In the second chapter of our Image Makers series, we continue to look at influential partnerships between high-end designers, and top-tier photographers. We explore the highly lucrative collaboration between risque fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth, and Guess. We explore the beginning of the “Guess Girls” – resulting in a partnership that spans over thirty years.
The Image Makers is a new series that explores collaborations between high-end designers and fashion photographers. These successful collaborations (between design houses and the world’s high-end photographers) can turn a little-known atelier into instantly recognisable icons. Examining the influential brands and their photographers that became synonymous with them; the following is a breakdown of how creative execution can develop into a world-famous signature brand image over time. ￼
THE WORK OF ELLEN VON UNWERTH
Ellen von Unwerth is a female fashion photographer worth celebrating. Her unique perspective is born out of her experience as a model, allowing her to connect with her subjects.
This creates a unique intimacy, not often seen in fashion photography. She is one of the very few female fashion photographers (alongside Sherman, Leibovitz, and Goldin) to stand toe to toe with the legendary male photographers of the 90s and 2000s. ￼
Von Unwerth’s style is striking. With influences like the glamorous eroticism of Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin; the resulting pinup-style photographs convey a subversive feminine gaze. This is empowering rather than objectifying… Something seldom seen in mainstream fashion photography. ￼
She has the uncanny ability to capture the personalities of her subjects. Von Unwerth’s eye for talent is responsible for the launch of a variety of ’90s supermodels careers. Some of these names include Claudia Schiffer and Eva Herzigova.
Her dramatic photography campaigns often draw inspiration from black and white movies. Such images appear on the pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair. Not only that, but they also frequently feature in international exhibitions at institutions like MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
WRITTEN BY CHITTI LARDI | EDITED BY SHEKINAH NALWAN
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