hopeless. this picture and his look tells that he's confident, he still can look after himself…this is why he has a style, because he still wants to tell something through it and he has confidence in this outfitthank you once again for taking this shot:) it's wonderful.
September 1, 2009 at 5:11 am
the picture, the words…tears of hope running down my face
September 1, 2009 at 5:45 am
there is a lot of dignity in his expression and posture and the portrait gets this across very strongly.
two years ago we had a very cold winter in berlin and a homeless man not far from my house, whom i regularly saw and said hello to, died from hypothermia. there were police pictures up asking for witnesses, that's how i knew. i've started donating to winter programs for homeless people back then. it all begins when we start to see each other i think.
thanks for posting this.
September 1, 2009 at 5:58 am
This proves that style is something that either you have it, or not. Maybe it has to do with a high self-esteem…
PS. Dear Sartorialist you have to know that you are quite famous in Greece, since (among others) the biggest Sunday paper mentions your innovative approach and its impact to the fashion industry. And you deserve it my friend!!!As you already know, we love you .Kelly T.
September 1, 2009 at 6:14 am
Love this outfit ! So cool !
September 1, 2009 at 6:37 am
maybe you won't post this, but that advertisement of flesh coloured tights flashing next to the photo is hideous!!!however limited his means, this dude chose to wear shorts over his longs – he's cool.
September 1, 2009 at 6:40 am
Nice shot, Mr Schuman. The photograph is almost 3-dimensional due to the bricks and all that blue in the foreground.
I must admit, lamentably, that I have seen millionaires within these antipodean shores less able to make coherent sartorial choices than the gentleman depicted.
It has never been about the size of bank accounts, trust funds or lineage.
Well done for including the man within your esteemed pages when others are more concerned about chasing stars, their ill-obtained wealth and obnoxious threads.
September 1, 2009 at 6:49 am
I ditched the fashion biz after working as a model in the '80's, feeling less than enthused. Your work has inspired me- I love the way everyone is themselves (because they are!) in the pictures- something models rarely are in fashion mags, and hence everything always tends to look pretentious. Keep on keepin' it fresh… and I am starting to watch what I wear again.Oh, and Bill Cunningham- look out!
September 1, 2009 at 7:04 am
Wow nice to see this old chap embracing the classic Timberland revivial!!!
September 1, 2009 at 7:11 am
EXPRESSION instead of DEPRESSION!!!
September 1, 2009 at 7:27 am
Well, he probably found somewhere these clothes and it's a coincidence, that they're matching. I think that talking about the style of a homeless and probably hungry and unhappy man is inappropriate. The last thing about he could ever think is style & fashion, I don't see expressing himself here. I'm a big fan of this blog, but i think tjhat this time, there's nothing but faux pas.
September 1, 2009 at 8:01 am
This is hopeful. Thank you.
September 1, 2009 at 8:45 am
September 1, 2009 at 8:51 am
As Coco said:
Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.
September 1, 2009 at 9:00 am
Elegant even when homeless? I think the last thing on this person's mind was what colour combination he was wearing let alone what type of blue it was.
The photo of this man is a complete contrast to that of the man wearing the blue suit in "Well Suited, Florence". Spot the difference.
You say he hasn't given up or given in but have we, you, I and all those who have commented given up on giving to the homeless?
Scott, I hope you did more than just take his photo and walk away.
September 1, 2009 at 9:33 am
faut arreter de faire de la merde avec tes photographies la on touche le fond, serieusement, c'est irrespectueux
September 1, 2009 at 9:34 am
first of all, we know NOTHING about this man. about his circumstances, about where he lives, what he does, whether or not he has a bed to sleep in at night, where he did or did not get his clothes.
so all the judgments (even positive ones, about grace, hope and dignity.. AND negative ones) must stop. as well as assumptions.
the only thing scott 'knows' or perceives is a certain style…the mirroring of blue in the glasses, socks, boots. this reminds me of some photos scott took in india, and some of those were people so far-removed from the world of fashion. yet just because this man and a few of scott's subjects from india do not come from the same socio-economic bracket as the majority of scott's blog readers, this does not mean EXLOITATION of them bc they do not fit into the tiny constraints of what is deemed subject-worthy in the world of fashion. i think the variety of subjects, whether an old woman in harlem, a young boy in india, a 'down-on-his-luck' man on the bowery, the depictions of these people only ADD to our conceptions of style and fashion.
September 1, 2009 at 9:42 am
May be you should give him money or something Scott? i think he needs it at first than give your approvaland i don't think also that he carry about his style therefore he has good style. so, hollywood stars and other rich people have bad style because they carry only about it and some THEIR needs/If stars have so much money why they don't help poor people?I know that some help, some pretend that help, some don't help at all and being proud of it/ you surely can't imagine how to be homeless therefore you said so/Style, sense?????? no!!!!!food and home!!!!
September 1, 2009 at 10:06 am
Like a lot of your most intriguing portraits, I wish I knew the story behind this one too.
September 1, 2009 at 10:08 am
as long as someone has a sense of self there is still a sence of hope
September 1, 2009 at 10:09 am
HOW DO YOU KNOW HE IS HOMELESS??
September 1, 2009 at 10:33 am
The Beauty of Digity.
His rewards will come…
Sad eyed lady of the lowlands
September 1, 2009 at 10:39 am
Sart, Why didn´t you take the time to talk to him? Why didn´t you try? It would be interesting to know a bit of his history, how did he end up in his current situation, what did he do before, where he is from.
I think people are just hopefully guessing that he is dressed the way he is because he hasnt given up, because he is hopefull and still managing to express himself through his clothes. Maybe these are the only pieces of clothing he owns. We dont know.
If you had talked to him and if we knew something abou him, who he is and what is his real situation, it would be even easier for those who might take an interest in helping him out. By knowing more about him, someone could raise a helping hand.
I really like your blog, I come here all the time, I find some of the pictures very inspiring, but I wonder if you would just pass by, barely stop walking and take a picture of Carine, Anna or Giovanna without even stop to chat for a little while.
September 1, 2009 at 10:55 am
I'm glad to see a recognition of the value of individualism in our increasingly collectivist social climate, that's what really attracts me to look at this blog every day – for inspiration in fashion and that there are still at least the sartorialists to fight for the human spirit – and best of all, it's natural
September 1, 2009 at 11:08 am
The best part of this photo is the litmus test of opinions about class in America that it has elicited from you and the other commenters — dippy, romanticized, anti-romantic, outraged, inspired, insipid — the Aspirations of Other Classes is apparently a big-tent topic and a lot of people feel welcome to include themselves in the maundering. "Homelessness" and "hope" in the same sentence/photo clearly sparks the imagination!
September 1, 2009 at 11:45 am
I scrolled past this pic and read your commentary. I scrolled back up and saw the pic, and I immediately started crying. This man looks EXACTLY like my godfather who died last year. Tomorrow makes a year. I'm freaked out.
September 1, 2009 at 12:04 pm
September 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm
You should do an exhibit, a series of photographs of the homeless with the theme of not giving up hope. In doing so, you could raise funds to help the homeless.
September 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm
Great shot, but he certainly doesn't look homeless to me. I think you're projecting your own story onto a style you're not familiar with.
September 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm
Never give up hope. A setback is a set-up for a comeback.
September 1, 2009 at 1:18 pm
This is a nice pic…New York is the best in everything…even a homeless man doesn't forget about how to match…that's great.
September 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm
This post reminded me of when I was in India last year.
A lot of the street kids looked just like guys featured in magazines and on here. Very on point; skinny boys with turned up trousers, mixes of fabrics and cuts, shades of grey. They weren't doing it deliberately of course, but out of necessity. (interestingly the "fashionable" wealthy young were mostly in badly fitting jeans and t-shirts daubed in western logos!). I didn't take any photos for similar reasons to you…
It really got me thinking about what this says about our own sense of fashion and the vast chasm between our values, surroundings and how we respond to them. I couldn't decide whether it said more about us or them, but it did bring Zoolanders 'Derelicte' to mind as perhaps being more true than we'd like to admit.
September 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm
Its very sweet of you to pay homage to someone in such a kind way. Pictures can say a thousand words, and I love how yours is just open for interpretation. We can't assume we know him or his journey, all we see is this bold color of blue and his brazen manner. I don't pity him, i don't judge him, i just see him.
cococollage at wordpress dot com
September 1, 2009 at 5:32 pm
It's a nice picture, but I really think you should clarify whether you confirmed that this person is homeless or not. It would be pretty insulting to call him homeless if you don't know for sure if that's the case. I recently had an art teacher who dressed and looked a lot like him, you never know.
September 1, 2009 at 5:43 pm
it makes me want to purchase some Logo Gloves!!!!!I'm scanning online vintage shops as we speak….
lolo from paris
September 1, 2009 at 6:31 pm
September 1, 2009 at 6:39 pm
This disgusts me. I love you sart, but I think you may have lost touch with reality. Whether this man's color coordination is intentional or if he is even homeless is something we will never know because you never took the time to SPEAK WITH HIM like you do all your other models.
And for those of you who are actually critiquing his fashion sense, I think you need to spend a couple of nights on the street in the south bronx. I live in the bronx and I participate in the homeless count each year. I can tell you that when you are concerned with what you are going to put in your stomach, the last thing you care about is fashion.
September 1, 2009 at 6:56 pm
Equally, if not more so, this shows the rest of us who can take action to never stop fighting for people like him.
Thanks for this great photo !
September 1, 2009 at 7:55 pm
I hate being late to the comment party … I actually saw this posting this morning. The 2nd time I saw it, it was on someone else's blog. (maybe NYMAG.COM) First let me say this, I didn't think he "looked" homeless. I see a man dresses functionally for the day or the job he does. For the most part, you describing him as homeless didn't bother me. But I kept revisiting his pic and his gloves just stood out. I kept staring at them for a long time and it finally dawned on me that he has "miltary patches" sewn on them. While active duty, we wear those patches to show what command we're assigned to and what group we support, whether it be TAC – a Tactical Air Command, or SAC – Strategic Air Command (think Independence Day – I think they were @ a SAC base then area 51…I digress) MY LONG POINT IS, when you're in the military and I'll go out on a limb and say he retired from the military, certain things never leave you. The discipline of organizing your clothes and presentation was and still is a mark of a true soldier. So, I would like to think he's at the Bowery mission helping out other veterans or being helped himself. Whew.
Had to get that off my chest.
September 1, 2009 at 7:58 pm
Oh, I forgot – I also still wear some of my military clothes and my favorite thing is my flight bag. I guess we (veterans) will always be proud of making it through that organization. Even if I'm a long way off that beaten path now. lol They paid my tuition @ FIT.
September 1, 2009 at 9:23 pm
POWERFUL.. On so many levels..Great work
September 1, 2009 at 9:43 pm
What does it matter whether he is homeless or not? To me, true style transcends income bracket. It transcends the clothing on our backs, even. I think that's captured marvelously in this picture. He is a compelling man with a determined face and a sick pair of blue glasses that match his sick pair of blue boots. Whether he picked them out or not is irrelevant. They are striking. They are inspiring. But moreover, he is a man going about his day like the rest of us.
September 1, 2009 at 9:54 pm
This is a matter of identities.
I'm not sure he's "homeless", he looks he knows who he is, and chooses where he is. He looks aware of his power, and seems to pick his battles. I would never feel sorry for him. He commands more respect than many people on the streets that merely own stuff. Are we defined by a price tag?
Excellent portrait of the times.
I'm Just Saying. . .
September 1, 2009 at 10:33 pm
Or, maybe that is all he had to put on. Lots of energy and attention put into the examination of this man's "style." Maybe some of that energy can be put into volunteering to help the homeless? Did you ask him if has given up? Did you find out if he was contemplating what he was gonna wear tomorrow– what "ensemble" he would put together, or perhaps if he was wondering where he was going to sleep? Where he was gonna get some food? He could have a lot going on, he could be simultaneously putting together a "look" while being hungry, in need of a bath, in need of a clean bed. . .so that's cool. But I'm thinking if he had to choose between a hot meal and a coordinating jacket, he's pick the meal.
September 2, 2009 at 12:00 am
this is an inspirational shot.great pic
September 2, 2009 at 12:36 am
Um…how do you know he's homeless?
September 2, 2009 at 2:01 am
I may stand alone on this but your are being hypocritical about this. You too are romanticizing on the homeless as well! Dont get me wrong, its still a beautiful shot but you cannot say that about other photographers who want to shoot the homeless. You just did!….and you made it sound poetic which is what phtographers do/express. This man is homeless; he takes what he can get. Lucky for him he is in a fashionable city. You think he'd get the same luck in the homeless camp in Fresno?
K R A M
September 2, 2009 at 6:20 am
If he's homeless he's pretty well off clothes wise. He's got Timberland boots, a jacket, ear muffs(or is that earphones?) and gloves…
Are you really sure he's homeless?
September 2, 2009 at 7:02 am
The man has gloves and work boots and many layers on in summer. Couldn't he be taking a break from unloading something (gloves)? We'll never know because you didn't actually talk to him. This is how guys in grocery stores and restaurants dress to work stocking a freezer.
September 2, 2009 at 8:40 am
enjoyed your piece in Stella magazine in the The Sunday Telegraph a couple of days ago.
September 2, 2009 at 9:24 am
strong word man,strong words
September 2, 2009 at 11:17 am
If you hadn't mentioned that this man was homeless, I'd have never known. Looks to me like someone on the job, taking a quick break! It's great to see that his sense of self is still in tact! I wish you had spoken to him because I am sure he has interesting stories to tell! He's down, but he sure as hell ain't out!
September 2, 2009 at 11:26 am
"Style is when they're running you out of town and you make it look as if you're leading the parade." Sebastian Horsley
September 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm
September 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm
You know you were in the Dutch paper (spits) with this piece? Something about homeless-chic, and that 'The Sartorialist' shot a homeless man, with matching blue.
It was an 3-sentences articel, but still (:
September 2, 2009 at 2:57 pm
Kudos to you, Scott, for referring to him only as a gentleman. It's people like you, people whose eyes and hearts do NOT gloss over people like this, that keep them from giving up. Thanks.
September 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm
While I enjoy your blog tremendously, I think this post might take things a tad too far.
To philosophize about the outfit (and 'message' behind it) of a homeless man who is clearly down on his luck is just bizarre and completely irrelevant. It's like reading a post straight out of Zoolander or Bruno, fetishizing style and fasion.
September 2, 2009 at 8:04 pm
People who are homeless are so often made invisible and ignored; your photograph resists this by revealing this man's uniqueness, dignity and style as an individual, rather than one of the many invisible homeless in nyc. Great shot.
September 2, 2009 at 11:05 pm
LOVE the glint through the glasses! creepy and intense…
September 3, 2009 at 2:55 am
This image really gets into my heart. He looks like he has many interesting stories to tell. I wonder where he would be had his circumstances been different…
September 3, 2009 at 3:36 am
This post leaves me vaguely disquieted and I'm not sure if I can articulate or understand the reason. I wonder what he would think of people on a blog discussing his "au courant" fashion choices? I wonder at the divide between those, like myself, who find style and fashion meaningful, and that majority of the world who would find such considerations superficial & trite. I wonder that I devote my energy to discussing fashion when I could devote it to ensuring that people can have basic necessities. I feel a little uncomfortable reading the romantic and fawning responses to this picture.
September 3, 2009 at 4:39 am
a very good finding indeed.
September 3, 2009 at 5:33 am
why do we judge homeless different from people with a home?why do we put them in another category when looking at their clothes? just like: " Oh this looks weird, I would never go out like him, but for a homeless it looks somehow creative."
September 3, 2009 at 7:19 am
I've been quite glad reading the story, far more disgusted reading the comments…please, no more subversive messages, "he doesn't look that homeless", wtf?although I appreciate very much your initiative to widen the perception of elegance to people that do not wear it on purpose, I think it the picture of this man should better be a one shot. not anyone has the quality of your writing, and although you can't be blame for any word, some other really leave disgusting bourgeois point of view.daily reader of your stories, thank you very much for all your work.
September 3, 2009 at 10:18 am
super cool picture, in italy that's Barbon chic
September 3, 2009 at 1:49 pm
It's a beautiful photo. I appreciate your ambivalence. I'd like to echo all of those who question what his real history is, and why you felt you could photograph him, but not ask him for his story. (Maybe there was a good reason…)
However, I find myself wishing that you had hired him for the shoot, or that he could otherwise benefit in some way from having his image presented here, as content for your blog, even if it was just to have a copy of the photo.
Perhaps you will return to that stretch of street sometime soon?
September 3, 2009 at 3:28 pm
this is a lovely photo and I agree it's inspiring to see his sense of style or self respect through seemingly "trying times"l . it would have been nice to stop and talk to him and hear his story. you assume he's homeless on what pretense?anyways i'm loving this man's style
September 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm
I agree, there's something really captivating by this man's expression and the outlook it conveys (imagined or not). It really is powerful. However, I do wish you took the time to speak with him. I feel like there's a great story here.
September 3, 2009 at 8:48 pm
I am a student in NYC working for the community! This photo shows you dont need to spend a ton of money on clothes to achive a cool personal style! This man( in the photo)sure does suit blue!!! And its taker sure has a good shot!
Looking from Brooklyn! Wow!!!
September 3, 2009 at 8:52 pm
September 3, 2009 at 11:11 pm
you realize he probably doesn't have a choice about how he's dressed right? he probably can't "express himself" through his clothing because he is probably wearing every article of clothing he owns. Maybe at one point he was an artist. maybe there's something symbolic about the fact that all his clothes are blue — maybe it's a pun. but please be a little more sensitive to his situation.
That said, it's still an incredibly moving and beautiful picture. Thank you for seeing beauty in the every day.
September 4, 2009 at 2:01 am
how do you know he is homeless?? maybe he is but do you really think he deliberately tried to match his shoes to his socks to his gloves to his shorts over his pants….maybe these are the only layers he has?
September 4, 2009 at 3:06 am
Brilliant blue framed glasses. This gentlemen is really stylish, which is all about the inside in the end…
September 4, 2009 at 9:30 am
I don't know if this gentleman is homeless. He is awful clean (the slight dusting of debris on his boots suggests that they have been recently cleaned)and neat for the image of the homeless person (that I have in my mind)that is presented to the general public. He definably has a style that erupts and personifies him.
When I worked as a service manager it was required to wear work boots. I found a line that had pink and purchased them (I don't remember the brand now) and this caused a lot of controversy in the shop. When asked directly about it by the dealer principal I replied, "I might hold a man's job but I am still very much a woman."
And while there is a need to fit in there is also a need to be an independent person. We choose to do this in our "Style" or in our "Fashion".
I love your blog. I wish I could stop by more often.
September 4, 2009 at 12:36 pm
oh my, i love this post and your way of explaining yourself
congrats for your book, hope you'll never give up in taking photos either
(i'm french sorry for my weird english)
September 4, 2009 at 3:09 pm
September 4, 2009 at 3:13 pm
Mr. "Sartorialist": one of your best photos ever!Congratulations on your book. I hope mine come soon… All the best, Lilly Bastos – Brazil
September 4, 2009 at 11:07 pm
Thank you for posting this! I admit that a cold shiver always passed up my spine when I see a homeless person. I want to stop and make small talk, but I will start to feel really bad for someone who has nothing when I, as, a student (currently unemployed from the economy. Although, I've been looking) don't have much to offer either.
But, thank you for posting a picture of him though. This picture moved me in a sense that both of us shouldn't give up hope. I do send my thoughts and prayers out to him.
September 4, 2009 at 11:56 pm
He doesn't look homeless to me. He looks more of an artists. Perhaps he thought it interesting that you found him interesting. Perhaps he went to Green Street afterwards, had a glass of wine and sketched you w/your camera on a napkin; perhaps found you intersting enough to sculped.
September 5, 2009 at 12:54 am
here here, you should never give in and never give up, no matter what life throws at you.http://www.ilifephotoblog.com
September 5, 2009 at 5:19 am
Nice idea – but maybe thats all he had left rather than what he chose…
September 5, 2009 at 1:52 pm
thank you for sharing it….very humanizing in a world where homelessness is an neglected failure of our society.
Ame in DC
September 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm
Dude has "hooked it up" as we say here in DC.
September 6, 2009 at 8:21 pm
Nice shot.Not until I saw the article that I noticed his situation.But it is quite something in his attitude(?),not sure what that is.
Not only lucky people can express themselves ,so does other people ,even is down on luck.
Life with Kaishon
September 6, 2009 at 10:26 pm
I love that. I do see hope. And I see determintation. And I am so glad that there was something so gripping about this man that made you see it too. Wow.
September 7, 2009 at 11:15 am
this made me get really choked up for some reason, a tear. human spirits are so powerful and delicate.
Everyday Life of an Up and Coming Fashionista
September 7, 2009 at 7:51 pm
Obviously I am late to this post, but I concur. An amazing shot because its so real and filled with emotion I feel. I dig it.
September 7, 2009 at 8:03 pm
after SO many comments this will probably be lost, however…this is a man who appears to have been able to hold on to a sense of style that perhaps at one time meant more to him than just keeping warm. i suspect that once he was quite the mover and shaker. his light blue boots are a testimony to that. in fact everything about him simply screams that life used to be something else.wouldn't it be lovely if, while we enjoyed his photo, we were able to find a way to come up with some way to help him? there must be something. as someone who finds i am no longer able to buy the latest fashions, but struggles to maintain a sense of style with what i've got, he brings home a real message about what's happening in our country,thanks for the wonderful photo.
September 7, 2009 at 8:21 pm
Sart: Thought you might want to see this. I know that you don't shoot homeless people, but here is another perspective.
September 7, 2009 at 8:22 pm
I love it! He does have that spirit of NEVER EVER GIVE UP!
September 7, 2009 at 9:43 pm
'Did you see the way his cuffs had a blue lining and that his socks were edged with blue? That is no accident. Somewhere in there, that man has an eye for detail.'
Read that in Vogue and smiledJen.
September 8, 2009 at 1:37 am
September 8, 2009 at 6:35 am
what if he is truly not homeless?love the matching very much!
September 8, 2009 at 11:51 am
I absolutely love this photo (especially his boots) and you thoughts are expressed immaculately. Keep up the good work!
September 8, 2009 at 3:08 pm
If I saw this gentleman, I would not think, "He's homeless". How did you know?
September 8, 2009 at 6:38 pm
how do you even know he's homeless??
September 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm
How do we know the guy is homeless? Did someone ask?
September 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm
Really grim observation. Pathetic..like something out of Zoolander..
September 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm
iBrand therefore iAm
September 10, 2009 at 3:16 am
thank you for sharing this picture. thank you for reminding us beauty exists everywhere, if only we open our eyes, pick them up off the pavement.
the dichotomy between this man and your typical subject is extreme, almost depressing. but i appreciate it as it paints a clearer portrait of our times. i hope you do not neglect shots like this from being published in your books..
September 10, 2009 at 9:32 am
This could be the most repugnant stream of comments I have ever read in my life. A satirist could not make up what I just read here. Such condescension! Such hypocrisy! Such a terrifyingly blinkered disconnect from reality.
If I was homeless, for me any priorities around "not giving up" would be unlikely to include my sense of fashion. As for him being 'dignified', 'proud', 'powerful', get a grip. Such willful and condescending projections. I don't see anything more artistic in this photograph than I would in a picture of a calcutta street child taken by a gap year student. The photographer's rationale tells me a lot more about the photographer than his subject.
And as for the commentors above who look to the homeless for fashion inspiration, here's a handy tip. Put on a few layers of your nicest clothes, step out into the night and live in a carpark for a couple of days. It will improve your look no end.
September 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm
Maybe this photo can also be said to show man cannot live on fashion alone.
September 10, 2009 at 7:14 pm
September 11, 2009 at 8:01 am
That's one cool dude !
" I've got one that can see !!! "http://www.theyliveandwesleep.com
September 11, 2009 at 11:50 am
How do you know he's homeless? Look at that Ralph Lauren guy you shot a while back.
Did you speak with him?
September 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm
I also hope that a conversation was had before taking his photograph which could explain how we know he's homeless, down on his luck, and with or without hope. There's something dissonant about hoping that this 'homeless' man is hopeful via a blog that mainly documents very rich people, whom we rarely would say, I hope he hasn't given up. But perhaps it is perfectly in line with the spirit of the blog, which could be that what we wear means something to who we are?
luis djalo concinnus ceo
September 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm
This 'click' shows the world to have style you dont need to have money this Gentleman is well put together, congratulations Scott! Luis Djalo, concinnus Ceo
September 11, 2009 at 11:12 pm
September 12, 2009 at 3:02 am
To reduce this man to his "style" and the colors he wears is a disgraceful simplification and blatant naivety of a situation which I sense few readers of this blog might know anything about nor be able to empathize with.
you can't even begin to assess a person's character nor their capacity for "hope" or "ability to bring themselves up from the slums" by what he wears. whatever this man's socio-economic status is, "homeless" or "not" as readers choose to wonder, I guarantee you it has been both directly and indirectly caused and influenced by the ignorant, capitalist, consumptive population of this country, not least the people who have been "touched" by this post.
This man has or has not "given up nor given in". The choice is very likely not his to make (nor is it so clearly cut), as those two situations are decided by political, social, and economic spheres beyond his influence.
scott, I loved your blog. after this post, I'm revolted and disgusted by it, knowing that fellow readers were surprised to learn that "homeless people do have dignity".
I wonder, scott, do you, yourself, think homeless people have dignity? when you couldn't afford the time to stop to speak with this man because you were coming from a meeting with British Vogue? Your calling him a "gentleman" amends none of the insults this photograph dispenses. None. Politeness does not excuse unjust actions by the elite.
To the commenters – there is absolutely nothing hopeful nor optimistic about this photo; I fear the opposite. the future of our society and our capacity for justice are certainly at risk if these 300-odd thoughtless comments are the only responses this photo garners.
September 12, 2009 at 9:03 am
September 12, 2009 at 3:17 pm
So inspired by this philanthropic masterpiece was I, that I too decided to elevate a local hobo. Armed with my Polaroid, I cycled around gritty East Williamsburg. I finally came across a particularly filthy yet noble creature. Unfortunately, no sooner than I had taken the shot, the vagabond had snatched away my camera and proceeded to thrash me about the head.(I must also state that although there were many bystanders, no assistance was offered) He then ran towards the Bushwick houses, camera in hand. I don't even think that he was truly homeless!! So ungrateful.YoursAbe Tasman
September 13, 2009 at 11:36 am
September 16, 2009 at 8:35 am
September 22, 2009 at 5:36 am
he's homeless, what are you going to do about it? discuss his styling? mad world we live in.
September 26, 2009 at 10:56 pm
I'm surprised that with so many comments, nobody has noted the similarities in this shot to Van Gogh's portait of a postman.
September 27, 2009 at 11:34 pm
Thanks for posting this – it's a pleasant change form all the middle class ladies and gentleman I see on your site. This particular gentleman is what brings life to a big city like New York! Lovin his style.
Unfortunately not enough is done to prevent homelessness and help those in need… None of us reading this blog will ever know what it feels like to not have a roof over our heads at night – but this man does and he is stronger than you and I – but it doesn't mean its ok.Perhaps this will encourage a few people to help the homeless, we need to do more than just soup vans!
September 27, 2009 at 11:41 pm
I absolutely love the comment of 'sad old lady of the lowlands'. RESPECT.
It couldn't be more true.
I'd love to have known a little about his story – even a few lines about what he was thinking when he put his outfit together?? – this man is a human being just like everyone else on Sartoralist – nobody is more important because they work for Vogue or 'design' and 'create' – I'm sure he's more creative than many we see photographed.What presence he has!
September 28, 2009 at 12:52 am
i think he is not a homeless!!!!he is a star, divine style, love him
September 29, 2009 at 11:27 am
fashion- a way to express who you are and sometimes where you're from. i hope he'll always have hope because going on life without it is difficult.
October 2, 2009 at 1:04 am
inspirational. thank you
October 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm
You dont get this person because you dont get the difference between fashion and style.Men should do only clothes and style, never fashion.Hwntw
November 5, 2009 at 5:59 am
I'm sorry, I just needed to add my voice in support of the others who have said this: how the hell do we know that he's homeless? he's black? dressing differently? How come you never asked to take his picture? Do you ask the people whose physical appearance and location indicate to you "not homeless" whether you can take their pictures?
Someone pointed out the percentage of homeless people who have serious mental illness. Homelessness isn't a "down on your luck" type thing for a lot of people; it's the end result of a lot of noxious life factors, including, oftentimes, mental illness. What the f. does this have to do with binaries of "dignity" – "not dignity"? Or "hopefulness"? We, as other not-homeless people, like to romanticize that the homeless are "hopeful" because it permits to absolve ourselves of all emotional or social responsibility to them. While I love a lot of the pictures on this blog, this one–and much of its attendant commentary–makes me feel ill.
November 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm
You are quite talented, eloquent, intriguing, and romantic. I really like that you can capture beauty in the world where ever you are and you are right to see something interesting in this man given his demeanor and circumstances. I quite like his jacket. I hope one day I am lucky enough to be photographed by you.
January 30, 2010 at 6:05 am
February 17, 2010 at 2:06 am
i just discovered you this week and i am not yet done looking at all the pictures. you have so much sense. very deep. i am moved by what you said about the homeless man. you've just gained a new follower.
April 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm
I can't see how it is possible to conclude that this gentleman is homeless from the photo. My guess, just from looking at the photo, is that he is not.
April 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm
anyone who is in complete awareness of him/herself hasn't lost a thing in life. they've only gained so much more. more than life can even comprehend.
August 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm
This is my favorite photo ever!! so direct, so NY.
August 27, 2010 at 12:03 pm
Powerful. He doesn't even look homeless. Blue is great on him
December 22, 2010 at 9:21 am
Who else thinks he kinda looks like Jimmy McMillan (Rent Is Too Damn High Party)?
Edinburgh Wedding Photography
May 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm
Brilliant – Mr Blue indeed! I always wonder how difficult it must be for these guys. Great picture.
June 2, 2011 at 9:43 pm
beautiful!!! This just made my day.
February 17, 2012 at 2:04 am
Getting a pair of boots in that brilliant shade of sky-ish blue is definitely on my list now. This guy is definitely stylish. Homeless or not (as I believe that may still be in contention).
August 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm
It is only an assumption to say he is homeless unless spoken to. He may be under employed or in another situation. Either way, the talk of whether it is wrong to talk about homeless people and their clothing choices as fashion or just practical survival gear is interesting. All people, whether a wall street banker, a young punk, an amazonian tribesman, an elderly person with little care for fashion — they all express who they are through choice, personal style and who they are with or without clothes. There are always choices. Let’s not dismiss this elegant looking gentleman because he may not have the resources to dress like a “rich” person. I don’t have much money but my style comes out even if I’m in a cheap outfit, a hand-me-down or a sheet.
February 2, 2013 at 9:55 pm
I was homeless in NYC in 2008 for about nine months. Almost nobody knew; I worked in a corporate office in Manhattan. There’s no way to tell if this man’s homeless without asking him. You should’ve asked.
There are a lot of comments here about The Homeless (like it’s a gang?). The commenter who wrote that homeless people are more free should try being homeless. It is unbelievably stressful!
I always worried about being hungry, getting stomach problems, sleep, rape, theft, attack, stalking, phone/email access, getting sick, and getting mail (you need some kind of a postal address in order to vote, get any kind of ID, get a library card, rent an apartment, get a PO box, hold down a job, etc). And a thousand other worries – none of which I have now that I have an apartment.
I wore great clothes during that time (as much as I could) because it it did give me dignity. But nobody should think that style is any substitute for a bathroom, a stove, and a bed!
I never comment but aargh, this needed another perspective. This guy looks fabulous. He doesn’t look homeless to me, he looks like he has a job where he’s outside or in a fridge a lot. He could easily be an artist or a farmer. But who knows? Just talk to people, that’s all.