The photographer is credited with helping ring in the fashion industry’s ‘Supermodel’ era of the 1990s, and will be remembered for his celebrations of natural beauty.
Peter Lindbergh has died in Paris, aged 74, as confirmed by his Paris studio on Wednesday in an Instagram post:
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Peter Lindbergh on September 3rd 2019, at the age of 74.
He is survived by his wife Petra, his first wife Astrid, his four sons Benjamin, Jérémy, Simon, Joseph and seven grandchildren.
He leaves a big void.
The photographer was born in German-occupied Poland in 1944, and grew up in Duisburg. He spent his youth idolizing Vincent Van Gogh, and studied abstract art before beginning work as a photographer’s assistant and eventually opening his own studio in 1973. He came to prominence as the photographer for the January 1990 Vogue cover, in which an ensemble of young soon-to-be supermodels, including Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford were captured in a naturally lit, black and white image, inhabiting relaxed poses. This was in contrast to the heavily made-up, edited and larger-than-life looks of the 1980s. Lindbergh’s shoot inspired George Michael and Gianni Versace to use the same models in music videos and runway shows respectively, launching the Supermodel era.
Lindbergh is mostly known for rejecting fashion’s expectations of over-glossed perfection; he expressed his distaste towards the “terror of youth and perfection,” always preferring to shoot more natural images and eschew Photoshop. His stance against contemporary commercial agendas was in many ways ahead of its time, and resulted in a body of work that will be remembered for a long time to come.
Tributes have poured in from celebrities including Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour, Christy Turlington and even Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who recently hand-picked Lindbergh to photograph the covers of British Vogue‘s September edition, which she guest-edited.
Cover image: Fanzineredwiki