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Not Giving Up, NYC

 
 
 
 
 















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Monday, August 31, 2009

Not Giving Up, NYC

I don't usually shoot homeless people. I don't find it romantic or appealing like a lot of street photographers, and if you asked homeless people they are probably not to happy about their situation either. That's why I was surprised to be so drawn to taking a picture of this gentleman.  

I was being interviewed for an article in British Vogue; and while we walked down Bowery back in April I barely stopped walking when I took the shot. Fiona Golfar, the writer, asked why I took the photo. At that moment I couldn't really explain - but I just had a feeling about the power and grace of how he was sitting there. It wasn't until later that night when I was working on the image that I realized why I had noticed this man.

Usually people in this man's position have given up hope. Maybe this gentleman has too, I don't know, but he hasn't given up his sense of self or his sense of expressing something about himself to the world. In my quick shot I had noticed his pale blue boots, what I hadn't noticed at first were the matching blue socks, blue trimmed gloves, and blue framed glasses. This shot isn't about fashion - but about someone who, while down on his luck, hasn't lost his need to communicate and express himself through style.

Looking at him dressed like this makes me feel that in some way he hasn't given in or given up.

Comments on "Not Giving Up, NYC"

 

Blogger JustNorman said ... (10:41 AM) : 

I hope he hasnt' given up either. who knows, he might just make it out of the slums one day.

http://www.justnorman.blogspot.com/
the blog that no one knows about

 

Blogger Mat said ... (10:41 AM) : 

very powerful

 

Blogger Ghostboy said ... (10:42 AM) : 

He doesn't even look that homeless! The peacoat is nice, and the jean-short is very au courant and pairing it with trousers might even become a trend. Leave it to Scott to find the most stylish homeless man.
Fascinating.

 

Anonymous Bibi in wonderland said ... (10:42 AM) : 

I definitely agree with you.
This shot conveys a sense of hope and dignity that's really moving.

 

Anonymous Glitterati_Duane said ... (10:43 AM) : 

I feel you on this one. Great photo.

 

Blogger sas said ... (10:43 AM) : 

You are so right! I think this man has a really interesting charisma and the matching colors are so nice.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:44 AM) : 

Yes he hasn't given up ! He is so elegant even homeless ! A kind of consciousnes and love for himself. I visit your site everyday but never leaves comment except today. I appreciate a lot your insight for people and your "humanity". Sunny Side

 

Blogger ab said ... (10:45 AM) : 

Lovely.

 

Anonymous styleandsubstance said ... (10:47 AM) : 

Scott, this is EXACTLY why I visit your site everyday. I never know when I am going to be moved. "...hasn't lost his need to communicate and express himself through style." Well put. This blog is the perfect example of style and substance. Thank you.

 

Blogger Try-out said ... (10:47 AM) : 

very touching

 

Anonymous Kai said ... (10:48 AM) : 

This is the essence of New York...the old New York.

 

Blogger Teresa @ good-grace said ... (10:48 AM) : 

oh. my. Not to sound trite, but this is one I'll remember forever. I'm hoping you are right - that this gentleman had not given up hope.

 

Blogger Aia Phillip D'Onofrio said ... (10:50 AM) : 

amazing.

 

Blogger Alice Olive said ... (10:51 AM) : 

This comment has been removed by the author.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:54 AM) : 

beautifully said... brings tears to my eyes. inspiring as always but done differently today.

 

Anonymous Eleonora said ... (10:55 AM) : 

Wonderful photograph, really beautiful and moving at the same time.

I don't usually shoot people, either, but I'm glad you took this picture and shared it.

Eleonora

 

Blogger thatsorad said ... (10:56 AM) : 

That is awesome!Beautiful really!

 

Blogger JFK Jean said ... (10:56 AM) : 

Well put. You can just tell by looking at him that there's some sense of style wanting to be unleashed.

 

Blogger Patrulla said ... (10:58 AM) : 

I feel touch for the sincerity of your testimony. Your sensibility for keep the respect for this men who have dignity and self style even in a hard situation of life.

The blue shoes are AWESOME

(Sorry for my bad bad english, jajaja)

: )

 

Blogger FiL said ... (10:59 AM) : 

Really cool pix... I guess he would like it :)

Philippe
www.punkgeisha.com

 

Blogger Akia said ... (11:01 AM) : 

judging from the confidence and silent challenge of his pose he surely din not give up.

it's an inspiring shot.

 

Blogger Juli said ... (11:02 AM) : 

A beautiful photo and a powerful presence in this gentleman. Thank you for sharing this.

 

Blogger Dari said ... (11:03 AM) : 

It's a beautiful shot of a strong man.
You can tell this man has been hardened, but he hasn't been broken.

Thank you for this photograph.

 

Blogger Ace said ... (11:03 AM) : 

Wonderful. In all its truest sense.;)

 

Anonymous philo said ... (11:03 AM) : 

Something strange: since 9.00 AM, they're no comment!!!! It's very strange on the Sartorialist. So I'm the first one to post about this man: this is the true style. It's not about what you are wearing, but it's an energy coming from the inside. And this homeless is the perfect exemple that could be find. BRAVO.

 

OpenID littlemissdaisy said ... (11:06 AM) : 

I love this photo, what it is and what it represents. Something to save for your second book perhaps?

 

Anonymous The Photodiarist said ... (11:07 AM) : 

Are you sure that he is homeless? He is dressed a bit warmly for summer. In any event, he looks amazing. Seriously. As for taking pictures of homeless people, I have mixed feelings. Sometimes, when roaming around the city with my camera, I have been asked by some to take their pictures. I think that it can make a person feel relevant and visible again. Anyway, good capture.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:08 AM) : 

Thanks for this, Scott. Good job and thoughtful commentary.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:10 AM) : 

What a incredible sense of blending the colors of blue. He is certainly more put together some people with homes/apt walking around NY.

 

Blogger annie cat said ... (11:10 AM) : 

I think it is a beautiful photo and you've captured his self-expression. Thank you for sharing your work.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:11 AM) : 

PS When I was younger I worked in Washington D.C. (I'm Canadian). I volunteered in a large homeless shelter downtown in my spare time. (I'd never in my life seen anything so big.) What struck me was the art work in the shelter. Over the years many very talented people had passed through there and left evidence of their visual creativity and immensely powerful self-expression. It really stayed with me.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:12 AM) : 

I like this post, Sart. There are a lot of homeless people near where I live and I notice that they have a lot of creativity and ingenuity. I respect them and this man as well!

 

Blogger Honeygo Beasley said ... (11:12 AM) : 

Amen. Great post! I first noticed his size and how he is totally occupying the space. Then the books and the beard, the glasses, the gloves, the pants (very clean fellow, I must say - sort of spotless in fact - a major feat for many who live on the street).

Most of all, I noticed how your title matches so well with your subject.

 

Blogger Maria said ... (11:13 AM) : 

I think this picture is really touching ... Thank you for sharing!

 

Anonymous Chelsea said ... (11:13 AM) : 

Scott, what was your interaction with this man like? I'm sure, like all your other subjects, you asked his permission to photograph him, so what did he say to you?

 

Blogger Rose said ... (11:16 AM) : 

Thank you so much for this image and for your words. I have just posted an article about your sens of style and your umanity on my blog ! What a coincidence !
Sorry for my poor english but I wanted to let you know how moved I am by your pictures and this one especialy.

Rose.

 

Blogger beths said ... (11:16 AM) : 

"what did I do to be so black and blue?"

Love the posture, beard, layers, and blue glasses!

 

Blogger the F word said ... (11:17 AM) : 

i want thsoe boots!!!!!

 

Blogger Suttiporn said ... (11:18 AM) : 

Thumbs up :D

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:20 AM) : 

hear that

 

Anonymous Mia said ... (11:21 AM) : 

If it weren't for the thoughtful text to the photo, one might be a bit troubled! But it's beautiful. It's powerful. It turns things around.

This photo says a whole lot.

 

Anonymous Chou Chou Design said ... (11:22 AM) : 

I find Homeless people having the most creative style a lot of times. The way they layer/ coloring/ mixing patterns are so powerful! I always find them inspiring. You said this photo isn't about fashion. What is Fashion anyway? I thought this is pretty fashionable.

 

Blogger Owen said ... (11:28 AM) : 

You almost wouldn't think he's homeless...

 

Blogger Well Done said ... (11:29 AM) : 

I like it. Self expression is important for everyone. Thanks for this perspective.

 

Blogger non-no said ... (11:32 AM) : 

...also, i believe the colors of the outfit not being washed out also help. Do I make sense at all?

 

Blogger Barbro Andersen said ... (11:36 AM) : 

Amazing shot; I can see why you were drawn to him!

 

Blogger khot said ... (11:40 AM) : 

Yes - power and grace.

 

Blogger troubledeyes said ... (11:45 AM) : 

It's so easy to believe that homeless people are down on their luck, but really they have a freedom the rest of us in society do not. The chaos of uncertainty can yield a freedom that eludes the rest of us with our perfectly clean lives...

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:55 AM) : 

So, are you sure he's homeless or is that an assumption? You mention that you barely stopped walking to take the picture, so I imagine you didn't speak to him. Do you know anything about his circumstances or how "down on his luck" he is, or are you creating a story for him in your mind? Interesting that everyone so far has bought into the narrative. There are many levels between Bryant Park and shelter...

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:57 AM) : 

Just read the article in British Vogue over the weekend and was struck by this photo.

I'm so glad you're getting the recognition you deserve, and that you shine the spotlight on others.

 

Blogger chula said ... (11:59 AM) : 

que chuleria.. Ilove the photo and the man

www.chula.es

 

Blogger Melancholy Korean said ... (12:10 PM) : 

Clothes don't make a man. They only reflect his character. Homeless or not, this gentleman definitely has an elegant soul.

 

Blogger UnoCosa said ... (12:10 PM) : 

i have to admit that i can not help to feel that this is a very romanticized way to look at - whenever i encountered homeless, which is fairly often considering living in New York and taking subway everyday- as much as i felt a sense of sorrow for the misfortune - the forever question has always fell back to the "why" and "how" - this is really a wonderful picture and i can definitely tell where "the style" came from - but again, for this handsome gent (i think we can all agree that he is or was handsome) with obvious a natural sense of style, i question how he ended up on the street??? ....thanks for posting this and it certainly provoked my thoughts, which is a good thing for Monday morning :D, xoxo

 

Blogger DeathofaDame said ... (12:11 PM) : 

He's got style... you gotta give him that.

http://vinesteet.blogspot.com/

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:16 PM) : 

Are you SURE he's homeless?

 

Anonymous Paolo Convertito Blasio said ... (12:17 PM) : 

wow!!

 

Blogger elena said ... (12:17 PM) : 

wow love this post.

check my blog:

www.elenafashionislife.blogspot.com

 

Blogger Brian said ... (12:18 PM) : 

this photo is great. in my top ten sart photos

 

Blogger angelarenai said ... (12:18 PM) : 

I always love your posts so much but this. wow. BEAUTUFIL picture. You say it isn't great but I love the slight imperfections. And the contrast, also the matching blue glasses that you have to examine a little closer to see. I adore the light and dark in this photo and also how he is sitting, almost as if on a throne. I love it! Great inspiration!

angelarenai.blogspot.com

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:29 PM) : 

This post is a whole lot of profound packed into a tight, economical package and is certainly one of the reasons The Sartorialist is so much more than a fashion blog.

Thank you. Sincerely.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:33 PM) : 

hope it didn't offend him. love the thought behind it and the photo. he seems powerful. love the blues.

 

Blogger Giovanna said ... (12:34 PM) : 

This picture is gorgeous! Very inspiring and touching at the same time.
I love his outfit and the color of his boots are so beautiful!
This is a very inspiring photo!
Giovanna
www.bohomarket.blogspot.com

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:34 PM) : 

This proves one thing:

All the money in they world won't buy you STYLE!!!

 

Anonymous Emma Howard said ... (12:36 PM) : 

There but for the grace of God go I.

You seem to be able to see past the obvious and tune into the energy of the people in front of your camera.

 

Blogger Jorge from W Palm Beach said ... (12:39 PM) : 

I often look at homeless folks for inspiration on what to wear. There is a certain softness to the clothes after being worn day-in, day-out. I also think they tend to wear exclusively what is necessary, something not too warm for the day, and a warmer layer for nights. I particularly remember a certain gent in Cincinnati who would wear a perfectly coordinated outfit until it got dirty, and then he replaced it with another, also in perfect coordination. What he thought about fashion, I'll never know. Jorge from WPB

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:42 PM) : 

this is beautiful. I'm somewhat emotional so I was kind of teary eyed after reading it.

I hope you don't mind if I share it on my fb account.

 

OpenID ebayfashionaddict said ... (12:48 PM) : 

amazing

 

Anonymous ally said ... (12:50 PM) : 

It will be great if the man gets to keep this image of himself; it'll be rewarding to know he made an impact, even if its for a day in the blogosphere!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:50 PM) : 

I'm really not feeling his look...the blue shoes are just a tad too much

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:54 PM) : 

sense of style declares a sense of self and awareness. many times i look at people and ask the retorical question," homeless or fashion?" not in a joke but it is a joke because people can spend large sums of money on an ensemble and not carry it well. those people tend to look a bit broken. on the other side. folks like this man (who we are guessing is homeless)he looks put together and he carries it well.

 

Anonymous Carla said ... (12:55 PM) : 

I see dignity.

 

Anonymous A Treasury of said ... (1:01 PM) : 

He seems a little like a Wes Anderson movie character.

Which is always a good thing.

Glad you didn't censor yourself and snapped his photo anyway!

 

Blogger God's Favorite Shoes! said ... (1:03 PM) : 

amazing shot:) And I love your rationale for taking the picture.

 

Blogger Lynne Rutter said ... (1:07 PM) : 

wow, is he homeless? how do you know. he is a lot more pulled together than most people around here.

 

Blogger JustNorman said ... (1:09 PM) : 

well done my friend. well done.

http://www.justnorman.blogspot.com/
the blog that no one knows about

 

Anonymous Holly said ... (1:11 PM) : 

What an inspiring photo and gentleman...I agree he does look hopeful and also in my opinion displays a keen fashion sense

 

Blogger Jasmine Lee said ... (1:15 PM) : 

this is a an absolutely beautiful picture. it just shows that there is beauty in the most obscure places.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:20 PM) : 

I wonder how my comment would have been withour reading your thoughts/ explanation below...

this way: very strong picture!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:22 PM) : 

Seriously? Has everyone drunk the Kool Aid? Homeless Chic? I hope no one really got teary because he had the presence of mind to match blues (do we even know that he did this intentionally? Sart, did you interact with him?). Your comments had me thinking Zoolander, and specifically Derelicte, the homeless inspired clothing line.

 

Blogger Soren Lorensen said ... (1:28 PM) : 

well when you are homeless no-one lets you talk

so you have to find a better way of communicating with the people that walk past

this man did

 

Blogger samantha ezra. said ... (1:37 PM) : 

the blue of his shoes are such a perfect shade!

http://almostlikesushi.blogspot.com

 

Blogger notanotherblog said ... (1:38 PM) : 

I'm not sure if this picture is taking me to the same place as you are (as well as the majority of the commenters). Elegant and dignified? Not 100% on that. However the picture does have some sense of gravitas. Like a statue, in many ways.

 

Anonymous Dahlight said ... (1:42 PM) : 

LOVE the blue boots and wonder if they were a conscious choice or if they're simply something he was lucky enough to find in a dumpster. Either way, they're fab.

 

Blogger The Lady in the Red Trench Coat said ... (1:43 PM) : 

Wow! He really does have style even with his luck being turned up-side-down. Great photograph and writing- very touching.

That's a problem these days- back when- homeless people had a very distinquished look. Poorly presented to say the least. Whereas today I am seeing more and more homeless people who actually look like respectable people. It's so sad to see our once middle-class people finding themselves homeless. I hope they never give up, and I sure hope things change.

 

Anonymous Diana said ... (1:45 PM) : 

I can appreciate why you took the photo, and it's with far more reason and thoughtfulness (even if subconsciously) than many photographers do. I am disgusted whenever a big fashion magazine does a "homeless chic" look - it's not just cruel, it speaks volumes about the low quality of people that the photographers, models and magazine editors are to participate in such a stunningly insensitive project.

"But for the grace of God."

This had more thought, and what you noticed wasn't blue - it was grace.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:46 PM) : 

There is something about his posture that makes me think of an old photograph of a soldier from the 1800's. I couldn't help noticing his eyes and the way he engages the viewer. Both photographer and subject are telling us something.

Thanks to you, Sart, for finding beauty and strength in our everyday places.

 

Blogger Montreal Street Views said ... (1:50 PM) : 

Scott,
I have been shooting the homeless for over 20 years, but I stop and speak with those I shoot, I want to know their stories, not just shoot and run. Most are very open to sharing their experiences, some get very upset, but very few. Some the stories are horrible, and even if embellished by 100 percent, are still too horrible and no human should have to endure what some of these people have lived and much can be learned by spending some time. It pains me when people shut at the to "get a job" with no understanding of the fine line that separates them from the average person walking by.
Thanks for posting this picture Scott!

 

Blogger Jem said ... (1:54 PM) : 

i think this photograph, it shows the man still has a sense of hope. i only have one issue with the photo, the man is homeless... he probably didnt have a choice but to wear those clothes, those might have been the only things he owned. so for all the people who say he has a great sense of style... thats not style its nessesity.

 

Blogger hurricanedreamer said ... (2:09 PM) : 

Maybe he is not homeless.

 

Anonymous Jasmine* said ... (2:13 PM) : 

So, so beautiFULL ...

 

Anonymous Jen said ... (2:14 PM) : 

a few months ago I passed a man on a highway exit holding a sign that said "homeless but hopeful".

by the time I turned around to ask him about it he was gone.

I still can't get that out of my head.

Thanks for posting this, and for sharing your thoughts.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:18 PM) : 

"I barely stopped walking when I took the shot". did you ask him? did you give him something? did you explain it to him? did you buy him drink? did you treat him differently than your usual models?

 

Anonymous The Photodiarist said ... (2:20 PM) : 

I just realized this was shot in April -- hence the warm clothes. Although, with the chilly summer we are having in New York, it might have worked. Cannot stop looking at this photo. It is powerful. Really excellent work, Scott. You and Garance are helping to turn fashion blogging into a powerful enterprise!

 

Blogger sparkle motion said ... (2:27 PM) : 

as said earlier, at least in my opinion, I did not think he was homeless when I first looked at the picture. Love the blue boots. Hope he makes it out of his situation.

 

Anonymous dave said ... (2:32 PM) : 

oh come on, this is trite

 

Blogger Suzanne said ... (2:34 PM) : 

i get what you mean. there's some trust in life in his eyes and attitude. besides; his shoes are awesome!
xx

 

Blogger CHICMUSE said ... (2:34 PM) : 

YOU RE RIGHT! AND YES I DO FIND SOME STRENGTH IN HIM.
LOVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY






XX
CHICMUSE

 

Blogger JouJou Loves You said ... (2:44 PM) : 

Second best dressed homeless man I've ever seen. The first is in downtown Tunis, Tunisia in the Medina. He has the most amazing coat and hair I've ever seen. I've taken many photos of him incognito. Fascinating creature he is....

 

Blogger Pedro Herrero said ... (3:01 PM) : 

Brilliant! Totally agree with you.

198, Butterfly: Design, Fashion and Architecture:

http://onehundredninetyeight.blogspot.com/

 

Blogger Evko2 said ... (3:07 PM) : 

very insightful and admirable.. love the photo.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:07 PM) : 

Great shot! Are those Timberlands?

 

Blogger jonix said ... (3:08 PM) : 

Don't think he's homeless. Timberland Boots aren't cheap...

 

Blogger Ashley said ... (3:10 PM) : 

He looks like a pretty cool dude..I hope he hasn't given up either.

http://fashionroadkill-halifax.blogspot.com

 

Blogger Style Geek said ... (3:11 PM) : 

It's the blue glasses that tell me he still has a shred of hope. Maybe he'll find his chance and become a snappy dresser and you'll shot him again down the line.

http://style-geek.blogspot.com
Life, Love & the Pursuit of Fashionable People

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:13 PM) : 

what i want to say is not really about the man, it's about what you said. it's a powerful and digniful figure, indeed, but what seems to me most important is, that style and the way someone presents himself is really a way of communication with the world and a way to express someone to the world. it's not only about fashion, it's about having A PERSONALITY...that is also why i like your blog, because you don't see just colours and patterns or fashion victims, you try always to link it to life.

 

Blogger Jane said ... (3:21 PM) : 

Wow... I've never seen a man quite like him (in a good way).

Here's hoping that things will look up his way soon!

 

Blogger BARGAIN BEX said ... (3:32 PM) : 

The blue boots say it all, don't they?

Isn't it amazing when one article of clothing can speak volumes without making a single noise?

Fascinating.

http://www.bargainbex.blogspot.com

 

Blogger metscan said ... (3:33 PM) : 

I´m a bit surprised about this picture. I don´t know if showing it is a good thing or not. Maybe the matching colors are there by mere chance.

 

Blogger Anna said ... (4:09 PM) : 

Very powerful.

 

Blogger faBIO said ... (4:13 PM) : 

Amazing!! I saw him in April in NY... but I didn't take any pictures of him.

 

Blogger Nancy said ... (4:14 PM) : 

How did you know he was homeless?

 

Blogger SJ said ... (4:17 PM) : 

Thank you for sharing.

Best,

Sj

 

Blogger Jack Daniel said ... (4:17 PM) : 

Yeah. It's definitely NEVER about the latest trend in fasion. It's ALWAYS about your own (original) stlye.

Greatest photo ever to be posted on this blog when it comes to original style without even trying to fit with the fashionscene.

 

Blogger Crosscurrents said ... (4:23 PM) : 

PERSEVERANCE....

 

Blogger Natalie said ... (4:24 PM) : 

He looks very cool, I love the blue shoes! My favorite item he has on :)

love ur photographs so much

xoxo

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

 

Blogger sofiasophie said ... (4:31 PM) : 

I hope you're right!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:33 PM) : 

i've never come upon a homeless man like this while walking around nyc. i love that although he is homeless, he hasn't forgotten about the color blue and whatever it may mean to him-whether it's for a personal reason or memory, or whether he just loves the color.

 

Blogger Melibrig- thestyleofliving.wordpress.com said ... (4:36 PM) : 

This man is truly inspiring. He's even listening to music! No matter the situation we're in, having a positive outlook mends the cruelest of tribulations. Thumbs up Scott... this is meaningful photography.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:37 PM) : 

Anonymous 12:50: you did get the part that he's homeless, right? Having said that, to be quite honest, this man looks as well put together as many others on this very blog. I love those shoes and the blue frames! Awesome.

Enegie

 

Blogger beba, said ... (4:37 PM) : 

You are such a great person dear Sartorialist (:
I'm in love with his shoes!

Peace and love!

 

Blogger Michelle May said ... (4:40 PM) : 

With his collar up and barely scuffed shoes, I agree that he does not look homeless. Perhaps he is an out of work designer/artist/musician, waiting for his next break.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:48 PM) : 

It isn't quite the same thing, because it's more infuriating to the locals than inspiring or romantic..
But the Squeegie kids where I live (East Coast Canada) are so styled. I don't want to say they're fashionable or elegant, because they're atittude is certainly not one of caring about fashion, but a limited economic situation hasn't stopped them from getting the best finds at value village. It becomes awkward only because the feeling among many of the urban population seems to be that if they can afford to look like grungy hipsters and while around on the commons with their german shepards (when not squeeging) than they can't be very desolate, and on the matter of the dogs I wholly agree but it is refreshing and in every way inspiring to check out their punchy outfits as I walk by. B.S.M.

 

Blogger Sharifa said ... (4:54 PM) : 

I love what you wrote. Very well said!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:59 PM) : 

Just because he's black, bearded and blithe doesn't mean he's homeless. Some people live in downtown Manhattan condos; others live on the street -- most live somewhere in-between.

 

Blogger Dr.Kraft said ... (5:02 PM) : 

gorgeous pic and that man is so stylish.
style is not about money is about sense of colors proporcion and fantasy...
this picture proved it
xxx

 

Blogger zincink said ... (5:02 PM) : 

"why I took the photo"

Because he is a human just like anybody else.

I love blue.

 

Blogger southerngentinL.A. said ... (5:05 PM) : 

No matter what this brothers circumstances are, he's one spiritually powerful cat. A photographer might not have been able to capture this, an artist would. That would be you!

 

Blogger nikky said ... (5:13 PM) : 

your commentary just made my day.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:16 PM) : 

Never nude!

 

Anonymous biacovetti said ... (5:18 PM) : 

this is some bullshit. hes homeless. this is when fashionand style has gone too far. and u r romanticizing the situation.

 

Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (5:27 PM) : 

For Anon 11:55

This was shot on the Bowery outside a shelter. If he is not homeless then he is living in that shelter - both would count as "down on his luck" to me.

regarding our interaction, we didn`t speak but communicated through a short series of nods,shrugs, and pointing - basically Manspeak.

 

Blogger Katie Elizabeth said ... (5:32 PM) : 

I found this really interesting. Loved it!

xxx
www.jadorelacouture.blogspot.com
(fashion blog)

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:35 PM) : 

Are you sure he is homeless? Did you have a conversation? Just curious how you asked to take his photo.

 

Anonymous Boya said ... (5:36 PM) : 

what makes this photo amazing is the contrast of his light and dreamy blue to his "dark" and "mournful" blue. not only do his efforts signify hope, but his color choice also expresses hope. This man's spirit is so rare!!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:50 PM) : 

beautiful thoughts. great shot.

definitely one of my favourite posts

 

Blogger Eliana Tomás said ... (5:52 PM) : 

Astonishing!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:02 PM) : 

You know, it is probably just by coincidence that his clothes and accessories are matching. Maybe it was premeditated or maybe it wasn't, personally i don't think a man in his position is going to care a great deal about how he looks or is perceived.
That's just my perception of the scenario, and you've shared light on yours. Neither is right or wrong i guess, there is no reality after all just different ways of perceiving things.

 

Blogger -h said ... (6:04 PM) : 

i hope good things come to him. he still looks like there's spark in him.

 

OpenID dancesihaveseen said ... (6:06 PM) : 

Striking.

 

Blogger green lantern said ... (6:09 PM) : 

WoW! Sart! I am totally floored. I see what you saw, I feel what you felt, all through this picture. He is sitting upright and strong and proud. He shirks to nothing. The picture also captures his best efforts at being attired and presentable. Isn't that what it is all about?! You got into me deep with this picture!!!

 

Anonymous Charmaine Lake said ... (6:14 PM) : 

True indeed. Very well stated.

 

Anonymous rottenfish said ... (6:14 PM) : 

great photo. great expression

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:29 PM) : 

i can't help but feel that you are exploiting this man by taking a photograph at your whim and then posting it on your blog for everyone to consume.

maybe you should stick to shooting fashion people.

 

Blogger Brigadeiro said ... (6:49 PM) : 

Loved reading your article on UK Vogue, and when I saw the pic of this man, and your detailed description of his outfit, I wondered if he was indeed homeless, all his pieces look great! :)
xx

 

Blogger Lucy in the Sky said ... (6:50 PM) : 

amazing, just goes to show that style does not require new expensive clothing. though I'm not sure if we should easily assume that this man was "expressing himself"...what if he was simply wearing the clothes he had? who knows.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:54 PM) : 

even without a home this man still has style. good luck to him.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:55 PM) : 

wow, what a waste of time your observation is.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:05 PM) : 

Style is so not about money. Great shot.

 

Blogger Duchesse said ... (7:05 PM) : 

I'm fascinated by how people project their values and assumptions about him, and tell you what your "should" do. Interesting that the young woman in the floaty long dress, or dozens of other subjects do not earn you a slap on the wrist for "exploiting" them.

 

Blogger Chukker said ... (7:07 PM) : 

This person shows the world that, no matter what happens to you in life, you should never ever ever give up...style. And style doesn't mean money.

 

Blogger Couture Cookie said ... (7:08 PM) : 

He doesn't strike me as homeless at all (although I'm sure he is!). He kinds of looks like one of those typical dudes on Bowery, but more stylish. Great picture. :)

 

Blogger Ashley said ... (7:29 PM) : 

I already posted here but I just received my copy of The Sartorialist book in the mail today and I just finished it. I had a smile on my face the entire time. I can't tell you how inspiring it is to me how you find so many different styles and elements of style in so many different people. I can't wait to look at it cover to cover again.
Beautiful book. Thank you.

 

Blogger billie said ... (7:29 PM) : 

very touching and inspiring story...

 

Blogger katiecrackernuts said ... (7:43 PM) : 

He's certainly got it all goin' on. I like him.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:53 PM) : 

I'm not sure I agree with the idea that "while down on his luck, he hasn't lost his need to communicate and express himself through style." While this may be a fashion blog, I think the caption misses the true nature of the picture, being that his 'style' is most likely accidental. I don't think his clothes reflect or convey a true part of himself, but are moreso a product of his circumstances (taking what he can, really). If, in fact, he is homeless, I doubt fashion, or any derivative of it, is in any way a priority.

 

Blogger SallyO said ... (8:18 PM) : 

I really don't understand why almost everyone assumes that because this man is living in a shelter, he therefore must be a dignified/good/proud/strong/interesting character who is worthy of empathy and praise. We really CANNOT tell from his appearance (posture, blue boots, facial expression, etc.) what his true situation or history is. Sorry, but I just think it's irresponsible and foolish to romanticize homelessness like that (and maybe that's why you don't usually shoot homeless people). Cute boots, BTW.

 

Blogger Revolution Vintage said ... (8:24 PM) : 

Anonymous is an idiot.
Thank you for sharing. The feeling from this picture is one of survival - and he seems to be comfortable in that feeling as well.
This made my day - and the recession!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:45 PM) : 

why does everyone kiss your ass? This picture is repulsive. I can tell from this pic that you took it in front of the bowery mission and am surprised you didn't get your ass kicked. Your type is the reason NYC is DEAD. Way to kick someone when he is down. This picture reminds me of the homeless fashion show in Zoolander which was a joke, I assume this isn't not cool.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:03 PM) : 

Why did you assume he was homeless? Also, homelessness is not about "giving up". Mental health is a clear comorbidity of chronic homelessness - nothing to do with "giving up" or "dignity".

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:05 PM) : 

Interesting enough, I've seen a lot of hipsters trying to pull this look of now for the last year 1/2. Great post. Dignity is always worth it's weight in gold and this gentleman seems very wealthy in that respect. Thanks.

 

Anonymous Taevon Palmer said ... (9:06 PM) : 

I recently did the same thing don't feel bad lol! will post when my site is back fully operational http://taevonpalmer.com

 

Anonymous Sass said ... (9:07 PM) : 

Sally O I think you may have it backwards ... I get the sense that it is because this man is homeless that people are surprised by the notion that he might have some semblence of dignity or character ... I mean a homeless man matching his socks to his boots ... the shock! the awe! Perhaps Giuliani could have saved a load of cash by passing out some nifty argyle socks...

 

Blogger Beauty is power said ... (9:07 PM) : 

Very nice post

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:14 PM) : 

Scott, you are a treasure.

 

Blogger Romina said ... (9:16 PM) : 

i think he is saying something like...I don't give a damn about the rules

 

Blogger Noelle + Kendall said ... (9:45 PM) : 

He's got some pretty cool boots

-N + K
www.fanseapants.blogspot.com

 

Blogger philip said ... (9:49 PM) : 

Anonymous is not an idiot, he is stating an opinion. If he is really homeless, I doubt that he is really that picky about what he wears. I'm sure that he wouldn't turn down new clothes because they don't fit his "style". Lets just be honest, homeless or not, the guy is dressed like crap. Making blue glasses and boots don't make up for jorts over nylon pants.

 

Anonymous al said ... (9:50 PM) : 

i see him all the time outside the bowery mission..hes got a pair of brown ones too...

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:57 PM) : 

I hate saying this because I don't know him or his situation. But after seeing the picture and living in Portland (homeless people are rampant) I know the difference between "homeless" and homeless. Typically, the key to telling how poorly off someone is is to look at their feet. Shoes tell a lot. I know this because a homeless man told me. A man in relatively good shape timberlands would fall under "homeless". Its really unfortunate because there are a lot of people that pretend to be homeless and make a incredibly good living (40k plus a year). The same people are selfishly taking away from the people that do need help. I'm not saying he is one of them, but it is something to think about.

 

Anonymous a homeless said ... (9:59 PM) : 

if homeless people dressed like this they shouldn't be called homeless but something else...actually i like the word "homeless" but i don't practice it,only a few hours a day and then i go:
"screw you guys i'm going home"
Eric Cartman

 

Anonymous westindya said ... (10:12 PM) : 

it is interesting that people are going at each other about what this gentleman may or may not think. stop it. absolutely pointless arguments.

he can be appreciated in whichever sense you see fit without having to "figure out" anything. he is. so just be.

 

Blogger Ashley said ... (10:19 PM) : 

Powerful photo. I hope things make a turn for the better for him.

 

Blogger Elizabeth Allen said ... (10:54 PM) : 

Keep this up, Scott.

We all like to fantasize about the "Giraffes" As one commentator called the models you shoot.

But essentiallly, and once we all get down to it, it's self esteem and dignity. All embedded in relationships, clothes, status, and the people we love.

Forget about class and money. It's about the world we share.

 

Anonymous cathyc said ... (11:13 PM) : 

How do you know he is homeless? You took a picture and walked right on by, according to your description of the process.

If this is explained somewhere, please show me!

 

Blogger Amalia said ... (11:29 PM) : 

He use to be homeless
Now he's an emperor
with new clothes

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:33 PM) : 

Um, no one can possibly imagine his situation if he is truly homeless.

I have close family members who are homeless. I would really hope that no one would try to capture their misery on camera. I've seen too much of it and it's quite awful.

 

Anonymous Jason said ... (11:43 PM) : 

You people make me sick. These are probably the only clothes this unfortunate man could scrounge up and I'm quite sure he would trade them for a new set of clean, unfashionable clothes if you would have taken even a second to offer some. But no, you're too caught up in your own delusions to think this man might actually be suffering. He was probably too weak from hunger to tell you to get your camera out of his face and allow him what little dignity he might have left. Maybe you can go tell him all about the many arse-kissing, sycophantic comments you've garnered at his expense.

 

Blogger J said ... (11:47 PM) : 

This is one of your best posts, sart.

 

Blogger We... said ... (11:53 PM) : 

Beautiful. Thank you for capturing this!
Allison.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:00 AM) : 

Love the empathy and flashes of humanity but HELLO!... this financial "Correction" has taught us that we are ALL a paycheck or two away from what everyone is assuming this man's situation is.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:27 AM) : 

actually it is my bet that his color savvy choices are indication of a psychological compulsion. often compromised mental states gravitate towards a specific color that represent a moment, or stability they are seeking. reference the movement of 'color therapy' , it is utilizing that compulsion. not to be a downer... but it's a common behavior.

 

Anonymous Rsssa said ... (12:52 AM) : 

yes! your observation is very interesting- to value such a simple thing as self expression in clothing, when homelessness often connotes voicelessness in all areas of life. It is a sign of the man's spirit still being intact. The photos of yours that have been attractive to me have been those ones that seem to capture the naturalness of play in clothing that brings a sense of happiness to its wearer

 

Blogger travelbug said ... (1:22 AM) : 

He was waiting for you.

 

Blogger Jennifer said ... (1:39 AM) : 

This is a powerful, beautiful photograph. Aesthetically and otherwise. He reminds me of some of the clients I have worked with- I'm a psych nurse, and we treat people from all walks of life at my hospital-
...not sure what else to really say. There is power and grace in his stance to me, he is asserting himself- guarded, too.
Thank-you for sharing...

 

Anonymous Sylvie said ... (3:23 AM) : 

even more - I think he symbols that he is defying the crisis and shows that - even if it's hard - one can overcome it.

You actually were authentic not overlooking him but putting him into the focus - beeing part of our society we should never forget how well we are off and that others who are part of the system too, might not be in the same situation

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:26 AM) : 

Just because someone is sitting outside a homeless shelter dosn't necessarily mean they are homeless. I visit a family member in a mental health hospital and am regularly visible there, but that dosnt make me mentally ill.Also when my family member is not in the hospital he is actually living on the streets and I can tell you now Ive never seen anyone living hard look that clean,serene or composed!
Maybe this dude works there or volunteers there and if that is the case I wonder what all the comments on his 'style' would be then?

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:56 AM) : 

I think it highly likely that people who subscribe to this are of a typically bourgeois sensibility. living in comfort, you don't have a clue what it's like to be homeless but somehow think you can commiserate with him, romanticise the whole situation and then feel better about yourself and the world.

 

Blogger Diabolina Da Fashionista said ... (4:06 AM) : 

I think we look at other people and see what we want to see - order in the chaos, chaos in the order. I think as long as we look at other people - really SEE them, SEE that there is no seperation between us and them, see that we are all one - that's what matters.

 

Anonymous leigh said ... (4:12 AM) : 

Like others have said - this man's "style" choices are likely not choices at all. His glasses appear too small for his face, his pants too short. Are those style choices as well? How about all the layers in April? Style choice or a necessity because he doesn't want what he owns to be stolen in a shelter on the street? Without having asked this man for his story - none of us know the real situation. But the romanticization of his situation is problematic and dismissive of the issue of homelessness in America.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:39 AM) : 

maybe he just love the color blue?

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:46 AM) : 

Uhm - not to take this away from you guys, but did anyone ever think that - possibly - the guy just wears this stuff because it's all he has? The fact that there's so much blue in there could be a mere coincidence. And immediately, the fashion-obsessed think he's a style genius.... to me this is kind of paradox - not to say cynical. Not everybody cares that much about their outfits.

 

Anonymous ozlem said ... (4:55 AM) : 

thanks a lot:) this picture really gave me hope.
he's homeless but he's strong, he may be in need but he's not desperate... maybe sad but definitely not hopeless.
this picture and his look tells that he's confident, he still can look after himself...
this is why he has a style, because he still wants to tell something through it and he has confidence in this outfit
thank you once again for taking this shot:) it's wonderful.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:11 AM) : 

the picture, the words...tears of hope running down my face

 

Blogger kristina k said ... (5:45 AM) : 

there is a lot of dignity in his expression and posture and the portrait gets this across very strongly.

two years ago we had a very cold winter in berlin and a homeless man not far from my house, whom i regularly saw and said hello to, died from hypothermia. there were police pictures up asking for witnesses, that's how i knew. i've started donating to winter programs for homeless people back then. it all begins when we start to see each other i think.

thanks for posting this.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:58 AM) : 

This proves that style is something that either you have it, or not. Maybe it has to do with a high self-esteem…

PS. Dear Sartorialist you have to know that you are quite famous in Greece, since (among others) the biggest Sunday paper mentions your innovative approach and its impact to the fashion industry. And you deserve it my friend!!!
As you already know, we love you .Kelly T.

 

Blogger Oriane said ... (6:14 AM) : 

Love this outfit ! So cool !

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:37 AM) : 

maybe you won't post this, but that advertisement of flesh coloured tights flashing next to the photo is hideous!!!
however limited his means, this dude chose to wear shorts over his longs - he's cool.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:40 AM) : 

Nice shot, Mr Schuman. The photograph is almost 3-dimensional due to the bricks and all that blue in the foreground.

I must admit, lamentably, that I have seen millionaires within these antipodean shores less able to make coherent sartorial choices than the gentleman depicted.

It has never been about the size of bank accounts, trust funds or lineage.

Well done for including the man within your esteemed pages when others are more concerned about chasing stars, their ill-obtained wealth and obnoxious threads.

Respect.

-Pietro

 

Blogger Nancy said ... (6:49 AM) : 

I ditched the fashion biz after working as a model in the '80's, feeling less than enthused. Your work has inspired me- I love the way everyone is themselves (because they are!) in the pictures- something models rarely are in fashion mags, and hence everything always tends to look pretentious. Keep on keepin' it fresh... and I am starting to watch what I wear again.Oh, and Bill Cunningham- look out!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:04 AM) : 

Wow nice to see this old chap embracing the classic Timberland revivial!!!

 

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