The confidence and poise of Mr. Sun convinced me to waylay him and snap this shot. He sports the much-derided collar outside of blazer look from the seventies. I think doing this takes a certain spirit and I also appreciate that he bothered striking an interesting pose. Mr. Sun was eager to exchange numbers and when I have a chance, I will find out more about what he does. Stylites.net showcases people who believe in being stylish just as much as it features style exemplars. If there is some universal definition of the ineffable concept of style, I would be not be the one to determine it.
You may notice that I photograph quite a few men, despite the accurate perception that men are not as concerned about style as women are. Granted, young Chinese men tend to be somewhat more into looking good than their American counterparts, though the interest in style here is nothing like the obsession in Japan. That may come of course.
There are two more basic factors that explain why I photograph a large number of men. First, like men everywhere outside of truly fashionable cities, the average Beijing man is not stylish and is not trying to be. So, just by trying to be stylish, men stick out more. Every single woman is trying to be stylish. Second, women are slightly more likely to refuse to be photographed. It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I am also slightly reticent about approaching women who are with a man, which is silly since men are often flattered to have their girlfriend or wife photographed.
I will try to work to adjust this. An accurate view of the style scene here probably calls for more shots of women than men. Or perhaps 50/50 is good?