Monday, November 18, 2013

On the Street….Seventh Ave., New York



Close comment

Detach comments


  1. Martine

    November 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Strange how much you can tell from just seeing this much of a person.

    • Diane

      November 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      You are so right.

      • WOWS

        November 18, 2013 at 4:43 pm

        I agree!

        Kisses from

        Today I show you a Comfy look with a rock touch…wearing my new ankle boots for first time!

      • wp

        November 19, 2013 at 10:32 am

        I love this site, and I come to look at the photos everyday, but one of the reasons I do so is to read the (sometimes) ignorant comments of the posters.

        Not to offend anyone directly, but this photo could quite possibly be of a homeless man, a street person, or whatever term you wish to use.

        It could also just as easily be an affluent hipster wearing a highly dysfunctional piece of high-fashion.

        I think the ambiguity of that is very dangerous.

        • Alison

          November 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm

          I totally agree with the dangerous quality of the photo’s ambiguity. Not wanting to offend anybody, but maybe the point of this photo’s presence here is more about social statement, NOT a fashion statement.

          • lucky_lips

            December 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm

            Most likely not, if you know some history of around here.

        • Cris

          November 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm

          I’m curious what makes the ambiguity “dangerous” to you. To me it’s more interesting than dangerous. Are you suggesting that this is somehow a trap for “ignorant” posters? Ambiguity or not, there’s always a danger in making assumptions.

          • Alison

            November 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm

            The ‘danger’ here is somehow thinking that this is in the territory of Zoolander’s “Derelicte” Collection. I don’t know if it’s a ‘trap’ … but when reading some of these comments, I’m thinking Brüno and Zoolander :-)

        • wp

          November 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm

          I’m with you, Alison (you’re spot-on about the potential of this work being Zoolander, and SB Cohen territory).

          What interests me is the “intent vs. the impact” of a photo like this one being posted on a public message board.

          Scott seeks images of beauty, or rawness, or “aboriginals” in their natural habitats (street people suddenly has layers of meaning…is Scott photographing “street people” (men and women going about their daily lives) or he photographing “street people” (the indigent, the down and out, the homeless, etc.)?

          And it opens the question about what beauty it, and what Scott’s goal is…
          Is he Diane Arbus, Dorothea Lange, or Helmut Lang?

          • Barbara

            November 21, 2013 at 3:28 am

            Can it just be a remarkable texture?

        • Martine

          November 20, 2013 at 3:21 pm

          It is obviously a homeless man. Look at the posture. At least that is how I perceived it. And I don’t think there is anything to diminish the ever growing problem of homelessness in this photo. Its is interesting texture, actually, and that worth noticing. But also it is a photo of something you see very, very often in any city, even small ones today. People with nowhere to live. The ambiguity is not dangerous. There is beauty in all sorts of things. The danger is not in fashion at all. the danger is in people doing nothing about the problem. I would argue that its better use of the indignation to donate some money or raise the question at a precinct meeting then to worry about hipsters. Its no secret that there are more, and MORE and MORE homeless people around all the time. Sorry for the rant. But its something I have been noticing too much of in the last five years or so. Its a lot worse out there.

          • Kelly Restivo

            November 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

            Thank you for putting it so bluntly :)

          • Rowena

            November 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm

            Martine, your comment is by far the most authentic. I think the world needs more people pushing ground socially in fashion. As i perceive Scott has done in this image. The fabric may be inspiring but OBVIOUSLY this man is not attempting a high fashion statement. So that is why i do find this image in this context of ‘THE SATORIALIST’ offensive. Shame.

        • Paul A'Barge

          November 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm

          People who find photographs dangerous need an intervention.

          • Lydia

            November 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm

            people who don’t find art dangerous need an intervention.

        • Josephine

          February 5, 2017 at 1:02 am

          Not sure how you thought that calling three people ignorant was inoffensive, but lets let that go for now. Look at the posture. That is how you know its not a hipster.

      • wp

        November 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm

        I’m not certain if it’s a trap for ignorant posters — but Scott is clearly trying to titillate the viewer by cropping the photo so that we can’t tell if the subject is homeless or just a tragic slave to “fashion.”

        Perhaps Scott knows the truth — but, in the meantime, we have people wondering if it’s a “Balmain jacket” or if he’s heading to a soup kitchen.

        I don’t think that’s the charge of this blogger (Scott). But I think the photo is presented in a way that will make people A) walk on eggshells about how they comment, and B) make people (yet again) pay homage to Scott’s eye for beauty.

        I like Scott’s work. Often, I marvel at the comments his photos generate (the posters who see beauty and charm in the objectively hideous), but he has elevated photo-blogging to an art form. Just ask him where he sits during fashion week: hint…it’s in the front row.

        • Patricia

          November 20, 2013 at 12:07 am

          I first visited this photograph early this morning. I mulled over some of the comments I read at that time – needing to find a way to respond to the discomfort I felt at some of the observations. Imagine my relief when I came back this evening to find this balanced response to the wide range of reactions. Thank you “wp” – you put my rambling thoughts in order.


      November 19, 2013 at 3:01 am

      I agree with you!

    • Sue

      November 19, 2013 at 4:17 am

      I’m curious, what is it you see from this view?

    • Emma

      November 21, 2013 at 1:03 am

      No not really. Like someone else said: is he homeless or is he wearing a weird piece of fashion?

    • Lisa O.

      November 22, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      No. Just no.

  2. me

    November 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    looks like a really old (not attractive) coat to me

  3. Jeremiah

    November 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Would that we all had the personal and social ability to wear our clothes to this extent.

  4. Black & Olive

    November 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

  5. debbie

    November 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Mimics the stone wall on 27th St. photo just below.

  6. Chris

    November 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I don’t like to photograph street people but I think this is an good example of keeping anonymity and showing character through the condition of the individuals clothing. Striking image. Very interesting

  7. Todd

    November 18, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I don’t often comment, but there’s something fascinating about this. Great shot.

  8. Shweta

    November 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Wow- touching- how do you do that.

    Experience the other end of the spectrum here-

  9. Mafalda

    November 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    You definitely can tell a lot from a person by just seeing their back! The only thing is to not talk behind their back ;)
    Mafalda ❤

  10. Alice

    November 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Good work.

  11. mvarrin

    November 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    stunning photo. The textures and the light and the fabric.

  12. Leo

    November 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I m sure is not a Balenciaga….but it snice

  13. Niki Lips

    November 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    This photo is amazing.

    • style rower

      November 19, 2013 at 8:46 am

      I agree, probably the most amazing photo ever.

      • bill

        November 19, 2013 at 9:59 pm

        Life changing photo of someone’s back. Probably should be entirely the last word on photography. The medium is perfected.

        • style rower

          November 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm

          I agree Bill, I hope you are as moved by this photograph as I was. Perhaps this should have wider distribution. You are right, perfection in pixels.

  14. Alessia

    November 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm



  15. alessia

    November 18, 2013 at 4:17 pm



    November 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Hipster or Homeless ?

    • carole

      November 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm


  17. Haruki

    November 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    The best thing for the earth is for us all to wear our clothes this well. It is true beauty and the best example seen of of the style derelicte. I will look at this photo many many times.

    • renee

      November 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      “Style derelicte”? Wow, shallow commentary. The man is clearly homeless and cannot afford otherwise.

  18. Archana

    November 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Good outlier from your usual shots ….

  19. Fashion Snag

    November 18, 2013 at 4:41 pm

  20. Chiara

    November 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    mi ricorda i Post-it!

  21. Eva

    November 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Totally worn to pieces and just like that it get’s a whole new look, beautiful!

  22. irene laura

    November 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Crazy but inspiring

    thanks for sharing this!!!

  23. Adriana

    November 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    I love the picture, the pattern is great, but the feeling is sadness.
    This picture makes me really really sad…

  24. Elvira

    November 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Hobo chic, lives a heroin chic life in a shabby chic apartment…

  25. Lindsey

    November 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Great photo! Very unique

  26. Shajavi Bahshir

    November 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Great shot! I love the patina on his coat. I wonder why so many homeless people have such a great sense of style. I think there is a lesson here for all of us ‘rich’ people: you don’t need a lot of money to be fashionable! Just be yourself and have fun!

    • Colleen

      November 18, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      He’s probably wearing the coat because it was the warmest or the only one he could find, not because it’s his personal “style.”

      I’m guessing it was not a sartorial decision, and more of a moment of serendipity for the rest of us looking in.

      • LIZPR

        November 19, 2013 at 8:54 am

        Colleen, thank you for reading my mind … homeless people are not thinking of style at ALL … they’re thinking of getting through the fricking day.

        It’s a sobering picture. There is something beautiful in this beaten up and worn coat and it made me stop and think. I also don’t presume this person to be homeless, either.

        Thank you,

  27. Taj

    November 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    I see on the back of this person a landscape of deconstructed art. I find the comments above interesting. The idea that this could be labelled as street person did not even occur to me, even in the context of a blog that for the most part is a platform for a type of fashion that is described by and idealized by the majority of viewers.

  28. Erica

    November 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Is this from Rick Owen’s Fall Collection?

    • Daniel

      November 19, 2013 at 7:22 am

      I believe it’s from Mugatu’s Derelicte collection.

      • Robbie

        November 19, 2013 at 11:38 am

        Thankfully at least one sane person out there!! Some of these commenters can derelicte my…..

      • NoraP

        November 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

        <3 that you caught that!

      • Erica

        November 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm

        Of course! I should have known.

  29. Erica

    November 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    This shot is really cool. I studied it for a long time.

  30. ShadowOfStyle

    November 18, 2013 at 7:31 pm


  31. milex

    November 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    I want it!

  32. twinmissy

    November 18, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Maybe it’s his favorite coat. Maybe it’s his only coat.
    I know I wear my favorite things until I can’t anymore.

  33. anne

    November 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I love it when you surprise us and remind us that your eye is looking everywhere, without bias, for beauty.

    • Renee

      November 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      exactly what I thought.

  34. Andy

    November 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Interesting photo. I have no idea if it’s a homeless person or someone (like me) who won’t give up or repair a great coat. I’ve see dazzlingly joyous outfits on people who were clearly street/homeless/disadvantaged souls that could easily inspire an entire collection. Like the woman at 7th and The Bowery wearing a full sequined skirt, and a rainbow array of wraps, scarves and turban last summer. If only I’d had a camera–and the nerve to ask–so I could have photographed her.

  35. L.C.

    November 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Makes me think of a tortoise or bug of some kind!

  36. Kate

    November 19, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Ab fab!!! What a creative guy!

  37. Oluabbeys

    November 19, 2013 at 3:30 am

    love the shot even though simple but speak louder than voice. In whatever form whether rich, poor or average, LIFE IS GOOD………….

  38. Mlrya

    November 19, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Yes. This coat is like a piece of Arte Povera. I’m happy to see its had such a good life!

  39. alessia sica

    November 19, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Great coat!

    The New Art of Fashion

  40. Kate

    November 19, 2013 at 8:01 am

    What a creative guy!

  41. B

    November 19, 2013 at 8:38 am

    let’s just hope he can get something warmer soon…

  42. lindy702

    November 19, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Very thought provoking. Taking into account all of the chic very beautiful people that you have always shown us, this image could be anyone….it is interesting how many responses have decided who this is, or how this person lives. Great work Scott…you have an amazing POV!

  43. Sunny Side

    November 19, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Wow it reminds me the buddha’s cape made of pieces of material exactly like this. It could be one walking incognito in the streets… so much to do … so much to help !

    • Taj

      November 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Really like your comment. We never really know.,.

  44. robyn

    November 19, 2013 at 9:53 am

    People often go to great lengths/ costs to achieve this much wear.

  45. Claudia

    November 19, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Interesting post – comments; sort of a Rorschach test.

  46. Lizzie

    November 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Frankly, my dear, he doesn’t give a “darn”!

  47. mollybloom

    November 19, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I think this gentleman is homeless based on his posture, not just the condition of his coat. I’m not feeling a lot of energy from him, I’m afraid he doesn’t feel well. But this shot is a good example of what I love best about Scott’s really very compassionate camera work–we’re asked to take a good look at so many different people, without judgment, and just appreciate them. Just see their beauty.

    • dodo

      November 20, 2013 at 1:04 am

      love your comment!

  48. Edgar C

    November 19, 2013 at 11:56 am

    This reminds me of when the Japanese designers of the 80s like Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo drew inspiration from homeless people (and drew controversy)

  49. Sarah G

    November 19, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I just saw something on the internet : “is The Sartorialist going too far by taking a picture of a homeless?”
    I think the one going too far is the one who asked this question. People in the street get inspiration from the fashion shows, from magazines, from other people in the streets. Fashion gets inspiration exactly the same way, some designer got inspired by people who lived in the street and nobody thinks we need to make a fuss about it. Why Scott Schumann could take pictures of journalists and fashion lovers and everyone but couldn’t take the picture of a homeless man? You can see beauty everywhere, there is no “correct beauty” whatsoever, you don’t have to stay in a particular and closed field; there is no difference between showing the clothes of a good looking girl and showing the clothes of a homeless person. Well there is actually, but it’s not a scandalous difference. It’s all about beauty, aura, about showing everyone without discrimination.

    • LesFleurs

      November 20, 2013 at 10:46 am

      That would be to ignore that on this, a style blog, there clearly is a “correct beauty”, just skim through the pages, so you really can’t have it both ways; there is editorial visually, editorial in the text and via the comments (which are approved for posting); an editorial which, by definition, is discriminatory.
      Where is the face in this photograph and why is it not shown? All “auras” are seemingly not equal.

      • SarahG

        November 22, 2013 at 9:23 am

        I agree on this, but I just meant that this picture is not at all scandalous; maybe the man did not want Scott to show his face, or maybe Scott did not want to. We’ll never know the circumstances in which the picture was taken; this is a step away from the editorial dimension of the blog, and even if of course when you skim through the pages you clearly feel the editorial, I don’t think it is hypocrite or fakely beautiful to post such a picture, it is just something different and people are talking about it, that’s the whole point.

  50. Brown

    November 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I love this image. I also love when you leave your images up without posting any follow ups, as if done on purpose to provoke thought.

    And I think you should do it more often :)


  51. James W

    November 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I’m horrified by some of the comments on this post. It’s undeniably an arresting image, but to stand back and call his jacket art or comment on the man’s “sense of style,” or even to assume he is homeless is embarrassingly insensitive and shallow. Comment on the photo all you like – the texture of the jacket is indeed interesting given the context of the city. But don’t comment on the man… we don’t know anything about him.

    • renee

      November 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      I agree, James. Many shallow and insensitive comments here. Imagine having a chat with this man (obviously homeless, come on!) and asking him about his ‘artistic/beautiful’ coat. What a joke! I would hope no one would dare do such a thing. egads!

  52. Victoria

    November 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Weird, simple yet faboulous image, great shot

  53. Vin's Look Book

    November 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    This pic gives me an idea for a new design. Picture the same jacket but with colorful patches in place of the sections that are peeling off. Maybe even throw in some studs while you are at it.

  54. Monsieur Marcel

    November 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Location–Seventh Ave, aka Fashion Ave– provides context and commentary; otherwise, any other street would render the photo trivial.

  55. Linda

    November 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Beauty has no limitations!!! I love it!
    This dear man is wearing an art piece
    and has no idea.
    Thanks for seeing & sharing Scott
    Please keep up your brilliance!

  56. Jeremy

    November 20, 2013 at 2:21 am

    It’s interesting, but not pretty. And if it’s designer, I’m certainly not paying for that!

  57. Name*

    November 20, 2013 at 9:29 am

    How can you say that you can tell “so much” about people by just looking at their back when you really don´t know the guy and only assume to know?

  58. Isa

    November 20, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Inspiring in every way! I think people should open their minds more…this is a trampoline for greater ideas. Thanks Scott.

  59. colourdiva

    November 20, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I think the intention of this shot is that we can still find beauty in the decay !

  60. CBC

    November 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

    i know u r taking a step in the direct of Diane Arbus…but this is the wrong formate

  61. midwest

    November 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Modern art. Beautiful.

  62. SVICA Jeans

    November 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    The stories that coat could tell!

    SVICA Jeans
    “The Customizable Tuxedo Stripe Jean”

  63. Kimberly

    November 21, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Mesmerizing,beautiful,imperfect,vulnerable,raw. I keep coming back to it. Like a textile piece…

  64. M Tera

    November 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Sart sees beauty/interest all over the place. This photo in & of itself doesn’t trouble me. But I sincerely hope that Sart asked the person’s permission before taking the photo and didn’t take the picture surreptitiously. Whoever was wearing this coat is a person and his/her wishes, dignity, and preferences should be respected.

  65. Rovner

    November 22, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Looks a like a turtle with a problem shell.

  66. kynaturegirl

    November 22, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Just before I scrolled to this shot I was thinking…is it actually about the clothes? If so, why is everyone so attractive?

  67. Manon Glennon

    November 23, 2013 at 12:27 am

    This is my ebay store inspired by rockNroll chique. Please check it out! (:

  68. Trinity

    November 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I live in Phoenix where there seem to be more homeless people than I ever saw living in New York, possibly due to the warmer climate. It did occur to me this person may be homeless. That being said, I do not agree this photograph is sublime, or a statement piece. To me, saying that is just an example of “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”. My first impression is that Scott captured an interesting texture. Period. It is, indeed! But…it is also a very gross coat.

  69. Nora Nord

    November 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    This is really inspiring. You find beauty in something that isn’t typically beautiful. I like the subversion from high fashion to, well, reality.

  70. Yourmirrorstyle

    November 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm

  71. Art

    November 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Its not a homeless man… :) but is excellent jacket! Wow! I repeat, excellent design!
    /profesjonalny fotograf/

  72. NoraB

    November 25, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Why have so many of the commenters on this photograph called this man “homeless”? What I see is a guy wearing a shabby coat that has an interesting texture. Why do so many of the people here assume that he has nowhere to live? I never knew that shabby clothing was the best indicator of someone’s living arrangements.

  73. hannah.X

    November 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I just saw him yesterday in Herald Square station. He is a homeless man wearing this patched puff jacket sleeping on the bench. But it’s really an amazing shot.

  74. Sofreakingcool

    November 27, 2013 at 6:46 am

    It is Ambiguous and it has us talking. I Vote for homeless person.

  75. monika marta

    November 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    It’s the most extraordinary photo I’ve ever seen here

  76. marie

    November 30, 2013 at 11:03 am

    How aesthetic is poverty in the eyes of the new rich.
    This is pure indecency.

  77. lucky_lips

    December 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Hipster or homeless? Doesn’t matter as long as my photos sell and I am hailed a hero.

  78. BC

    December 4, 2013 at 2:44 am

    This is surely a matter of common decency and respect? If permission was sought and granted for the photograph to be taken and used it doesn’t matter if the subject is a prince or a pauper.

  79. jj

    December 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Love the picture
    Too much judgement from the above politically correct liberal frauds … the picture’s great

  80. ccc

    December 27, 2013 at 3:34 am

    when I look at this i dont think about the social asepcts immediately. maybe its the context of the site, or the lack of info that comes with picture, but to me this looks like a coat that was turned that way by time/use not intent. it could be a homeless man, it could be somebody who this is their fav coat and they wear it every day like a cartoon character. but most of all it awes me in the things that can occur naturally in texture/fabric through our environment instead of being created by a designer on purpose.

  81. Yumi

    April 3, 2014 at 3:31 am

    I saw this man two days ago on 54th and broadway.

  82. BJ

    December 26, 2014 at 8:25 am

    It’s neither good nor bad. Very interesting pic. Great texture and grit. I can see years in that jacket…But there are not too many panels left on it… Ie he will be really cold soon. And could die. From the cold. And we did nothing to stop it. And the website owner indirectly makes $$ from posting the pic by virtue of each click…but I don’t know what he does, maybe he is a big donator to charity? Maybe he offered him a sandwich. I, we don’t know. Point is, it’s hard to get moralistic without being hypocritical. stuff in life ain’t fixed, everything is dependent and conditional…

Leave a comment

Related posts