Patrick Demarchelier, who was 78 years old, died. He was one of the most prominent names in fashion photography. He helped to create the public image for Princess Diana before his reputation was damaged by sexual harassment allegations.
He was a self-taught French photographer who died Thursday. His first Vogue cover was in 1977. The most famous Vogue cover, with Madonna in 1989, was his. He became prominent after he was named Princess Diana’s personal photographer in the following year. This was the first time that a non-Brit was an official snapper to the royal family.
His photo of Diana smiling into the camera, hugging her knees in a white strapless gown and a tiara – or another shot of her smiling in a black turtleneck – was central to her image of “The People’s Prince”.
Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar had a long-standing collaboration with Demarchelier, who shot the most famous names of supermodels during the 1990s, including Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, as well as Kate Moss and Christy Turlington.
He also took photos of movie stars and celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Robert DeNiro and Anthony Hopkins.
Crawford shared her gratitude on Instagram with a black-and-white, moody mountain shot.
Demarchelier’s loved ones did not give any cause for death. They announced his passing via his official Instagram account, with three photos.
In the 2000s Demarchelier was well-known enough to be mentioned in “The Devil Wears Prada”, starring Meryl Steep, and in the movie “Sex and the City”.
In 2007, he was awarded the Order of Arts and Letters by France. He also had a retrospective of his works at Paris’ Petit Palais museum.
Denial and allegations
In 2018, Demarchelier was one of the most prominent targets of #MeToo when The Boston Globe published an exposé in which seven women, including a former assistant, accused him of sexual misconduct.
The newspaper also reported that Demarchelier’s photo assistant had written to Anna Wintour, Vogue editor in chief, about his “relentless advances” starting when she was 19 years old.
She “urged Wintour not to allow Demarchelier to have access to other young girls.”
Demarchelier denied all allegations, calling them “impossible” or “pure lies”, but Conde Nast publisher stopped working with him.
Others had better memories.
“I am grateful that I was able to be in front of your lens,” model Gigi Hadid wrote on Instagram after his passing.
Model Emily Ratajkowski, a vocal opponent of sexual harassment in the industry has had positive experiences working with Demarchelier. She shared several nude photos that he had taken with her with the caption: “So honored to have worked with the legend and the most lovely @patrickdemarchelier you will be missed.”
Demarchelier was born on August 21, 1943, in Le Havre, northern France. His stepfather gave him his first camera for his 17th birthday. After starting his career as a fashion photographer, he moved to New York with a friend in 1975.
Many major brands, including Chanel, Donna Karan, and Louis Vuitton were represented by him, as well as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. His wife, three children, and three grandchildren survive him.