Schuman's blog has now become so well-known that he was recently asked to cover men's Fashion Week in Milan for Men.Style.Com, and Esquire will soon devote some space each month to his work. In October he will receive an even greater honor: Saks Fifth Avenue will be showcasing the Sartorialist's photos in its landmark display windows.
It is, of course, no surprise that the fashion industry has already begun to use street-fashion blogs for its own commercial purposes—indeed, the Marxist social critic Walter Benjamin once accused the flâneur of being a "spy for the capitalists, on assignment in the realm of consumers." But ultimately these blogs should strengthen the leveling and decentralizing forces that continue to dismantle the once dominant fashion pyramid. The time is long past when a few couturiers could dictate international style from the heights of Paris. Thanks to the growing popularity of this new medium, it seems likely that a leaderless multitude will increasingly influence fashion from the ground—or rather, pavement—up.