STEPHEN MAISEL IN FASHION PHOTOS, AND IT’S IN IT
Steven Meisel, one of the most famous commercial photographers of our time, was born on June 5, 1954 in New York. Already since childhood, his originality has become noticeable close. Stephen combined the Anglo-Irish origin of the mother and the Russian-Jewish roots of his father. When he was 3 years old, the family moved to Wisconsin, where he spent the childhood of the future photographer. The boy’s father worked in show business, so Meisel got to know the backstage early.
After receiving a secondary education, Stephen went to study at the fashion illustrator at the Parsons design school. His talent was quickly noticed, and Meisel began his career at the Halston fashion house, and then at Women Wear Daily. Making illustrations for the magazine, he was inspired by famous photo masters of the time: Richard Avedon, Jerry Schatzberg, Irwin Penn. Gradually, Stephen realized that the fashion-illustration was becoming obsolete and replaced by a photograph.
Maisel began to shoot his model girlfriends. His shots in the model portfolios aroused the interest of the editor of Seventeen magazine. Stephen was immediately asked to work together. Then there was cooperation with the Elite agency, where he was able to fully reveal himself in a new role. Soon, Meisel already began working with a number of fashion publications as a photographer. In 1983, the documentary “Portfolio” about the everyday life of people from the modeling business was released. Steven, who was popular at that time, also appeared in the film, but he himself spoke extremely unflatteringly about this experience.
Career photographer developed rapidly. Cooperation with Vogue, shooting fashion-shows in Europe and America – Stephen becomes the most sought-after and desired photographer in the fashion world. From 1988 to today, he draws up every cover of Italian Vogue.
The talent of Maisel contributed to the career advancement of dozens of girls, whose names entered the history of the global fashion business. Among them: Linda Evangelista, Natalia Vodianova, Naomi Campbell, Raquel Zimmerman, Sasha Pivovarova, Megan Collison, Lindsay Wicksson, Amber Valletta, Lara Stone and others.
Coco Rocha in his interview called him the godfather of models. In 2009, in the May issue of Vogue, a photo session entitled The Godfather was dedicated to Maisel.
It was Stephen who in 1992 took photographs for the book of the Madonna. On the pages of the bestseller with the provocative title “Sex”, besides the singer herself, there are other stars, including Naomi Campbell. The scandalous photos simulating coition, same-sex love added “peppercorns” to the professional image of Meisel.
Stephen shoots original advertising projects. Some of them are so provocative that the channels refuse to broadcast them, and the author is accused of promoting pornography.
Maisel helped to open up in the profession not only models. Many hairdressers, stylists and makeup artists have earned a name for themselves thanks to its patronage.
With his works, Maisel refers not only to the world of fashion, but also to society as a whole. He has repeatedly focused on the closeness of designers who do not want much change. In 2008, Stephen actively raises the issue of discrimination against black girls in the profession. As a result, not a single “white” model is depicted in one of the Vogue numbers.
The September Vogue Italia for 2006 brought Meisel a lot of trouble. In a photo shoot called “The State of Emergency”, Stephen played with the concept of restricting freedoms that arose after the September 11 terrorist attack. Models portrayed police and terrorist. The scandal around the photo shoot ended with Maisel’s conversation with the FBI.
The photographer concentrated his attention on the problem of a fanatical attitude to cosmetology and plastic surgery. In July 2005, Maisel released a series of shots
Maisel does not shy away from environmental problems. A series of photographs “Water and oil”, he vividly reveals the consequences of an explosion on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Stephen Meisel is a mysterious person and, of course, a big figure in the fashion business world. He does not like to give interviews, take pictures and shoot. This is one of the few photographers of this level who never released a photo book with their work. Participation in exhibitions he considers unnecessary waste of time. True in 2009, the album released “Counting 317”. On its pages were placed 317 Vogue Italia covers made by Stephen for 20 years of service in publishing. It is about the Italian branch of Vogue that Maisel speaks very warmly. Here he was given a maximum of freedom and, according to the photographer himself, “spoiled his ideas less often than other publications.”
Despite the variety of themes and fantasy of the photographer, his style is well recognizable. The talent and creativity of Meisel made his name a brand in the global fashion-industry.