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It’s almost too easy to make fun of Scott Schuman

And yet it’s impossible not to. His level of self-love is off the charts. He has no filter whatsoever. And— as GQ writer Alex Pappademas discovered when he was sent to Italy to profile the man behind The Sartorialist—all you’ve really got to do is turn on a tape recorder in front of the guy, and you’re off to the races.

There are many good moments—Schuman snapping a male model outside a show and then declaring the resulting image “a Diane Arbus shot,” for instance.  But this is my favorite:

When Schuman—scanning for subjects at a Milan menswear trade show—finds somebody he’d like to shoot, writes Pappademas, he tries to “lead them them away from the glossy signage of the trade show buildings and put them up against old, crumbly walls whenever he can.”

“‘It places them in context,'” [Schuman] says. “When I point out that by positioning them so you can’t see they’re at a fashion trade show, he’s actually, technically, obscuring the context, he says, `Yes, it’s definitely a curated context. It’s my altered reality.”

Which, if anybody should ever make a This is Spinal Tap of the fashion world, is totally the “This one goes to 11″ moment.


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Posted on May 21st, 2012 33 Comments

33 Responses

  1. Sharon says:

    Okay, that’s just funny. He’s so cute in a completely oblivious self absorbed kind of way.

  2. Melody McFarland says:

    He’s such a supreme douchebag that he even looks like one.

  3. Dana says:

    I think an fashion world “Spinal Tap” sound brilliant.

  4. daisyj says:

    “I’m curating the context” is going to be my new excuse for when I’m caught completely making something up.

  5. aaryn b. says:

    When his photo popped up in my reader, I was afraid you might sing his praises; I was afraid I would have to delete GOACA. Mais, non! Thanks for highlighting Schuman’s for the prick that he is. I’ve now bumped you to the tippy top of my Must Read list.


  6. Kim says:

    THANK you for saying what lots of us have been thinking. Ever since he excoriated Tavi he has really been on my s-list.

  7. carmencatalina says:

    Ah, Scott Shuman. The ladies of Looks Good from the Back ( have been calling him the SHobbit for some time. At first, I thought they were overly mean. But over time, I’ve decided that he really is a rather loathsome person.

  8. Marianne says:

    Do we mind?? You made our day! Thank you!

  9. anise says:

    This is great! I wish someone would write something similar about PHOOT camp…

    On the Scott note – I did see him outside a show in Paris this Spring, and I have to say, he was quite warm and charming. Most of the other bloggers were annoying & pretentious. It was refreshing to see Scott being one of the nice guys.

  10. Frances says:

    Geez, how does he breathe the same air as Himself? Brilliantly said.

  11. Heather says:

    Ah, this made my day. The last time I was in NYC, it was Fashion Week and I was near the shows. I talked to Garance Doré and she could not have been more gracious. I turned to approach SS (hmm…interesting initials!) to thank him for his work as I was a long time reader and the utter coldness shivers me timbers just to think about it again. It was as if I wasn’t even there even though I was standing right in front of him. I used to live in Manhattan–for 14 years–and I can say that had never happened to me before! Hope it won’t happen again either…

  12. I’m so curating this context! Brill!

  13. Lauren says:

    Two words: Napoleon Complex. Two more: Bigus Dickus (and not in a good way).

  14. evelyn gorman says:

    Hello Kim. Love your blog – congratulations.
    Good for you and your one-woman show!! I share your feelings and have been contemplating my next move.
    This interchange on Scott is very interesting – though not surprising considering the profile that he has created for himself – good work if you can get it! I had no idea he makes this impression on people – used to buy from his showroom in the 90’s for mix – never saw a camera!

  15. GT says:

    I understand what everyone’s saying, but I absolutely LOVE some of his photographs! There is no denying his talent.

  16. Diane says:

    thank you thank you for finally saying what i’ve been thinking for so long. for his bullshit on taking pictures of only the beautiful people than having the balls to call one girl curvy. dudes brain is curvy. i love an outspoken women and lady, you got it!

  17. evelyn gorman says:

    Diane – i could not agree more! Horrendous behavior – unfortunately not atypical for the fashion pack – part of the reason i got out when i did

  18. patrice says:

    Thank You! I thought I was the only one who thinks SS is the most self-important person roaming the streets of fabulous cities. The blog was interesting at first but now it is all about self promotion. This guy is total
    HAT, NO RANCH. Note to Scott: stay behind the camera and try some humble pie.

  19. Wesley says:

    Love. How about a “BOYS OF A CERTAIN AGE” blog, or do I need to start that one myself?

  20. spark says:

    Love this piece on Scott Schulman – what’s even better is your previous post on Amy Arbus being the O.G. (and, if I might add, Bill Cunningham). Spinal Tap for fashion – brilliant. On a separate note – I lOVE your blog!

  21. Jill Rowe says:

    OK ~ love your site! The piece about SS is great, cuz it’s the white elephant in the room at the moment ,yes? But since I’ve never met the man I can’t pile on here, cuz my code of ethics is such that I at least have to have met someone before I make a judgement, BUT…the sartorialzoo is amazeballs!

  22. Lisa says:

    Finally! Someone speaking the truth about this guy. More please.

  23. DGW says:

    Wow, as someone who is far removed from the fashion world in a certain sense ( i work in retail) I was surprised at the amount of “hate” being sent SS’s way. I admire his ork, and you all have to admit, he was one of the first to do this kind of thing. So he has an attitude sometimes, so what? I am sure all of you posting here have given the cold shoulder to someone at some point. Why waste time hating, move on ladies and maybe that is why he has Garance, she helps to balance it out! Get over it folks, you have all been here at one time or another.

  24. Sean Bianca says:

    I must give him credit as Mr. Schuman is talented but would be categorized in my blogs as …. “Mr. Egotistical Ass”. He might also be “The Narcissist” but he probably has every right to be!

  25. cave_princess says:

    I have been waiting for someone to express annoyance at the always annoying sartorialist. he always appears so smug.

  26. Rae Rae says:

    Jeeesh–what age are girls of a certain age?!?

  27. muranogirl says:

    Never thought someone would come right out and say the emperor has no clothes! Thank you. Scott is terribly insecure and a total Euro-wannabe. Having spent many years in mills in Como and attending those Milan trade shows, I can honestly say Scott will always be on the outside looking in.