Patrick Demarchelier was one of the world’s most coveted fashion photographers. He created iconic portraits and photographed covers and campaigns for many influential publications and fashion houses. In 2003, he said: “I have no formal qualifications, just the school of life. I learned most by just taking pictures; a lot of pictures. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but it’s often from your mistakes that you learn most. Being a photographer is like being an athlete. You must practice every day.”
Patrick Demarchelier was born in 1943 in a small village outside Paris and grew up in the seaside town of Le Havre. He received a camera for his 17th birthday and at age 20 moved to Paris to become a photographer, eventually working as an assistant to fashion photographer Hans Feurer. Demarchelier began to secure his own assignments from Elle, Marie Claire, and other magazines. He then moved to New York in 1975, where he worked with magazines including Glamour, Mademoiselle, and later Vogue, GQ, and Rolling Stone. His editorial success led to high-profile advertising campaigns for companies such as Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Tiffany & Co, Louis Vuitton, and Calvin Klein as well as many other film and record companies.
Demarchelier photographed numerous models and celebrities like Madonna, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford. He became so successful that he was requested to be the personal photographer of Princess Diana and was the first non-British photographer to document the royal family. In 1992 Demarchelier began his collaboration with Editor-in-Chief Liz Tilberis and Creative Director Fabien Baron at Harper’s Bazaar magazine. The next year, the magazine won the prestigious National Magazine Award for Outstanding Achievement in Photography. His work has been shown in Musee des Beaux-Arts Paris and the Italian Museum of Modern Art in Milan. Demarchelier passed away March 31, 2022.