MEN IN THIS TOWN WHO INSPIRE US
WE CHAT TO LEADING LOCAL STREET-STYLE PHOTOGRAPHER, PUBLISHER AND GENERAL OVERACHIEVER, GIUSEPPE SANTAMARIA, ABOUT FINDING PERSONAL MAGIC AND HIS EXPANSION INTO RETAIL.
Not settled as a magazine designer, it was in 2010 that Santamaria was drawn to photographically documenting what he saw around him – specifically, the exciting sartorial moves Australian men were finally making. His Men In This Town blog struck a chord, finding immediate recognition and a firm audience. Half a million followers and several book deals later, the 30-year-old is further extending the brand by producing periodic magazines, hosting studio talks and recording accompanying podcasts while also shooting commercial campaigns and eyeing off a new Sydney retail space. Incredibly, he also managed to find five minutes in his diary for us.
GQ: What are you trying to capture with your photography? Giuseppe Santamaria:
I guess it’s individuality – I look at people who have a certain sense of confidence; confidence in what they’re wearing but also in themselves. Because in my eyes, confidence is what makes someone stylish.
GQ: Describe your own personal style. GS:
I’m drawn to Japanese style – things that are relaxed, a little baggy and comfortable. But I’m not someone who necessarily puts style first, in fact, I’d say I’m still discovering my style… It’s the reason I started the blog in the first place, to see what other guys were doing.
GQ: You mention Japan – a place of tremendous inspiration for men’s fashion. GS:
I love it there – Tokyo specifically. Around every corner is someone to photograph, and they’re all so individual.
GQ: It goes back to that confidence and people embracing individuality – which makes your new work for LYNX and its ‘Find Your Magic’ campaign a good fit. You shot some of the influencers for this – tattooist Giorgia Mae, hairstylist Jules Tognini and chef Nathan Sasi. And you’ll stock the accessories each made in your new retail space, The MITT Mrkt, that’s about to open. That must be exciting. GS:
Yes, it is. It’s a little nerve-racking but I have a great business partner who has strong retail experience.
GQ: We heard you once worked an ice-cream store – surely that counts as experience?
[laughs] Yes I did, and a bookstore too.
GS: GQ: We love the hipster spelling of The MITT Mrkt – talk us though the concept. GS:
The space will be fitted out as an ideal man’s apartment – just everything will be for sale: the couches, the clothes, everything. And it will also be a working space – we’ll have an in-house designer and potentially a small studio. And I’ll try to document the customers who come in – take a photo and see if they want to sit down and tell me their story and then get those stories out via the various MITT avenues.
GQ: Is there an end goal with all that you do? GS:
If things can stay how they are now – so, produce two issues of the MITT magazine a year, and a book every couple of years. I like what [photographer] Bill Cunningham does for The New York Times – so if I could have my blog and the extensions, and do that the rest of my life, I’d be more than happy. The MITT Mrkt is expected to open in this month; meninthistown.com; lynxexpression.com
THE LYNX ‘FIND YOUR MAGIC’ ACCESSORY COLLECTIONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE AT MENINTHISTOWN.COM