NEW YORK (AP) – Died Patrick Demarchelier, a photographer of French descent, known for his images of high fashion top models and celebrities, including Princess Diana. He was 78.
His Instagram account reported his death on Thursday, but did not provide more details. Attempts to contact his family were unsuccessful.
Demarchelier has made careers with luxury brand companies, including for Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dior, and has worked for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and other leading fashion magazines. He started filming Diana in 1989 and worked as her personal photographer until the early 90s.
He has also published books on photography, worked on the Pirelli calendar, enjoyed cameo appearances in Sex and the City and the September issue, and worked in America’s Next Top Model. He was immortalized in the film “The Devil Wears Prada” when the elusive Andy Sachs with Anne Hathaway has no idea who he is, he later told boss Miranda Priestley, “I have Patrick” before translating the call.
Known to work fast and on instinct, the self-taught Demarchelier first starred for Vogue in 1975 and then moved to New York from Paris.
By 2018, his reputation was badly damaged after The Boston Globe reported allegations of sexual abuse by 50 models. He denied any wrongdoing, but Vogue and other publications cut him off. He was among a number of photographers accused of the #MeToo movement.
The objectivist worked not only in the fashion industry. In 1993, he removed the cover of Janet Jackson topless for Rolling Stone, her chest covered by the hands of then-boyfriend Renee Elizonda. He aimed his lens at Madonna in the iconic image of the 1990 star in a gem-decorated bust and again in leather, with a cigarette hanging from her lips, during her “Justify My Love”. And he captured Britney Spears again and again.
His work with Diana as the first non-British photographer took him to a new level. The French Ministry of Culture recognized Demarchelier as an officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2007, the same year he received the CFDA founder’s award in honor of Eleanor Lambert.
Demarchelier began filming as a teenager in Le Havre, Normandy. He moved to New York in the early 1930s, working on advertising campaigns. His career exploded in the United States as his reputation spread. He has filmed for major designers such as Tommy Hilfiger and Vera Wang, and has worked for cosmetic companies and non-luxury brands such as H&M.
Condolences poured in on social networks when information about his death spread. Supermodel Amber Valletta wrote: “He is a fashion history and a legendary photographer. We will miss him. “
In Demarchelle remained his wife Mia, sons Gustav, Arthur and Victor and three grandchildren.
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