Dressing for fashion shows has practically become a farce since the rise of street style photographers. Editors and fashion people angling for their own little rectangle of real estate on the Sartorialist or Jak & Jil went to the shows in the middle of February wearing sheer skirts and sandals. (Hell, even if you're kind of badly dressed you can get some attention, so hungry are the plentiful photographers with fancy enough cameras to make them look legit.) So it's hard to imagine the fashion crowd shying away from these camera people — but apparently some of them have gotten so famous, they are choosing their own well-being over further exposure. Astute Business of Fashion editor Imran Amed has seen things on the front lines of Paris Fashion Week.
But the rapid rise of street photography also has a darker side. The ‘bloggers walk’ in the Jardin des Tuileries, site of many major Paris shows, is now completely out of control. Indeed, it’s become increasingly difficult to tell the difference between the aggressive paparazzi who stalk Hollywood celebrities outside bars and clubs and a few of the bad apples amongst the hordes of photographers that accost editors as they come in and out of shows.
Several street style bloggers told me confidentially that the competition is extremely fierce for getting the best photographs, which can then be sold on to global editions of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar each for as little as $200, but up to $1000 or more.
Amed offers some advice to this scary new breed of street style photographer, like that they treat the women they want to photograph "with a bit of respect" rather than "chasing them around, getting in their way, and coaxing them to come out of their cars." We didn't see anyone who didn't look like they wanted their picture taken in New York. Even when people are in a rush to go somewhere they're happy to stop, strip down to their T-shirt and metal chain harness in 28-degree weather and hang out for a few minutes while people take their picture. So it really makes you wonder: Just how creepy are these photographers being in Paris? Here's some video footage of street style photographers in action: