Satorialist focuses on faces

Satorialist focuses on faces

The man behind popular street style blog The Sartorialist, photographer Scott Schuman, has his eyes trained on a new type of lens - glasses.

The American is collaborating with eyewear company Luxottica, which distributes famous brands such as Ray-Ban, Oliver Peoples, Persol and Armani, on a project called Faces by The Sartorialist.

The year-long initiative, which was launched in June, consists of Schuman taking pictures of stylish individuals donning eyewear. The images are up on www.facesbythesartorialist.com and Instagram under the same name.

"I'm lucky that I've been able to do projects with companies that trust me and my eye," says the 46-year-old in a phone interview from London. "We didn't want it to be so commercial. It's more about people's faces and how eyewear helps give them an additional bit of interest."

Luxottica is the latest in a series of high-profile clients for Schuman, who has also worked with household names such as British brand Burberry and American skincare label Kiehl's.

A pioneer of street style photography in the blogosphere, Schuman began his oft-referenced blog in 2005. While there are now more street style bloggers and voices than ever, he does not feel worried about his own blog's relevance.

"I find that a lot of blogs are a report on what people are wearing," he says. "I think the thing that continues to separate me from them is that I just want to take nice portraits where clothes tell a part of that story. I don't care to report what they're wearing."

The images he takes, adds Schuman, are often a reflection of himself as much as of the person he is shooting.

"At the end of the day, it's a photo of them, but it's my photo of them. It's about the qualities I imagine I see in them that I'm pulling out."

He also quashes the notion that one has to know the subjects intimately or represent them in their entirety.

"It's just a moment and one element of who that person is. It's not the whole truth, so that's why I never say I'm a photojournalist."

Schuman got his start in street style photography after leaving his job running a fashion showroom to become a stay-at-home dad to his two daughters, now 16 and 12 years old. The blogger, who is now divorced, began carrying a camera around the streets of New York and taking pictures of stylish people as a hobby.

Within six months, Conde Nast had recruited him to take pictures for its Style.com website, and he received accolades as one of Time magazine's Top 100 Design Influences and commissions from American GQ and French Vogue in the following years.

Next year is the 10th anniversary of The Sartorialist, which will be celebrated with the launch of his third book of photographs, due to be out in the fall of next year.

Schuman says, over the years, the scope of his work has gotten even wider, both due to his growing interests and confidence.

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