Alone in a Crowd: A look at the world's best-dressed men

Photographer Giuseppe Santamaria spends most of his year travelling, from New York to Tokyo, Melbourne to Florence, taking photos of the best-dressed men around the world.

But his new book Alone In A Crowd, is more than just a picture essay of menswear looks. Instead, he takes us on a journey documenting fragments of time – showing us how street style has evolved in the seven years since he turned his hobby into a serious business.

Eccentric to executive

The Toronto-born, Sydney-based graphic designer/photographer takes us on a journey of men's fashion looks that swerve from the eccentric to the tailored. Whether he's capturing a flamboyant crop-topped bloke strutting the streets of Melbourne or an Italian peacock at Pitti Uomo, it's all there – one contrast after another.

A modern day historian who admires the '40s to '60s era of photography, Santamaria launched his online magazine as a way of documenting his catalogue of street style seven years ago – and has since garnered more than 530,000 followers.

The huge following has seen Santamaria approached by big brands who will fly him around the world this year from one fashion week to another to capture the best street style.

A gap in the market

Santamaria first came to Australia at the age of 19 with a friend during a gap year after finishing his graphic design degree in Canada followed by a short internship in New York.

At 31, he now calls Sydney home and has just opened a joint retail space in Darlinghurst, called Fine Fellow with jewellery designer Clara Ho of Burton Metal Depository.

The pair showcase an assortment of men's accessories from socks and beard oil to necklaces and bags and Santamaria hosts talks about men's fashion and photography.

Curating global style

He says some of the best-dressed men can be found in Tokyo, New York and Melbourne, but points out that each city offers its own spin on how to dress for fashion's sake. Just as the title of his book suggests, Santamaria likes to work alone in a crowd to capture men in the moment.

Advertisement

"For me, if I am going to take a photo of a guy he has to be owning his look," he says of the new book.

"It's about wearing something with confidence. These guys don't care what anybody else thinks of them that's what I want to capture and get them in that moment."

The evolution of menswear

Santamaria is a regular snapper at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and says men's style has evolved in the past seven years.

"The internet has allowed men [and women] the chance to be more revolutionary in their street looks," he says.

"Now there's a tendency for men to peacock but it's not something you have to take too seriously," he says. "Personal style is varied and you should have fun with it"

City style

He has a soft spot for Tokyo and says the mass population means every corner introduces you to another interesting man.

"It's their attention to detail that makes their look so amazing. They wear their fashion with so much pride. You see everything from a sartorial dandy who really lives by his look, to a guy who creates street hip-hop looks with extra details, says Santamaria.

And then there's Florence – a sartorial circus according to Santamaria who heads back there in June. " I captured an older man sitting on a ledge last year [featured in the new book] and his personality was so extreme and Italian you could see it in his clothing. He was beautifully put together and that's what stands out to me, a picture that can say so much."

Alone In A Crowd is out in May via Hardie Grant.

Check out the gallery above to see Giuseppe Santamaria's favourite looks from his forthcoming book.