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A New Book with Madonna’s Foreword Highlights the Work of Fashion Heavyweights Luigi & Iango

A new tome with a foreword by Madonna puts the spotlight on fashion heavyweights and Vogue Arabia collaborators Luigi & Iango.

Ugbad, New York. Photo: Luigi & Iango

Any avid reader of Vogue is surely in possession of a magazine cover shot by renowned photography duo Luigi Murenu and Iango Henzi, known as Luigi & Iango. With their contemporary, bold style, the Swiss and Italian creators have shot over 250 covers for Vogue and other magazines including Vanity Fair and i-D, immortalizing their names as titans of fashion photography, collaborating with the biggest labels in the world: Chanel, Lancôme, Versace, Tom Ford, and Cartier. Since the duo first began working together in 2013, Luigi and Iango have photographed iconic celebrities and the era’s supermodels, including Madonna, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, Cate Blanchett, and Jennifer Lopez, to name a few. For Vogue Arabia, the creatives lensed covers of models Ugbad and Hani Abdi, and Oscar winner Penelope Cruz. “Being approachable and authentic is crucial for establishing a dialogue,” consider the photographers. “We respect the individual personalities of each talent, celebrating their beauty and showcasing the best in each of them.”

Luigi & Iango

Now, at the height of their photography careers, Luigi & Iango are releasing their first monograph published by Phaidon. A masterful portfolio, Luigi & Iango: Unveiled documents their work across 320 pages and 220 illustrations. Edited by renowned museum curator and Canadian former model Thierry-Maxime Loriot, it details the pair’s creative quest to capture beauty and artistic expression in all its pluralism. Alongside the new book, their first solo exhibition, curated by Loriot, will open at the Palazzo Reale in Milan, on September 22 this year.

Luigi & Iango: Unveiled

On the cover of the book is Madonna, the seven-time Grammy Award-winning American singer, and the best-selling female recording artist of all time. With tears streaming down her face, her eyes turn upwards to a crownlike headpiece designed by Dolce & Gabbana resting on her head. Madonna is depicted as the Virgin Mary – the Madonna herself, with seven gold-hilted daggers piercing her red heart. The photo was captured by Luigi & Iango for the cover of Vanity Fair’s first “The Icon Issue” for its European editions in January 2023. “The photo was an obvious choice,” state Luigi & Iango. “It’s a picture filled with powerful symbols. Madonna represents for us: strength, courage, beauty, and immense talent. We deeply admire her as an artist, and we also admire the remarkable woman she is. She is a cherished friend and a pioneer who advocates for important causes and freedom.”

Naomi Campbell, Paris; Adut Akech, Paris

Penning the book’s foreword, Madonna likened being photographed by Luigi & Iango to “being cast in one of my favorite Italian movies.” She described the duo’s creative process as an almost dream-like experience where she dove into a different world through their visionary mood boards and the arias of soprano Maria Callas playing in the background. “The unveiling of the alchemy that is made by two people whose lives are driven by drama and ritual,” Madonna writes.

Gigi Hadid, Milano. Photo: Luigi & Iango

From the beginning, the duo’s approach to fashion photography was to explore outside any preordained rules. A decade on since they started collaborating, their spirit of challenging the norm remains. “We have always wanted to create images that defy conventions, allowing space for freedom and celebrating both the inner and outer beauty of every individual,” Luigi & Iango share. “We are always satisfied when our models are happy and feel like we’ve achieved something special during the shoot. Every day is a new adventure, filled with encounters, new challenges, and unexplored paths.”

Malgosia Bela; New York. Photo: Luigi & Iango

Luigi & Iango first met while studying photography at the London College of Fashion. While Henzi had delved into the creative industry as a professional dancer, Murenu enjoyed a career as an award-winning fashion hairstylist. The cosmopolitan, infectious, and youthful energy of London diffused into their early collaborations. “We started working together with the desire to create iconic images,” they remember. “When working freely, we are somewhat unconscious, not really thinking about where we’re heading, but rather focusing on creating and pushing our own boundaries,” they say of their process. “We have always worked passionately, like artisans, seeking to create extraordinary images crafted with expertise. Quality is important to us. We prepare thoroughly for each of our photoshoots, aiming to give the best of ourselves.”

Dua Lipa, London. Photo: Luigi & Iango

The seasoned photographers explain that they seek challenges. “We embrace the idea of constantly questioning ourselves. The notion of performance is the driving force, the key to all our work, giving strength to spontaneity,” they offer. “Today, we believe it’s essential to produce powerful images that stand the test of time, provoke thought, and evoke emotions.”

Anok Yai, New York. Photo: Luigi & Iango

Originally published in the September 2023 issue of Vogue Arabia

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