Thursday, January 12, 2012

Straight Talk: A New Breed of Fashion Bloggers 

MORDECHAI RUBINSTEIN is the rare fashion blogger who first made a name for himself offline. Raised Hasidic, Mr. Rubinstein was in rabbinical school in Israel before moving to New York in 1994, where he fell in with a downtown street scene. He worked as a clerk at the now-shuttered New Republic Clothiers in SoHo, and then as a publicist for Jack Spade, where he made a colorful mark. One Father's Day, he set up a makeshift office (water cooler and all) on Greene Street to peddle bow ties and offer sartorial advice to passersby.

The blog came in 2008 as a way to organize all his Flickr photos — many of them stealth shots of subway riders' shoes. "I'd make goofy faces at people to distract them, have the camera hidden on my lap and just click away." He has gone on to document more than shoes, and can be spotted on the streets of San Francisco (where he now lives, consulting for Levi's) and New York (where he returns frequently), with an Olympus Pen camera around his neck.

Besides shooting the requisite Fashion Week crowd, it's regular guys "who don't realize how cool they are" (like the man at right) who are his bread and butter. His eyes light up, describing a man he photographed the other day. "He was in head-to-toe khaki, a red bandanna hanging out of his pocket," he said. "Now, that's my guy."


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