Today’s Times article about the Sartorialist Scott Schuman having a problem with a Sartorialist parody blog is interesting, but not because of the phenomenon of the Sartorialist parody blog, of which there are many. (And for the record, the cat version called the Catorialist, which we noted a little while ago, is the best.) But it’s interesting because we get to see how the Sartorialist’s Internet fame has changed him.
“It just didn’t sit right with me,” Schuman said of one such parody blog called the Fake Sartorialist. It’s run by Eduardo Cachucho, and consists of Schuman’s images ripped directly from his blog, but Photoshopped to look more ridiculous. It’s a cute idea, ha-ha funny most of the time. But Schuman went out of his way to write Cachucho and ask him to stop even though Cachucho gets barely a fraction of the traffic Schuman does.
Mr. Schuman said his site receives about 250,000 hits each day; Mr. Cachucho said his gets about 50. But Mr. Schuman said he was still bothered by the unflattering depiction of his subjects. “Now everyone feels the Internet is a free-for-all,” he said.
Though the legal rules with altered photos like Cachucho’s are hazy, Schuman can invoke copyright protection to get him to stop. Cachucho has agreed not to rip any of Schuman’s photos anymore and only create original content. But Schuman, being a street-style blogging pioneer who popularized the genre, thereby helping turn Fashion Week into a spectacle that is now so much more meaningful than it once was, should know that the Internet, at its core, is a free-for-all! Has he, as an Internet fashion superstar, lost his way? Next thing we know he’ll only do print work.