Thanks to Instagram, street style has become a real industry, with characters like top models and influencers. Street style photographers share their look, their gesture, their facial expressions, offering us the opportunity to be daily inspired. Chris Smart is one of them: his pics are among the most regrammed on Instagram! We wanted to know a bit more about him… that’s why we had a chat with him! Don’t miss it!
When did you start your activity as a street style photographer?
It was sometime around 2013 while shooting on the streets of Toronto. I use to walk for an hour every day before going to my day job. I started noticing fashionable people in the areas I was shooting and started combining this into my architecture and street photography. I was shooting people more and more on a daily basis and it gradually became my main focus. It was around that time I learned about street style photographers like Bill Cunningham, Scott Schuman and Tommy Ton. The way I look at it is fashion never stands still, it’s always changing and everyone has their own unique style and attitude. As a photographer, I love trying to capture that perfect unique moment. Street style photography allows me to experiment with composition, motion and subject matter with each opportunity. It never stays the same, it’s always changing and I find that challenge very satisfying.
Which photographers have influenced you?
When I first started focusing on fashion and street style photography I was inspired by photographers like Scott Schuman, Tommy Ton and then later I discovered the works of Adam Katz Sinding of Le21ème. It’s hard for me to be inspired by just one photographer because it usually comes down to the individual photo that inspires me the most. But consistently I think Tommy Ton, early works by Adam Katz Sinding, Nabile Quenem (RIP) and Michael Dumler all inspired me in some way.
How do you think Instagram changed the street style scene?
I think Instagram is a very important tool for photographers. Before Instagram it was Tumblr. I actually still use Tumblr as a sort of ‘daily blog’, a place where I upload photos that I feel don’t always fit on my Instagram feed. Instagram really helped create an entire street style industry. New and upcoming bloggers and photographers all want to jump in and grow their following. If you dedicate the time and energy needed to develop your style, and people like it, then you will see some level of success.
Would it be the same without Instagram, in your opinion?
Like I said previously, Instagram is just a tool. I’m sure if Instagram wasn’t around there would be something else like Tumblr, Flickr or Twitter, or whatever. Instagram is just a well-polished system and user experience that makes it easy to promote yourself.
Which are three street style stars, according to you?
My absolute favourite top 3 style stars currently are Styleheroine, Giovanna Battaglia and Yoyo Cao.
Tell us three profiles you love to follow.
This is a very difficult question to answer. I’m inspired by many things. Vintage photography, architecture, fashion editorials and so much more, but if I had to name 3 of my favourite Instagram profiles to follow they would be Patrick Demarchelier, VuTheara Kham, and Solstice Magazine.
In your opinion, trends are made more on the catwalks, on the streets or on social networks?
I personally think trends are made on the street because this is where you actually see the runway and editorial pieces in a more practical and real-world setting. If you don’t see it on the street, then it has no chance of becoming a trend.
Which is the best street style scene right now?
Paris and Milan.
Camila @camilacoelho leaving the @chanelofficial show during Paris Haute Couture week / For @refinery29 @r29style 📷 by #chrissmart www.csmartfx.com #PFW #AW18 #StreetStyle #Fashion #FashionWeek #paris #parisfashionweek #moda #mode #hautecouture #fashionlook #womensfashion #beauty #womenswear #chic #style #refinery29 #parishautecoutureweek #chanel #camilacoelho
Which are the brands that are trending on the streets?
I’m not so sure at the moment. Gucci is still everywhere I look, but I don’t see one brand really dominating. I think we will see something new in September.
What will we see in the next fashion week in terms of street style? Can you make a style prediction?
This is hard to predict. I think reflective or mirrored fabric and materials, things that are shiny silver will start popping up everywhere. The see-through PVC trend continues and I’m seeing more and more suits and trousers on women. Sheer and lace is also still popular. I love all of these trends!