One of the most successful photographers in the fashion industry, Steven Meisel has distinguished himself by the sheer eclecticism of his work. Meisel’s portfolio, filled with images from Vogue and Italian Vogue as well as countless advertisements, is a testament to his ability to place fashion trends in their greater social context. His fascination with glamour started at an early age. When Meisel was about twelve, his cousin, the advertising executive Diane Rothschild, took him on a shoot with fashion photographer Melvin Sokolsky.
By the early eighties, among the first models to sit for him were the sisters Phoebe and Valerie Cates. His contribution to their portfolios led him to an assignment at Seventeen—and his career as a photographer was launched. Shoots for W, Mademoiselle, and Self soon followed, as editors cottoned to his fresh sense of style, informed by after-hours explorations of the downtown Manhattan punk rock clubs. His first assignment for Vogue came after he met the Condé Nast editorial director Alexander Liberman, who sent him to Europe to photograph the collections.
Meisel began working with Christy Turlington, soon to be a superstar, in 1986; she in turn introduced him to the other two members of the supermodel Trinity, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell. Meisel’s influence has reached beyond fashion into the pop realm. An early example of his many projects with Madonna was the cover for her album Like a Virgin in 1984. Perhaps their most infamous collaboration was the coffee-table photography book Sex, published in 1992. In 2009, Vogue dedicated its May issue to the photographer.
Here, Steven Meisel photographed Julia Nobis. Styling by Marie-Amélie Sauvé, hair by Guido Palau, make-up by Pat McGrath.