Legendary fashion photographer, Peter Lindbergh, the creative lens behind many iconic Vogue covers, including Vogue Arabia’s March 2019 issue with Gigi Hadid, has sadly passed away. Aged 74, the cause of death is still unknown.
Prolific, boundary-breaking, and redefining, photographer Peter Lindbergh is behind some of the most captivating fashion imagery and moments of the past four decades. Vogue Arabia has had the pleasure to work with him twice. The first time on the cover shoot with Gigi Hadid for the brand’s two-year anniversary, and the second for the upcoming October issue, which will be a tribute to the mega-talent.
Lindbergh was a true creative, who never compromised on his integrity. Few may know that Peter Lindbergh once refused to shoot for American Vogue. Feeling he couldn’t handle the kind of brazen, big-haired woman chasing perfectionism that Vogue was depicting at the time, it wasn’t until Anna Wintour took over as editor-in-chief in 1988 that Lindbergh was given free rein to shoot the only way he knew how – devoid of convention; to photograph his subjects not as models but as women.
His first cover for Wintour featured 19-year-old model Michaela Bercu on the streets of New York, free of makeup, hair flying in the wind, and laughing without making eye contact with the lens. The image was to change the way fashion photography is viewed forever.
Although observing the life and career of the world’s most instrumental photographer is like trying to get a ship into a bottle, Lindbergh is most notably responsible for giving a visual expression to subjects in their most raw and intimate form, stripping them from the lashings of stereotypes of perceived beauty.
Taking influence from American photography during the Great Depression of the 1930s, a Lindbergh picture is charged with a physical presence that is almost tactile. Improvised and uncontrived, his pictures provoke a reaction and an emotional pull that is passed on seamlessly from subject to observer.
From his iconic 1990 British Vogue cover of Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz, Naomi Campbell, and Cindy Crawford shot on the streets of New York, to his inky black and white portraits of some of the world’s greatest models and celebrities, it is obvious Lindbergh admires women – their strength, vulnerability, and, most importantly, their fearlessness to be open.
His talent, creativity and star power will be truly missed. RIP Peter Lindbergh.