By Matthew Hacke | Photographs by Michael Fornataro
After spending time post-graduation in New York City visiting his best friend, Pittsburgh native Chancelor Humphrey realized that there was something missing in his hometown — an outlet for street style photography. “I started to take notice of all of the street style photographers in New York and saw how they branded themselves. I looked back to Pittsburgh and thought, ‘There are no street style photographers in this city,’” he says. “I was pretty confident in my photography skills at this point, so I decided to give it a go. In 2014, my Instagram page, @keeppittsburghdope, began.” With almost 18,000 followers and counting, Humphrey’s account captures the style influencers of the Steel City. In turn, Humphrey has become a style influencer in his own right — known for mixing a plethora of thrift and vintage finds. Since he’s always on the go taking photos, Humphrey’s wardrobe consists of clothes that are simple, neutral, and easy to layer and move about in — but he always manages to keep it dope by adding an unexpected pop of color or cool accessory. We recently caught up with Humphrey to discuss all things style and how his account has brought attention to the trendsetters in Pittsburgh.
Q & A
How would you describe your personal style?
My friend calls my style ‘Swag Lasagna’ because I always wear layers. I stay true to my black and neutral colors so that I can stay on top of doing my job and still look the part wherever I am at taking photos. Easy, muted colors, black jeans, and layered clothing are my signatures. I wear a lot of hats, too. I’m really into beanies and wear a lot of dad hats. Overall, my style is pretty simple. I’m a big thrift store shopper. So, it’s always just finding different pieces to match other pieces that I already have. My style is maneuverable and comfortable for what I do. Basic T-shirts and hoodies that I can take from morning to night are my go-tos. When the weather gets warmer, I’ll break out the classic high-top Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers.
Where does your style inspiration come from?
I would say my mom. She’s always had great fashion sense and knows how to put things together from whatever she has in her wardrobe. Seeing that growing up rubbed off on me. Celebrity-wise, I love how Chance the Rapper puts his outfits together. It’s always neat and simple. He always wears the same hats. He has a signature look and that’s how I’ve subconsciously tried to dress. He’s definitely a guy whose style I try to emulate. I also love Scott Schuman’s style, who runs the fashion blog, The Satorialist. His street style blog was an inspiration for starting my Instagram street style account, @keeppittsburghdope. He’s definitely an idol of mine. He’s one of the first street style photographers in the digital age.
Locally, where do you shop?
Since I love thrift and vintage shopping, some of my favorite places to shop include: Highway Robbery in the South Side, Clothes Minded in Bloomfield, Avalon Exchange in Squirrel Hill, and the Goodwill on the North Side. I also love Shop 412 and H&M.
How do you set up the photos for @keeppittsburghdope?
My base is Downtown, so most of the time, my street style photography takes place Downtown. I will walk around and go up to people whose style catches my eye and fits the vision and essence of the @keeppittsburghdope Instagram page. I’ll set up shoots as well with certain influencers in the city. Lawrenceville and Oakland are two Pittsburgh neighborhoods where I definitely find and take a lot of photos of stylish people in the ‘Burgh — Oakland especially.
Any memorable photo shoots in particular?
I took Ewan McGregor’s photo Downtown last year. He was filming a movie, and I’m never nervous going up to someone or taking someone’s photo, but I was so nervous. I’m a big movie buff. He was super nice, though, and I got an awesome street style shot. Mac Miller is another one. He followed @keeppittsburghdope on Instagram, so I reached out to him and asked him if I could take his photo. He said yes, so I got to go to his studio and get some shots last year as well.
For more information, follow @keeppittsburghdope on Instagram!
A few of his favorite things:
Chancelor Humphrey is also a co-founder — along with Cody Baker, who is a part of whirl’s 2017 class of 13 under 30 — of Creatives Drink! The duo launched the organization in order to hold events that bring together Pittsburgh influencers looking to meet and make valuable connections. For more information and to see when and where the next gathering will occur, visit creativesdrink.com.