[In defense of ] Scott Schuman
Image by Mirkin
Fashion media has worked itself into a tizzy over The Talks’ interview of Scott Schuman, creator of The Sartorialist. The partisan interviewer opened and conducted the interview with leading questions, hardly seeking answers but rather validation. Of course Schuman wasn’t required to agree with the interviewer’s perspective on teen bloggers, such as Tavi Gavinson of The Style Rookie, but it is important to note the interviewer’s approach. The interviewer asked questions which suggested answers he anticipated, hence the nature of the interview. And although the interviewer started the fire, Schuman received considerable criticism for adding the gas. Now, that isn’t to say Schuman shouldn’t be criticized for his comments rather, an observation that was made (by me) and largely overlooked by the media.
This should go without saying but Schuman is entitled to his opinion(s), no matter how harsh. Although he came off as arrogant, his position on, for example, the disconnect between a teenager and someone in his/her mid-to-late 20s was accurate. On a basic level, there is a connection between the two age groups, that requires very little life experience such as, the appreciation of beautiful images and clothing. However, when it comes to certain life experiences, there is no substitute for them. All of the impressive writing in the world simply cannot replace adult situations such as student loans and unemployment. Schuman recognized the disconnect and discussed it. Perhaps that was what shocked readers the most, that the connection between a teenager and someone in his/her mid-to-late 20s was superficial at best.
The remainder of the hot topics in the interview should not come as a surprise. Schuman is a world-renowned street style photographer and blogger. Famous individuals tend to generate large sums of money; it’s the nature of the beast. And what boyfriend wouldn’t say that his girlfriend’s anything is the most amazing?
Schuman is being crucified for injecting reality into the blogger fame machine: magazine sales are dwindling, some bloggers are merely puppets for various companies and “the business of blogging” is hard work. But those messages were lost due to his criticism of Gavinson and disclosure of his advertising income. For those of you who are only interested in the fantasies that Schuman has to offer, don’t read anything he says and enjoy his images. They are beautiful. But remember, reality is out there and it includes things that you may not like, such as Schuman’s opinions.