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Feet First With The Sartorialist

“It was something that came naturally to me,” says Scott Schuman – aka The Sartorialist – when asked what made him turn his hand to street style photography, but the same could be said for designing shoes...

Following on from the success last year of his collaboration with Sutor Mantellassi – the MM3: a contemporary take on the original Sutor Mantellassi shoes that Italian actor Marcello Mastrioianni wore to leave his footprints on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1965 – the photographer-turned-designer has launched a capsule collection with the luxury Italian shoe brand, which includes a sophisticated take on the classic American sneaker within its line-up. Now available in-store at Harrods, we caught up with Scott to find out more.

On designing the collection…
“My aims for the collection were to build on the tradition that Sutor Mantellassi had already established by adding a level of contemporary design to the dress shoes, but then also introducing a sneaker with a more contemporary, American feel. With the sneaker I really wanted to focus on offering incredible colour combinations with a system of suede stripes; they are colour combinations that not only appeal to me artistically, but also fit into my wardrobe perfectly, and into the wardrobe of most of the guys that I know.”

On how to style the collection…
“The beauty of the formal shoes is that they easily lend themselves to high design, in the vein of the best Italian tailoring, but also just as easily to fashion-forward brands like Valentino. The sneakers, as you can imagine, go with everything from a suit to jeans to shorts in the summer.”

On what makes a good shoe…
“As someone who makes their day walking around cities all over the world, comfort, obviously, is the most important. Durability is also important, as well as a flexibility to work with a lot of different looks. For someone who travels with a lot of camera equipment, I need to take up as little space as possible with my wardrobe, so a versatile shoe is essential when I travel. My collection with Sutor Mantellassi has become the core of my footwear when I travel.”

On the importance of shoes within a man’s wardrobe…
“Shoes are often my first consideration. When I’m working out what activities I’m doing that day, if it’s more shooting or office work, I only build my outfit once I’ve decided on the shoes. So for me, shoes have always been one of the very first, if not the first, consideration that I make each day when I’m getting dressed.”

On the shoes he can’t live without…
“A leather sneaker, my Sutor Mantellassi Derby shoes and a pair of black leather boots.”

On style…
For me, true style is an element of consistency, in that the person always looks like themselves, but with an element of evolution. The most stylish people I know are also very curious; they adapt things that they’ve seen into their wardrobe in an interesting way.

On what he looks for when he’s photographing street style…
When I’m taking an image, the person is one third of an image, the clothing is one third, the light at that given moment is one third, and the emotion we can create in a photograph is another third; I know that doesn’t quite add up, but I’m a photographer not a mathematician.

On the future of street style…
Street style will continue to capture people's imagination because it always has. Street style has been rediscovered now because we can share images so easily around the world in a way we never could before. However, street style has been around for as long as there have been cameras and it will continue to be popular so long as people are curious about the infinite variety of humanity.

Shop the collection below.

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