Fashion Flashback:

For this week’s edition of Fashion Flashback, we look back on the legendary work of photographer Richard Avedon created for Versace during the fashion house’s most iconic era.

—By Luisa Tarantino

Richard Avedon is undeniably one of the most influential photographers of his time, working for world-renowned publications like Vogue since the 1960s and with supermodels who have now reached icon status. His campaign work for Versace is widely recognized as being one of the most successful collaborations between a photographer and a designer. Indeed, their relationship was so strong and successful it lasted nearly 18 years.

richard avedon

Richard Avedon (1975)Photograph by Richard Avedon / © The Richard Avedon Foundation

In the 1990s, Gianni Versace was at the top of his career. His last Haute Couture runway show in Paris before his death included the likes of Naomi Campbell, Amber Valletta, and Stella Tennant. Through his campaigns and his runway shows, Versace put a series of supermodels on the map, contributing to their rise to fame - some even credit Versace for having created the ‘supermodel vogue’ of the 1990s. Supermodels came to rule pop culture at this time, reaching new celebrity heights and positions in the fashion industry. His muses were featured abundantly in his campaigns, which captured the Versace brand and its muses in glamorous, feminine, and powerful concepts. They became the celebrities and heroines of their decade, both inspiring and exciting any who laid eyes on them.

Versace and 1990s SuperModels

Versace and 1990s Supermodels

The campaigns Avedon and Versace shot together came to embody the Versace brand in the flesh - quite literally, in the flesh. Avedon and Versace both added the corporeal to the campaigns - their shoots were bold, incredibly sexy, yet incredibly powerful and provocative. Models posed in ways they previously hadn’t for huge brand campaigns, crossing the lines of what the public was used to seeing. Whether supermodels (both male and female) were entangled with one another or standing proudly like heroines, Versace became synonymous with being passionated, poised, sexy, and bold. Avedon’s perfectionism ensured flawless execution and Versace’s own tenet to push boundaries made them a unique, yet marvellous team. Through their work, Avedon and Versace changed the way fashion houses were marketed, and Avedon had a significant impact on advertising for decades.

richard avedon versace richard avedon versace

For previous segments of Fashion Flashback, click here.

Written on: June 13, 2020