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How Street-Style Photographers Are Transforming the Fashion Industry, For Better or Worse

Photos by Brent Luvaas

March 3, 2014


Brent Luvaas, PhD

With fashion week events taking place throughout the month in New York City, London, Milan and Paris, February has quickly become known as “fashion month” among fashion aficionados. And, this past month, as the throngs of models, editors, buyers, celebrities and fashion insiders made the month-long global trek, so did the street-style photographers.

While most photographers are focusing their lenses on the catwalk, street-style photographers document the everyday looks of “ordinary” people on city streets throughout the world. In recent years, street-style photographers have become some of the most prominent voices within the international fashion industry. But are they welcome in this once-exclusive industry? And what are the broader implications of this type of “citizen journalist” democratizing the media?

For an expert perspective on this phenomenon, we checked in with Brent Luvaas, PhD, an assistant professor of anthropology in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences, whose research and teaching interests include visual and socio-cultural anthropology; the global circulation of fashion, music and aesthetics; and street fashion and street-style blogging. He is the author of DIY Style: Fashion, Music, and Global Digital Cultures (Berg, 2012) and is currently working on a book with Bloomsbury Publishers about street-style bloggers.

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