We look at six things you didn’t know about Bruce Weber. Once described by Interview magazine as presenting “an idealised version of America, one that’s both tantalising close and
impossibly romantic” Weber has created a new standard for photography. His diverse body of work spanning five decades ranges
His diverse body of work spanning five decades ranges from campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie and Fitch in the 80s and 90s that made him a household name to magazine covers and more. As prolific as he is diverse, Weber has shot everything from travel photography to high fashion shoots for Versace and Louis Vuitton to portraitures of David Bowie, Kate Moss and Jane Goodall. It was Weber that spearheaded the rise of the image of “all-American” beauty with his campaigns for Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.
It was Weber that spearheaded the rise of the image of “all-American” beauty with his campaigns for Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. Capturing the zeitgeist of a moment is no easy feat and with his deceptively simple photography Weber transformed both these fashion brands but also tapped into a collective consciousness that demanded or longed for a new standard of beauty and way of exploring sexuality. Weber’s singular vision featuring strapping, athletic often barely dressed, beautiful young men and women, carefree and prosperous appeared everywhere form giant billboards in financial districts of New York to the glossy pages of men’s fashion magazines, fuelled the fantasies of a new generation.
It’s hard to know whether Weber through some innate sense of the time created these fantasies or if his dreamy look at the gilded and golden American youth merely catered to them in a way that lined up neatly with already existing desires. At any rate, Weber did more to transform the image of Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren than anyone else and along the way, moved countless polo shirts and boxer shorts and changed the idea of male sexuality forever.
Today Weber has over thirty books to his name, including the All American series, many monographs, an ever-increasing number of film credits and well over sixty exhibitions globally. Not only can he boast of producing some of the most progressive and controversial campaigns within the fashion industry, but he can also claim that his one of a kind vision of American youth has stood the test of time and has formed the backbone of some of fashions’ most well-known brands internationally.
As the fashion industry gathers together in London to celebrate at the British Fashion Awards, they will also be gathering to honour Bruce Weber, photographer extraordinaire with the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator. Of course, all these talking points about Weber are well known and will no doubt be mentioned when he receives his award, we thought we would share with you six lesser known things that make up the Bruce Weber legend.
Watch Fashion Industry Broadcast’s 5 minute web-doco about the photography legend above.
Written by Lucy Li
Film by Newman Sorensen
Discover the work of more iconic photographers in Fashion Industry Broadcast’s Masters of Photography Vol. 50 “Living Legends”. Available on Amazon.