The Lifestyle of Style: An Interview with Karl-Edwin Guerre of Guerreisms
I do most of my interviews in a coffee shop near Union Square. I get there early, set up, sound-check my voice recorder and wait. When my interviewees arrive, I treat them to a drink -- coffee, green tea, soy cappuccino, whatever. I try to read people by their drinks of choice. I met Karl-Edwin Guerre of street-style blog Guerreisms
(formerly Swagger 360) on a Sunday morning at Joe the Art of Coffee. He arrived as dapper as anticipated -- a man who has probably been the subject of as many photographs as he has taken. We did the smile and handshake, and I offered my usual beverage treat. "Tea, please," he said with a humbled smile. "What kind of tea?" I asked. "Your choice," he responded. I was thrown -- too many options to process on my feet: black, herbal, green... milk, honey, size?! Moreover, how was I supposed to pass proper judgment on him? I decided to go with chamomile. He seemed pleased -- or at the very least, gracious -- because he drank it.
Karl-Edwin Guerre wears many hats. Metaphorically, but also quite literally. That is to say, this gentleman owns a lot
of beautiful hats. Fedoras, newsboy caps, boaters, you name it. Figuratively, Guerre is a modern renaissance man. "I've been called a blogger, a photographer, a writer, I've directed a short film -- I've been called a couple of different things, I leave that up to the public to decide what they want to call me," Guerre says evenly. "I don't want to insult a photographer or the craft of photography by calling myself a photographer -- I don't know the technical side of photography." Hm. Interesting -- considering that his work has been featured by the likes of Vogue Italy
, The Fashion Spot
Regardless of title, Guerre's artistic focus lies in the depiction of style and the stories behind his subjects. His blogging began as a platform to honor great style in both men and women, but it evolved after some time. "Now my niche is men. I used to photograph both men and women, but people would comment -- saying things like 'wow your men are fantastic -- your women are just ok.' My ego wanted to keep doing women, but a point came where I checked my ego and decided to do what the public told me I was better at."
So what makes Guerreisms different from other street-style blogs? "[All bloggers] have their own personalities in what they do, and that in itself makes us different from one another. I live what I have on my site. It's more than just images -- to me it's a lifestyle. There are styles that I'm not necessarily crazy about, but I post them because I respect style. Style is style -- if you got it, you got it