For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

{alt missing}

Craig McDean


The former car mechanic frequently shoots fashion and beauty campaigns and magazine editorials, particularly of A-list celebrities.


As one of the most prominent fashion photographers within the industry, Craig McDean boasts an impressive portfolio comprised of advertising campaigns for luxury brands such as Alexander McQueen, Chloé, Elie Saab , Alexander Wang and J Brand. Commissioned by American Vogue since 2002, McDean has also contributed to several international editions of the fashion publication alongside magazines such as Interview, Love, W and AnOther. The celebrated photographer is also known for his series of black and white portraits of influential industry insiders and celebrity personalities. In recognition of his work, McDean was awarded and ICP Infinity Award for fashion advertising in 2008.

Initially training as a mechanic, McDean discovered photography while shooting portraits of friends from his hometown of Middlewich in the UK. Inspired, the young creative attended Blackpool & Fylde College of Further & Higher Education to pursue a course in photography before moving to London in 1989. Securing a position as an assistant for Nick Knight , then picture editor of i-D, McDean began building his credentials through shoots he covered for McKnight and in 1991 began to freelance for publications such as The Face.

Following a brief tenure in Japan in 1993, McDean relocated to New York in 1995, where he began working on his first high profile campaign shoots with designer Jil Sander . In 1997, the British native was selected by Calvin Klein to produce the images for all nine of its upcoming campaigns, catapulting McDean’s presence within the fashion industry and by 2007, the established photographer was said to be earning upwards of $100,000 per day.

McDean has also published numerous books throughout his career, beginning with I Love Fast Cars in 1999 and Lifescapes in 2004. His 2011 release of Sumo, depicting images of sumo wrestlers taken during his year in Japan, was also featured in an exhibition at the Half Gallery in New York. 2019 will see the launch of his latest book, Manual. He lives in New York with wife, Vogue contributing editor Tabitha Simmons, and their two boys.

Vital Statistics


United Kingdom

United States
Member since

Similar Profiles

Aaron de Mey

Makeup Artist

Grace Coddington

Former Creative-Director-At-Large, Vogue US

Olivier Saillard

Curator, Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode

Willy Vanderperre


What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.