So Style For What: Has The Art Of Street Style Photography Become Too Commercial For Its Own Good?

Is street style still as organic as it once was, or has it become another weapon in the arsenal of the fashion brands and style bloggers in the social media era?

BY Eugene Lim | Jul 5, 2016 | Fashion

Fresh from my first ever trip to Milan Fashion Week, there a couple of things I learned.
1 | Being able to get up-close and personal (third row from the back, but who is counting), and being able to take in your favourite designer's new work is always awesome.
2 | Fashion shows never start on time.
3 | Overpacking and FOMO is real.
4 | It is possible to gain weight during fashion week. (Side nod to the pasta/risotto and steak I had every night for dinner.)
5 | Street Style is a HUGE part of Fashion Week.
Which brings me to the whole point of this week's So Style For What column—is street style still as organic as it once was, or has it become another weapon in the arsenal of the fashion brands and bloggers to further their agenda?
After all, when Bill Cunningham, the original street style photographer first took to the streets, he adopted a more anthropological approach to his work. It was the unguarded and unscripted moments which appealed to him, never discriminating between the fashion insiders or the regular stylish joe of New York. 
Sharing Bill's ethos of capturing real stylish people of the streets was Scott Schuman, more commonly known by the moniker of his blog, The Sartorialist. He trailblazed the path and business model, was imitated by many, and was responsible for turning street style photography into a viable career in this social media-friendly era.
But with new photographers, brands and various media members looking to take a bite out of the rapidly growing pie, be it for the money or the fame that it would win them, has the art of street style photography become too commercial for its own good?
Behind the lens, the established veterans are faced with increasing competition from the budding photographers, while the ones in front of them are recognising the value of being shot, upping their ante, with flashier ensembles, better spatial awareness and ever ready with a pose. Some of them don't even attend the shows.
As a whole, street style is still a vital part of fashion week, and a great launching pad for a career in the fashion industry. I just wished that it's less of a spectacle, less forced, and that it would return to its organic roots.