Friday, June 6, 2014

David in Prospective Flow jeans outside Armour, 4th St, Philadelphia

Here are some shots from a few weeks back. I hit the "Cyber Saturday" event at Armour, one of Philly's newest (and coolest) menswear boutiques, owned by David Grimes, featured in these images. He's got on a shirt by Shipley, a pair of Prospective Flow jeans, and some shoes he picked up at Barney's New York a few years back. The bracelet, which you can barely see in this image (my bad) is by a designer named Bernard James out of Brooklyn. Bernard James and Prospective Flow products are both available at Armour.

Cyber Saturday was a publicity event designed to bring Armour into interaction with various local fashion bloggers. I was on the guest list, along with Chaucee Stillman of Streets and Stripes, Jacqueline Davis Moranti of Burgundy Whispers, and others. Karl-Edwin Guerre of was a special guest. He was on hand to give styling advice to potential customers. I hit him up with questions about street style blogging instead.
There can be no question that street style is a hustle. It is, as Guerre explained, something you do to get somewhere else, not just something you do for its own sake. It's a way to get your work out there and your brand established. It's a way to remain in the public eye. It wasn't always that way. The first generation of street style bloggers (Liisa Jokinen, Yvan Rodic, Scott Schuman) had no idea it would blow up into such a big thing. When it did, they rode out the shock waves and then figured out how to profit from it. 

Guerre's been shooting since 2008. He's part of that second generation of street style bloggers who could see from the start that street style is a possible career path into the fashion industry. Not that he didn't get into it for the love of shooting. If you don't like taking pictures of stylish people, this is not the career path for you. It pays badly, if at all, for the first few years you do it, and the prospects of it turning into a regular gig are not terrific. Nonetheless, Guerre recognized street style blogging as an opportunity. He got out on the streets of Brooklyn and started shooting. He spent so much time hitting the pavement that the size of his shoes jumped from an 8 to a 9!

Now Guerre is starting to move away from street style. He does consulting work with various menswear brands, teaches various companies how to more effectively utilize social media. And he's working on starting his own menswear television network. Street style helped him get there. It's been good to him. He still does it primarily to keep his brand out there.

And the street style hustle doesn't end with bloggers. Magazines have jumped on board. Web sites have gotten into the game. Various brands and clothing labels use it to advertise and promote their wares. Even small boutiques like Armour see its potential for instilling their products with the cachet of cool. Hence Guerre's presence there. And my own, I suppose. Street style bloggers have become ambassadors of cool. We are cool outreach. And what's cooler, anyway, than knowing how to hustle?      

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