TEXT: JOSHUA LYON
For fashion-followers who came of age in the late seventies and eighties, there are certain iconic ads and celebrity features forever burned in the mind—and chances are they were collaborations between photographer Bruce Weber and stylist Paul Cavaco. They worked together for over two decades, but eventually family life and new job opportunities caused them to start taking on separate projects. Until now: after sixteen years apart, VMAN is thrilled to reunite the power duo for a mega 28-page fashion feature in our fall issue. We were honored when they also agreed to share details about their long history and enduring friendship, as well as a few wild behind the scenes stories from their past.
The photographer and stylist first met at a shoot in 1976, during Cavaco’s early days as a model. “I’m the antithesis of a Bruce Weber model,” he modestly clarifies. “Short, not built at all…it was a shoot for real people.” Still, Weber saw something in the young man when he plucked him out of the lineup to help dress some of the other guys. “I didn’t know what I was doing, so I didn’t have any rules,” Cavaco says. He points to Kezia Keeble, his fiancé at the time, as his original mentor. (The late Keeble is a legend in her own right: a former Vogue editor who later went on to found the powerhouse publicity and advertising firm KCD with Cavaco and John Duka, a New York Times fashion writer.) “I was taught by Kezia to look at what’s going on, to watch what Bruce was liking, and to look at the picture as a whole,” he says. “It wasn’t just about the clothes, it was about the image.”
Shortly after that fortuitous meeting, Weber asked Cavaco to help out on an advertising shoot and they began working together steadily, pushing all kinds of boundaries as they went. Take a late seventies underwear story for Soho Weekly News featuring model Jeff Aquilon, who Weber had plucked from the water polo team at Pepperdine University. “Paul styled that whole thing, from the holes in the socks to a vintage bathrobe,” Weber says. “You have to understand at the time those kinds of things didn’t happen. Men didn’t really do those kinds of pictures. Paul was always very forward thinking. He had a feeling of street, and he had a feeling of elegance at the same time.”
There’s so much fashion history between this two creative minds, some of them intertwined along 80’s to 90’s. Iconic moments through the lens of Weber and splendid style by Cavaco.