The Aesthete: Scott Schuman talks personal taste

The photographer launched his influential street style website, The Sartorialist, in 2005 and has also published three books of fashion photography

Scott Schuman at home in New York with his beagle Charlie
Scott Schuman at home in New York with his beagle Charlie | Image: Mark C O’Flaherty

My personal style signifier is my tailored suit by Andrea Luparelli, who works at Sartoria Ripense in Rome. I usually wear it with a sporty shirt because I’m always out photographing, which is quite physical. I’ve had suits made on Savile Row and while they fit, they can make me look like a 60-year-old ambassador. Via di Ripetta 38, 00186 Rome (+3906-323 3727; www.sartoriaripense.com).

Schuman’s Prada leather shoes
Schuman’s Prada leather shoes | Image: Mark C O’Flaherty

The last thing I bought and loved was a beagle, a 10-week-old puppy called Charlie. My girlfriend Jenny had wanted a dog for ages, and secretly, I knew it would make me happy too. Jenny picked out one with the right temperament for us. My two kids love the puppy as well.

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And the thing I’m eyeing next is a cashmere double-breasted coat from Aspesi in Italy. I bought one in navy and love it so much that I am ordering one in charcoal and another in black. They aren’t made to measure, but after a little alteration they fit my body type perfectly. About £1,500; www.aspesi.com.

Schuman’s vintage Rolex
Schuman’s vintage Rolex | Image: Mark C O’Flaherty

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a pair of brown leather Prada shoes. I love how the brand is so forward-thinking with its design – Miuccia Prada turns things on their head but also keeps a style running for several seasons and still keeps them classic. I especially like these shoes because they are exaggerated, with a high sole. www.prada.com.

Aspesi cashmere double-breasted coat, about £1,500
Aspesi cashmere double-breasted coat, about £1,500 | Image: Mark C O’Flaherty

The best gift I’ve received recently was a vintage Rolex. Alessandro Squarzi, who I have been photographing for a long time and is the founder of the Fortela fashion brand, gave it to me. It’s the first Rolex he ever bought. I’ve got a real friendship with him, even though we first met through work. He didn’t give it to me for any specific reason and I was struck by his generosity.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, from £3,630, with 50mm lens, from £100
Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, from £3,630, with 50mm lens, from £100 | Image: Mark C O’Flaherty

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Via Monte Napoleone in Milan, because everything is there in one straight line: the historic pâtisserie that Prada has bought, Pasticceria Marchesi, and Aspesi, where I buy a lot of my clothes. There are all the usual contemporary fashion brands, including Prada, of course, but lots of classic Italian ones too. There’s the local luxury fashion label Larusmiani, which now has stock in the basement by the Milanese cutler G Lorenzi. Doriani has a café/restaurant on the street, and the boutique is around the corner. I also buy menswear from Rubinacci. Basically, if a brand has an “i” or an “o” on the end, it’s here. Aspesi, www.aspesi.com. Doriani, www.doriani.it. Larusmiani, www.larusmiani.it. Pasticceria Marchesi, www.pasticceriamarchesi.it. Prada, www.prada.com. Rubinacci, www.marianorubinacci.net.

The Aspesi boutique on Milan’s Via Monte Napoleone
The Aspesi boutique on Milan’s Via Monte Napoleone

The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a pair of portraits from the antiques market in Parma. I don’t know anything about them because of the language barrier with the seller, except that the people in them were husband and wife. They only cost around €1,200 but are really well-painted, with a touch of El Greco about them.

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An object I would never part with is my camera, a Canon 5D with a 50mm lens. I’m shy and it gives me a reason to go out and interact with the world; it’s a conduit between me and other people. I use my iPhone for what I call “sketch shots”, but my big camera for more important ones. From £3,630; 50mm lens from £100; www.canon.com.

A recent “find” is Belmond Villa San Michele in Florence. The city is crazy hot in summer and there aren’t many hotels with air-conditioning. At the San Michele you can watch the heat haze of the city from high up on a hill while you lie by the pool. Via Doccia 4, 50014 Florence (+3905-5567 8200; www.belmond.com).

My favourite websites are WWD.com for fashion news and ESPN.com, which I use to stream sports talk radio whenever I’m travelling. It keeps me grounded as I can hear about my favourite teams no matter where I happen to be. I like The Michael Kay Show; he’s the television broadcaster for the New York Yankees. I don’t really go online much, even though that’s where I made my name.

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