SCOTT SCHUMAN has spent the last decade capturing street style in the fashion capitals of the world, but his third tome – The Sartorialist X– has taken him further afield.
“I really travelled the world to explore what style and beauty means to a host of different cultures,” he told us ahead of its publication tomorrow. “I went to Dubai, Kiev, Johannesburg, Morocco, northern India, Peru and the pictures from these faraway places juxtapose so nicely with the more established fashion capitals, as well as places like Bangkok and Mumbai. I find so much inspiration in diversity and in challenging my eye to appreciate unfamiliar colours, patterns and shapes. In this sense, this is the book I’ve been waiting to do.”
The 511-page book is something of a doorstop, full of the type of candid shots that made Schuman a major player and, despite changing where he shoots on the grid, an old haunt will always hold a special place in his heart.
“Italy is my number one inspiration. There’s a level of sophistication and old-world decorum that’s unique and unwavering,” he explained. “Gracefulness and reverence for good manners informs everything they do: the way they dress, the way they set the table, even the handwriting. And this trickles down to the younger generations. It’s not cool in Italy to have a don’t-give-a-damn attitude which many fashion kids might have. It’s cool to care and be polite. ”
Next, the photographer will be turning his attentions to another area of the fashion industry, including expanding the footwear collection that he designed with Sutor Mantellasi last year and developing a menswear clothing collection – the latter of which he remains tight-lipped about (“I can’t reveal too much yet!”). What he will say, however, is how he’s drawing on his experience of being on the physical and metaphorical fashion front row.
“I’ve spent the last ten years studying other people’s style and it’s really helped me answer my own fashion questions,” he said. “I have a design degree and I am so grateful that I do because it means I’ve always looked at fashion and design with a critical eye, rather than as a fan. And now, having spent so many years doing research on the streets of the world, I feel ready to put my knowledge and understanding to good use.”