Peter Lindbergh, revolutionary fashion and celebrity photographer, dies at 74

Peter Lindbergh (Photo: AFP)
Peter Lindbergh (Photo: AFP)

Paris - Peter Lindbergh, the German photographer credited with launching the careers of supermodels such as Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista, has died at 74, his family told AFP on Wednesday.

Lindbergh's stark black-and-white images of models and stars staring straight at the camera, which played with light and shadow, helped overturn glossy standards of beauty and fashion in the 1980s and 1990s.

Lindbergh was born in Lissa in western Poland in 1944. When he was a few months old his family fled the advance of Russian troops to southern Germany.

He grew up in the steel town of Duisburg, which he recalled as "the worst industrial, depressive part of Germany", only discovering the art world when he later moved to Berlin.

He shot the first ad campaign for the Volkswagen Golf and also worked with Stern magazine - renowned for its photography - before moving to Paris in the late 1970s.

It was his 1988 photo of a group of young women in white shirts and tousled hair on a beach in Malibu - a far cry from the big make-up, big-hair studio shoots of the day - that helped define his stark, cinematic style.

The new faces included Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Tatjana Patitz, all of whom would go on to become stars of the international catwalks.

One of the world-renowned photographer's last published projects was that of "Forces For Change" - the September issue of British Vogue, guest edited by Meghan Markle. 

The Sussex Royal Instagram account paid tribute to the late photographer on Wednesday writing, "The Duchess of Sussex had worked with Peter in the past and personally chose him to shoot the 15 women on the cover for the September issue of British Vogue, which she guest edited. There is no other photographer she considered to bring this meaningful project to life.

"He will be deeply missed."

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Honouring the life and work of photographer Peter Lindbergh. His work is revered globally for capturing the essence of a subject and promoting healthy ideals of beauty, eschewing photoshopping, and preferring natural beauty with minimal makeup. The Duchess of Sussex had worked with Peter in the past and personally chose him to shoot the 15 women on the cover for the September issue of British Vogue, which she guest edited. There is no other photographer she considered to bring this meaningful project to life. • “Forces for Change” was the one of the esteemed photographer’s final published projects. He will be deeply missed. Photo © @therealpeterlindbergh / © SussexRoyal

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