bal harbour blog

The Sartorialist’s Better Half

Profiles
Garance Doré and Scott Schuman.

By Bee Shapiro

It’s a sunny New York morning and Garance Doré, the charmante street photographer and blogger extraordinaire is wrapping up a few things in the Manhattan studio she shares with live-in boyfriend and fellow shutterbug Scott Schuman (see: The Sartorialist).

“My mom worked with my dad, and I used to say I would never ever do that—now look at me!” Doré says. “We share this studio—everything. But we’re in this together. It’s pretty funny.” The Corsica-born talent has much to be in good humor about. The next day, she has a flight to Bali—it’s been on her “bucket list,” she says—where she’ll be soaking up the island atmosphere and snapping shots for GaranceDore.fr. Since launching in 2006, the site has blossomed from an indie blog to an influential, multimedia enterprise. Aside from blogging, she often collaborates with Schuman on fashion projects, such as a recent one for Superga and the brand’s creative directors Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. “He was shooting and I was filming,” Doré explains. They also worked together on an Instagram campaign for Tiffany & Co., aptly titled “What Makes Love True.”

alt

“We’re like each other’s editor-in-chief; we consult each other on every subject,” says Doré. Schuman particularly appreciates Doré’s “incredible dedication to create a new honest emotion.” Although he adds that it’s “also challenging to work with another artist who is so strong in so many different areas. It keeps me on my toes and challenges me to look for new ways to express myself.”

Certainly no slouch in the photography department, the Indiana-born Schuman has plenty of his own strengths. TheSartorialist.com was one of the early definers of the street style genre, and has spawned lucrative offshoots including several hardcover tomes featuring some of his best work. He’s since shot for GQ, Vogue Italia, Vogue Paris, Interview, Absolut and more.

alt

Doré, meanwhile, grew up in a “very small village, with almost no cars,” in Corsica and has always viewed fashion as a visual escape. “The only way to see what was going on in the big cities was by reading magazines,” she remembers. More recently, she’s been developing her writing skills. Her voice, relatable but sprinkled with sassy bon mots, sounds clearly in her blog posts. Writing style hasn’t been something she’s given a lot of thought to in the past, she says, though “my boyfriend says it’s one of the best things I do.” She’s keen on testing out her talents, like writing an upcoming book (a sort of funny French take on the self-help genre, she says) and building other media extensions. “Keeping my voice is a more conscious thing now,” she muses. “There are so many channels and the way you speak on Instagram, your blog and Pinterest can be all different,” she adds. “It’s really about trying to understand your voice and what you stand for. I really question myself, ‘What is my message?’”

alt

Video has been a wonderful way to deliver a fuller picture, she says. She actually first started toying with live shots in 2007, only a year into her blog. “My camera had a video option, so I just used that,” she explains, chuckling. These days, she might be chatting up Stella McCartney or J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons for her YouTube web series, “Pardon My French.” If Doré looks enviably at ease on-camera (“I edit out the bad parts,” she says, laughing), she keeps from “freaking out by interviewing” only those she’s really interested in. At one point, “I was wondering if I should interview celebrities because maybe more people would want to watch,” she recalls. “But then I thought that it wouldn’t come from the heart. With celebrities, it can be very remote. It would become an exercise and I wouldn’t want that.”

alt

But as her YouTube channel has become a larger part of her work—Kering and Net-a-Porter, for example, have commissioned her for video projects—the irony is that she’s become something of a celebrity herself. If people now stop her on the street, Doré claims it’s been nothing but friendly. “I’m more careful about giving the address of the studio and stuff like that,” she said. “But I read a piece on Vanessa Paradis once where she said it’s all about the way you behave to people. If you’re very nice, you usually don’t have a problem.”

alt

Besides, Doré likes hearing impromptu feedback. “I’m interested in what people think,” she says. Part of it is keeping her thumb on the pulse and maintaining that elusive thing called influence. “It’s not just how many visits I get to the blog,” she says. “Influence is intangible. It’s not just numbers because maybe one person is good at Instagram and someone else is better at Twitter.” Plus, with the overflow of options out there, her own media diet has whittled down some. “I’ve changed a lot from the beginning,” she says. “I used to follow a lot of blogs. But this morning with my coffee, I was looking at Pinterest and Tumblr, and then The New York Times, which I like because it always has a point of view. I don’t have one favorite.”

Instead, Doré senses a broader shift in how we view fans and followings. “We live in an interesting time right now,” she says. “Because somebody who is famous on TV might have a lot of followers. But then maybe a good actor might not do so much social media because it’s more about his work. Twitter and social media are not a true vision of reality.”

you may also like
Profiles

Quite the Score

Meet Lucy Bright, one of the film industry’s most quietly celebrated creators of sound.
Profiles

All in The Family

Sophie Elgort picks up (the camera) where her famous father, Arthur, left off.
Profiles

Style Setter: Lily Kwong

It Girl Lily Kwong Keeps it Eco Chic.
Profiles

Cause & Effect

With philanthropy in her DNA, Amoryn Engel has become a fundraising matchmaker, finding meaningful connections for her network of donors.
back to top