Sarah Walor photo
Brian McDaniel is not dirty, and neither is his blog. At 23, the sharply dressed young man runs Dirty Richmond, one of the most popular blogs in the city. "I had no idea it would take off the way it has," McDaniel says. His fashion blog, at dirtyrichmond.tumblr.com , has been viewed on six continents, in 122 countries and in all 50 states. On an average weekday, the blog sees more than 1,000 hits.
The idea for Dirty Richmond started with GQ magazine, which featured photos from Scott Schuman's blog The Sartorialist . The concept was simple: Take pictures of well-dressed people on the street and post them online.
McDaniel was enough of a fan that in 2009, he followed in Schuman's footsteps by creating his own blog focusing on Richmond. Every day, McDaniel would hang out on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus with his Canon Rebel XS looking for people with their own unique fashion sense. Those he deemed eye-catching would end up on the blog.
A Chesterfield native, McDaniel began his immersion into Richmond fashion when he visited Rumors Boutique in high school. "I feel like that's where I grew up," McDaniel says of Rumors, a buy-sell-trade shop on North Harrison Street. "Growing up in the suburbs, I hadn't seen something like that before."
McDaniel recently refocused his blog to include profiles of Richmonders and promote events, while still highlighting well-dressed locals.
"I see it as a Richmond blog," McDaniel says. "Fashion's still the heart of it, but I feel it's moved on to more than just a fashion blog."
Johnny Hugel, a fellow blogger, promoter and all-around busy man, is collaborating with McDaniel on the creation of a video version of Dirty Richmond. "He's one of the most enthusiastic and energetic people out there," Hugel says. "I think looking at Dirty Richmond gives you a fuller picture of what's going on in the city."