By Patrick Hedlund
DNAinfo News Editor
EAST VILLAGE — One of the world's foremost fashion photographers and the eye behind international style blog The Sartorialist greeted fans in the East Village Tuesday, speaking about street chic and why New York trumps them all when it comes to his subjects.
Scott Schuman, whose blog is must-read for the fashion set and often recognized as the most influential of its kind, came to the Kiehl's flagship store on Third Avenue to promote his partnership with the skin-care company.
Since launching The Sartorialist in 2005, the site has earned wide acclaim among fashion industry insiders and style-conscious amateurs alike, who comment in the hundreds on each of his portraits of well-dressed urbanites.
Schuman said that despite the impeccably tailored suits and impossibly high heels he captures in fashion capitals like Milan and Paris, New York takes tops billing for the diversity of outfits on display.
"It's just that variety that makes it so interesting," said the Greenwich Village resident, whose work for The Sartorialist has landed him gigs shooting at Fashion Week, as well as modeling jobs and collaborations with designer labels like Burberry.
In the East Village, he cited the influence of punk and the neighborhood's artistic ethos as reasons why he opts to shoot there.
"The young, cool girls mixing vintage with designer" clothes draw him to places like Tompkins Square Park, "one of those old-school parks in the sense that it really services the community."
More broadly, the site offers a voyeur's-eye-view of the city's ever-changing trends, providing inspiration to his massive following.
"I think people have the chance to live vicariously through the photos," Schuman said, noting one reader decided to move to Milan after seeing his portraits from the northern Italian city. "They relate to the people in the photos in an abstract way."
Ultimately, though, the blog is less about the garments and more about the people wearing them — and how his fans can identify with subjects through a single picture, Schuman explained.
"The clothes are secondary," he said. "It actually is the people — capturing people in a way that others can relate to, but also aspire to."
Schuman's Father's Day collaboration with Kiehl's includes an exclusive photo collection featuring shots of New York City dads playing with their children at Bleecker Street Park in the West Village, as well as a limited-edition shaving kit.