Monday, May 15, 2006

The Sartorialist In DNR

I could not be more thrilled by the article in this weeks DNR written by the lovely Sandra Nygaard.
DNR is the bible of the menswear industry, I have been reading it since high school so this is a big deal to me.

Making Waves
As Gawker is the guilty pleasure of the New York media industry, ask any local fashion insider what?s bookmarked on their computer and it?s likely to be The Sartorialist (Thesartorialist.blogspot.com). Scott Schuman, 38, is the man behind the camera of this photo-driven blog site that focuses on the style of well-dressed New Yorkers from all walks of life. A former industry player who owned a showroom representing young designers, Schuman has no formal background in photography, new media or journalism, but his sharp photos, incisive interviews and clever commentary have created an outlet that?s savvy without being snobby. The animated and energetic blogger met with DNR to discuss how his site has grown into a mini-phenomenon. ?SANDRA NYGAARD

DNR: What made you want to launch your blog?
SCOTT SCHUMAN: When I first started it, I thought it would be all photos with not a lot of writing. I had been taking photos for a while in Chinatown, Harlem and Fulton Fish Market and I started realizing I had an interesting collection. They were style-driven but didn?t have anything do with fashion. I added new shots of people I?m inspired by with these older
shots and thought it might make a kind of cool site.

Tell me about your audience and how it?s grown since you started nine months ago.
The first month it was about 10,000 visits, and now I get about 6,000 visits and about 13,000 page views a day. My slowest month has been only 30 percent growth. I?d estimate that 20 to 30 percent of my readers are international. I did a survey and found out that my audience is 56 percent men, and age-wise 50 percent are in their twenties.

What about your site appeals to them?
An important part is that it?s a fashion site that?s not bitchy. It?s about style, not about how expensive things are. One photo could be of someone wearing Kiton, the next photo can be of an old guy in a really old suit or a skater.

How do you pick your photo subjects?
Something has to strike me about them. I don?t go out with any preconceived notions. Sometimes it?s seeing something quickly and deciding if I can find something interesting about it. Sometimes it?s not the whole outfit, sometimes it?s just the shoes.

What is the next level in terms of growth?
Robert Burke may become sort of a partner with me. We?re still trying to figure out how it will work. I think it?ll be something like using his consultancy to get an investor to help take me to the next level. There?s advertising potential for something like this. A lot of high-end men?s wear firms don?t really have a lot of places to advertise?certainly not on the Web. There will be more interviews. If we get an investor it?ll be more visual, with photos side by side or pop-up windows. Right now it?s very New York?driven, but I?ll start going to the shows in Europe and Pitti Uomo. I can shoot backstage and capture the excitement in a different way. I?m also thinking of starting events with retailers, where I sit down with a designer. I?ll ask my own questions, people in the audience can ask questions and I?ll also ask questions that people have written in to my site.

What role do you ultimately envision for yourself?
I could see me being the Anthony Bourdain of the fashion world. In his book he says something like, ?I?m not going to rip the veil off the cooking industry. I?m not trying to change it. I don?t hate it. I?m part of it. I?m just going to talk about it in the way that other cooks might be interested in hearing about it.? That?s what I?d like to do.

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19 comments

  1. argos

    May 15, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    That was a fantastic interwiew. You are good on both sides of the desk.

    You and Robert Burke as partners?

    I love it! Can’t wait. Wish I could be a part of it.

  2. tee

    May 15, 2006 at 7:37 pm

    GREAT, AND MODEST INTERVIEW SARTORIALIST. I HAVE BEEN CHECKING THIS SITE ADDICTIVELY FOR THE PAST 2 MONTHS, AND IT NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME. HOWEVER WHEN YOU ENTERPRISE WITH THE GREAT MR. BURKE, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT GO TOO COMMERCIAL. PLEEEEASE, I UNDERSTAND MAKING A PROFIT IS UNEVITABLE ESPECIALLY ON AN IDEA THIS FRESH, BUT DO NOT STRAY AWAY FROM YOUR ROOTS.
    I’M SURE YOU WON’T DISSAPPOINT YOUR LOYAL (ORIGINAL) FANBASE.

  3. The Sartorialist

    May 15, 2006 at 8:00 pm

    I don’t plan to stray at all

    the voice and point of view is what they would be buying into so to change it would not make sense.

  4. MexicanLapoElkann

    May 15, 2006 at 8:51 pm

    Felicidades Sartorialist, great site and keep it in that direction.

    Congrats from Mexico

  5. AnastasiaC

    May 15, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    Congrats on the interview!!
    An ‘Anthony Bourdain of the Fashion World’ – I love it!!!!

  6. lovelydharma

    May 15, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    Congrats — Grow, but don’t change. You’re perfect! Since leaving New York (my previous home of 15 years) you have been my line back to my favorite part of living there– the street fashion that is so distinctively New York. You keep my homesickness at bay, with your honest eye. Thanks!

  7. Anonymous

    May 15, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    You’re very right about why your site appeals to people. Also, it was interesting to read that you have no formal photography training.

  8. Anonymous

    May 16, 2006 at 12:59 am

    Awesome prospects ahead, Sarto! Well done & keep it up from a NZ fan.

  9. fashmoda

    May 16, 2006 at 2:24 am

    You are doing a fantastic work. If you need any support from Italy let me know.

  10. Piers Fawkes

    May 16, 2006 at 9:21 am

    congratulations. well deserved. Keep it up, Scott.

  11. Francois

    May 16, 2006 at 9:23 am

    Good interview and as Tee said don’t go too commercial…your vision is un..commercial which makes it unique. Can you have both Buffy and a Ralph Lauren ad at the same time?

  12. Grief

    May 16, 2006 at 10:22 am

    Nice quotation – and relevant – of Anthony Bourdain’s incisive remarks too.

  13. Anonymous

    May 16, 2006 at 10:41 am

    I left Manhattan last year for Toronto (which actually is my home), and your photos remind me of the place where my heart is. Keep up the good work!!

  14. don't quote me on this

    May 16, 2006 at 2:00 pm

    Congrats on a great interview!

    Thanks for sharing your insights and photos.
    The reference to Anthony Bourdain was perfect.
    Good luck on your new ventures Satorialist!

  15. Modern: Fashion

    May 16, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    The fashion world needs an Anthony Bourdain!

  16. Monica Powers

    May 16, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    What’s remarkable about all this attention your blog is getting is that it has been organic and genuine. You just took your passion and expressed it in a contagious way. Congratulations.

  17. Gotham Addict

    May 16, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    Congratulations on your well deserved rise to fame.

    It was good to run into you working Pitti Uomo this morning at Piano Due.

  18. seawallrunner

    May 16, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    what a lovely interview – congratulations

  19. andrea

    May 17, 2006 at 9:39 am

    congrats! keep up the awesome work! No formal training in photography? Wow! Then you must have some serious talent, ’cause you seem to capture people at their best. If I come to NY, will you take my photo?

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