fashion

Peter Lindbergh: Fashion photographer dies at 74

Peter Lindbergh in 2017 in Munich

Peter Lindbergh: Fashion photographer dies at 74 he leaves a big avoid in the fashion world.

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.

Born in 1944 in what is now Poland, Lindbergh worked with many fashion designers along with international magazines throughout his career. 

Recently he worked with the Duchess of Sussex, creating images for the September edition of Vogue magazine.

In the 1990s, Lindbergh was known for his photographs of models Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford.

Most famously, Mr. Lindbergh’s reputation was anchored in the rise of the supermodel in the 1990s. Its inception was the January 1990 cover of British Vogue, for which he assembled Ms. Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Ms. Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Tatjana Patitz in downtown Manhattan. He had shot some of the women on a beach in Malibu for American Vogue two years before, as well as for the first cover of the magazine under a new editor in chief in 1988, Anna Wintour. 

Lindbergh studied at Berlin’s Academy of Fine Arts in the 1960s. He assisted German photographer Hans Lux for two years before opening his own studio in 1973. 

He moved to Paris in 1978 to pursue his career, his website says. 

The photographer’s work appeared in magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar and The New Yorker.

He preferred to capture his models naturally, telling Vogue earlier this year: “I hate retouching. I hate make-up. I always say: ‘Take the make-up off!'”

Edward Enninful, editor of UK Vogue said: “His ability to see real beauty in people, and the world, was ceaseless, and will live on through the images he created. He will be missed by everyone who knew him, worked with him or loved his pictures.”

His work was shown in museums such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. 

Lindbergh also directed a number of films and documentaries. His film Inner Voices won best documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2000. 

Actress Charlize Theron paid tribute to Lindbergh on Twitter.

In a career spanning more than four decades, Mr. Lindbergh was known for cinematic and naturalistic portraits of models and black-and-white imagery.

The New York Times
Bulgari 'Man Extreme' Fragrance S/S 2013 : Eric Bana by Peter Lindbergh
Bulgari ‘Man Extreme’ Fragrance S/S 2013 : Eric Bana by Peter Lindbergh

“His ability to see real beauty in people, and the world, was ceaseless, and will live on through the images he created,” Edward Enninful, the editor of British Vogue, wrote in a tribute on Vogue’s website.

Mr. Lindbergh focused on developing a timeless, humanistic romanticism in his work, and today his imagery is instantly recognizable in campaigns for boldface luxury industry names like Dior, Giorgio Armani, Prada, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Lancôme. He also published several books.

“It was a new generation, and that new generation came with a new interpretation of women,” he later explained of the shoot, which went on to inspire the video for George Michael’s 1990 single “Freedom,” starring the models and cementing their status as household names.

“It was the first picture of them together as a group,” Mr. Lindbergh said. “I never had the idea that this was history. Never for one second.”

His muse was Linda Evangelista

Robert Pattinson, Paris, 2018
Robert Pattinson, Paris, 2018

He was born Peter Brodbeck on Nov. 23, 1944, to German parentsin Leszno, Poland. When he was 2 months old, Russian troopsforced the family to flee, and they settled in Duisburg, the center of Germany’s steel industry. 

The industrial backdrop of young Peter’s new hometown would later become a continuing inspiration for his photography, alongside the 1920s art scenes of Russia and Germany. High-fashion shoots would often take place on fire escapes or street corners, with cameras, lights and cords on display.

He left school at 14 to work in a department store, moving later to Berlin to study art at the Academy of Fine Arts. He began a photography career by accident, he told Harper’s Bazaar in 2009, upon finding that he enjoyed taking photographs of his brother’s children. That prompted him to hone his craft. 

In 1971, he moved to Düsseldorf, where he set up a successful photo studio. While there, he changed his last name to Lindbergh after learning of another photographer named Peter Brodbeck. He moved to Paris in 1978 to pursue a career.

His first marriage ended in divorce. Mr. Lindbergh, who divided his time between Paris, New York and Arles, in the south of France, is survived by his wife, Petra; four sons, Benjamin, Jérémy, Joseph and Simon; and seven grandchildren.

Mr. Lindbergh was well known for his stance against retouching his photographs. In the introduction to his 2018 book “Shadows on the Wall,” he wrote, “It should be a duty for every photographer working today to use his creativity and influence to free women and everyone from the terror of youth and perfection.”

In 2016, he shot some of the world’s best-known movie stars, including Helen Mirren, Nicole Kidman and Charlotte Rampling — all devoid of makeup — for the annual, and celebrated, Pirelli tire company calendar.

Remembering one of the greatest fashion photographers of all times and dearest friend of Vogue Italia who just passed away at age 74. His kindness, talent, and contribution to the arts will never be forgotten.

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