Set designer Stefan Beckman is the man behind New York Fashion Week’s most exciting shows for production and scale. A long time collaborator with Marc Jacobs , Beckman was responsible for Spring/Summer 2015’s surreal hazy purple gravel moat catwalk. He also created the set for Alexander Wang ’s Spring/Summer 2014 show: an urban jungle of white pipe structures, bright white ‘road’ markings (which guided the models) to a soundtrack of aggressive hip-hop. Beckman has become known for consistently elevating runway shows to works of performance art. In 2019 Beckman launched Lateral Objects, a design lab focused on creating unique products across a broad range of mediums.
His work is not, however, limited to the runway. A production designer and art director. Beckman works across editorial and campaign shoots and films. Beckman has worked with brands including Prada, Fendi, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Missoni, Y-3, Sonia Rykiel and Alexander McQueen. “The best thing about the business is that it’s a truly collaborative, working with people here, in my office, trying to come up with the best design. It’s really collaborative also with stylists, photographers, and designers. That’s the coolest thing; you’re putting on a play together!” He tells BoF.
Trained in film and theatre at Austin University, Texas, Beckman later moved to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry, crafting props for the art departments of various television networks. He learned about sets and props while also considering lighting and camera angles. In the early 1990s he moved to New York and, through a friend at Harper’s Bazaar, was introduced to art director Fabien Baron . From there “it all kind of snowballed,” he said.
Through his subsequent work with Baron and others, Beckman began collaborating with photographers Craig McDean and David Sims . Introduced to Marc Jacobs whilst working on the first Louis Vuitton campaign with photography duo Inez and Vinoodh in Autumn/Winter 2006, he has since worked with the designer on his runway shows.