Steven Meisel

Steven Meisel

Photographer

As one of the industry’s most acclaimed photographers, his artful style and discerning eye have launched the careers of countless models.

United States Creative Class 2013 BoF 500 2013 2014 BoF 500 2014

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Vital statistics

Biography

Steven Meisel is one of the greats of fashion photography. A favourite of Anna Wintour and Franca Sozzani, he has come to dominate the Italian fashion industry, shooting every Italian Vogue cover for the last two decades and every Prada campaign since 2004.

The photographer began his career as an illustrator for Halston, a position he held whilst teaching illustration at Parsons The New School for Design two nights a week. Meisel then took up a role at Women’s Wear Daily, which at the time in the 1970s still used illustrations for its covers. Meisel sat next to the celebrated illustrator Kenneth Paul Block. Meisel may have worked as an illustrator in the week, but on the weekends he would loiter at model agencies, like “paparazzi” as reported by 032c.

Meisel’s career in photography began at the close of the decade when Oscar Reyes, a booker at Elite Management who admired Meisel’s illustrations, asked the photographer to shoot some of Elite’s models for their portfolios. He would photograph them in his apartment in Gramercy Park or on the street: on weekdays he would work at Women's Wear Daily and on weekends, with the models. Some of these models went to castings for Seventeen magazine to show their portfolios, which held some of his photography, and the people at Seventeen subsequently called Meisel and asked if he wanted to work with them.

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