Back To Top

‘You don’t have to be tall and slim to be fashionable’

Scott Schuman, blogger of ‘The Sartorialist,’ captures real street fashion in Seoul


You are nowhere close to fashion-savvy if these words mean nothing to you: The Sartorialist.

It is one of the world’s most visited fashion blogs packed with photos of gorgeous fashionistas on the streets all over the world, spotted and captured by Scott Schuman. If you were snapped and posted by him, it means that over 700,000 thousand Internet users will see your photo each day. 
Scott Schuman (Bean Pole)
Scott Schuman (Bean Pole)

At the news recently that Schuman was on the look out for non-professionals in Korea to model for “Trench Project in SEOUL” ― his collaboration work with Korean fashion brand Bean Pole ― more than 1,000 people applied. 
Scott Schuman takes a photo of a model for the “Trench Project in SEOUL,” a collaboration work with Bean Pole. (Bean Pole)
Scott Schuman takes a photo of a model for the “Trench Project in SEOUL,” a collaboration work with Bean Pole. (Bean Pole)

Though his growing influence in the fashion world brings him many commissions, the power blogger said that they are not as emotionally satisfying as shooting for his own blog.

“I’m not obligated to show Bean Pole pictures on the site. It was part of the contract negotiations. It was their choice of clothes and setting and everything. But of course, if I come up with a shot that I love, I will put it up on my site,” Schuman told the press on Tuesday at the Bean Pole shop in Myeong-dong, central Seoul.

During his visit, he also browsed around the city to search for some fashionistas of his own. The very first one he spotted was Bae Jeong-nam, one of the most famous male models in Korea.

“It was obvious. When you see a guy like that, you have to take his picture. You might know who that person is but I didn’t know anything about him,” said Schuman.

Schuman is not some random paparazzo. He knows about fashion ― he studied apparel merchandising in Indiana University, worked in the fashion business for 15 years, including at Bergdorf Goodman as a menswear director, and even ran his own showroom for several years. No wonder his blog, which he began in 2005 while being a stay-at-home-dad, became a huge success.

Schuman said that he felt a disconnection between what he was selling in the showroom and what he was seeing real people wear in real life, and that he now points his camera not to models but to regular but stylish people on the streets.

“I saw a young lady in Korea when I went to Dosan Park. She was not particularly tiny but was bigger and curvy but looked so great because she made her body look great by wearing a great mixture of color and print,” said Schuman.

“There are people who feel alienated from style and fashion. They think that if they are not six foot tall and skinny, they could not be fashionable. I feel most rewarded when I see people coming back to fashion after seeing my photos.”

Schuman published a book in 2009 titled “The Sartorialist” which contains 500 of his favorite photos in which the subjects range from beautiful young women in short skirts, children in colorful leggings to fat men in suits and gracefully dressed old ladies. The book ranked first place on the Amazon.com bestseller chart in the fashion category and also topped many fashion book charts in Korea for as long as 13 weeks.

“I don’t think there is one definition for style. What I’ve come to believe is that someone’s style should help them live a life that they live. I live a very physical life, shooting, so I buy fewer suits but more outerwear. I like to feel elegant but it doesn’t have to mean that I have to be super dressed up or wearing designer labels. I could wear jeans and comfortable clothes to run out and take pictures right away but still feel elegant,” he said.

By Park Min-young  (claire@heraldcorp.com)
MOST POPULAR