Fellow Philadelphians: Brent Luvaas of Urban Fieldnotes

If you've browsed my sidebar links under Philly Reads then you are probably already familiar with Brent Luvvas who blogs street style over at Urban Fieldnotes. But unlike sites like The Satorialist or Face Hunter, this anthropology professor not only showcases expressions of individuality, but he gives us a peak into the lives of the subjects in his images.
Why did you start Urban Fieldnotes?
"It's a research project. I'm an anthropologist and I've been doing research on the circulation of style across borders. I was doing a project on the Indonesian Indie fashion scene and that got me interested in these personal style blogs that were coming out of Indonesia, and that led me to the street style blogs coming out of Indonesia, and that led me to the global phenomena of people documenting the styles of people they see on the street. It seemed to me a kind of project that was already really similar to what I do as an anthropologist, which is identify and analyze trends, and that this was sort of an amateur anthropological project, and it seemed to me that the best way to study this phenomenon was to do it myself."
( This photo above taken by Alex )
When you are on the streets, what do you look for?
I sort of do it sort of by a kind of instinct, and I'm also looking for a kind of energy a person projects. I photograph a lot of different styles and I do like to keep them varied, but there has to be something about them that sticks out. Something about the posture, the stance they take, the way they occupy space, that usually appeals to me, and then I start to think about the clothes. 

What's your approach?
Sometimes I have to have the same person pass by me once or twice before I know for sure, but when I go up to them I usually stay the same thing "Hi I do a street style blog, I was wondering if I could take your picture for it". I just make sure to get in the words street style blog as quickly as I can so they don't think I'm just some weirdo with a camera.
Having your own personal style have an important role in your life?
Well I mean, I do wear clothes, and I do think to a certain extent about what I'm wearing, so it does have a role, but I think that I would say that I think about my own personal style in terms of what kind of meaning I'm trying to create around myself based on what it is that I'm wearing. I think clothing is locked into a larger system of meanings, but I do find it easier to think about when I'm looking at other people.

What is your favorite thing about Philadelphia?
I think that Philly has a great food and beer scene which really surprised me about this place, because I had always thought of Philly as a kind of working class town, and sort of rough and tumble place, but I was excited to discover that it had such a foodie scene.

Too see more interviews, photos, and behind the scenes of other Fellow Philadelphians, click here. Make sure to visit Urban Fieldnotes and leave a little love! 

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