Fashion photography -- in the form of magazines, books, ad campaigns, billboards, and online -- rules everything around us, whether we know it, like it, or choose to embrace it. At its start in 1839, it existed strictly to sell. Today, it reflects a lifestyle, an attitude, and a story comprised of the subject(s), location, styling, make-up, hair, and photographer's vision.
Mert & Marcus, who are Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, top the list for multiple reasons -- the breadth of their work across publications (Vogue USA, Vogue Italia, W Magazine, Pop Magazine, Numéro, and more) and brands (Louis Vuitton, Missoni, Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Fendi, Kenzo, Miu Miu, and more), their unique style since joining forces in the mid 90s, and their ability to make innovative use of digital technology. Their work boasts perfection, both in their photography and in the presentation of their subjects, which is a result of fine-tuned craft and attention to appearance. In the genre of fashion photography, where perfection is paramount, Mert & Marcus are undoubtedly, and continually, at the top of the game.
Nick Knight came up through fashion, beginning with a book of photographs titled Skinheads that he released in 1982 while still a student in the U.K. He was soon noticed by i-D Magazine, Yohji Yamamoto, and Peter Saville, and has now shot campaigns for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, Jil Sander, Lancôme, Levi Strauss, Yves Saint Laurent, and more. He's shown work internationally and was even appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2010 Birthday Honors.
Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin have been unstoppable since they joined forces in 1986. Their talent was noticed by the fashion world after they created successful fine art projects together, notably for Lawina, MoMA PS1, and BLVD Magazine. They've challenged, reinvented, and rejuvenated fashion photography in ways no one can deny, winning countless awards for their work with Vogue, Paris Vogue, Vogue Italia, W, Visionaire, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, L'Uomo Vogue, Interview, and others. They've also done iconic campaigns for houses Yves Saint Laurent, Balmain, Nina Ricci, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Isabel Marant, Giuseppe Zanotti, Lanvin Homme, Miu Miu, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and more. Their legacy thus far has been that of being pioneers in digital photography and creating a style of their own in the fashion photography world.
Steven Meisel's career started with work for Vogue and W. The fashion and music worlds became more aware of him through his photographs for Madonna's 1992 book, Sex. From a young age, he was obsessed with beauty and models, who at the time were Twiggy, Veruschka, and Jean Shrimpton. The story goes that at twelve years old, he would have his girl friends call agencies, pretending to be secretaries of Richard Avedon, so he could get pictures of the models. Although he studied fashion photography at Parsons, he got the attention of Seventeen Magazine, after they saw the portfolio photos he took for his model friends as favors. His career is also marked by launching the careers of designers, stylists, make-up artists, hair-stylists, and models who he "discovered," such as Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Kristy Turlington, Lara Stone, Coco Rocha, and Raquel Zimmerman, who he'd feature in Vogue and Prada ad campaigns. He's also credited for launching the career of Ross Van Der Heide after he showed his work to Anna Sui. He continues to photograph every cover of Vogue Italia, maintaining a close relationship with its editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani.
Copyright (c) 2013 Leon Goodman
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