Street-style expert ‘The Sartorialist’ revisits Philadelphia for book signing

Fashion photographer Scott Schuman and blogger Garance Doré hosted a book signing at the Barnes Foundation for Schuman’s book, “The Sartorialist: Closer,” on Oct. 13.

Renowned street style photographer Scott Schuman of “The Sartorialist,” and his girlfriend, blogger Garance Doré, visited Philadelphia for a book signing at the Barnes Foundation Oct. 13.

Schuman’s book, “The Sartorialist: Closer” features a collection of photographs of men and women whom he has photographed throughout the world for his street-style blog, “The Sartorialist.”  “The Sartorialist” blog, as well as the book, features images that have been taken of both everyday people on the streets showcasing their unique perspective on style, in addition to those who are involved in the fashion industry, such as models and publication editors.

“I really feel like he’s transitioned a lot from shooting just street style to shooting international photographs and also shooting in the back alleys of America,” said Christina Ho, a medical student in Philadelphia.  “Not just fashionable people… but also what American life is.”

The book showcases not only photographs, but some of the stories behind the images.

Noted in the beginning of the book, Schuman said why the book is titled “The Sartorialist: Closer.”  He said that  is because he has always felt a distance to people and always wanted to understand individuals on a different level.  He also noted that since starting “The Sartorialist” blog, he strived for diversity and that now, at the point of this book, he is approaching, or coming closer to his goals.

In those respects, Schuman has become closer to his goals, as well as those on the streets around the world, and on Saturday, he became closer to Philadelphians and Philadelphia style.

“This is the first opportunity I’ve had to meet him, so I wanted to come and tell him how much of a fan I am of his work,” Ho said.

Schuman and Doré sat at a table at the end of the Annenberg Court at the Barnes Foundation, signing copies of Schuman’s book for the hundreds of people who were in attendance.

Not only did Schuman and Doré sign books, but they brought the event to a more personal level by engaging in conversation with each and every attendee, even shaking hands with introductions.

The crowd that showed up for the event was more than just people involved in the fashion industry, but also every-day people who feel as though they are represented in both Schuman’s and Doré’s photography.

“I just like that [Schuman’s photography] doesn’t come off as forced. It is very fresh,” said Huffington Post Beauty Editor and alumna Dana Oliver.  “I also like the way Garance captures women in photography.”

Although Philadelphia’s style was represented at the event, Schuman’s work makes the statement of street-style photography being about more than just the latest trends.

“I think he definitely identifies with people who have both a high and low sense,” Meredith Bonner said, a Philadelphia retail analyst.  “It isn’t necessarily about wearing the newest and most expensive things, but it is much more accessible and it’s a way for us all to identify with fashion.”

Schuman visited Philadelphia for the book signing on Saturday, but he had also visited the city once before for the sake of photographing street style for his blog — and left disappointed with what he had seen, he said.

“I think it was interesting a couple years ago that he came to Philadelphia and was verbal about being disappointed with what he saw,” Bonner said.  “I think that there is variety of style here that doesn’t necessarily pigeonhole people.”

Still, his return to Philadelphia and the crowds that attended his book signing proved that he has garnered fans in the city.

Schuman and Doré’s visit to Philadelphia brought fans of their work from around the city to meet and interact with the two prominent fashion industry individuals.

“Coming to events like this and meeting [Schuman], and just seeing what he does is really inspiring to people like me because I’m a blogger myself,” said Naira Wright, a fashion design student at Moore College of Art and Design.  “It just really inspires me and how I take pictures, as well as what I look for in other people as well.”

Taylor Farnsworth can be reached at

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