The Vreeland-Avedon Alliance: A Fashion Dynasty

When Diana Vreeland’s reign as editor-in-chief at Vogue began (yes, it’s hard to imagine, but try to think past Anna Wintour) in 1962, the young fashion photographer and eventual legend Richard Avedon joined her, ultimately shaping the aesthetic of the publication. After getting his start as a photographer for department stores, the art director at Harper’s Bazaar, Alexey Brodovitch, took notice of his work and endorsed him for the magazine.
Vreeland and Avedon
Vreeland and Avedon

Avedon’s influence at Vogue developed quickly, and he would end up staying there until 1988 when Anna Wintour took over. In the 1970s and 1980s, Avedon created memorable campaigns for Gianni Versace and with Brooke Shields for Calvin Klein Jeans. Starting in 1978, Avedon shot most of the covers for Vogue. His unique photographic style was also employed in a Christian Dior ad campaign in 1982, inspired by the classic look of film stills.

Elizabeth Taylor, photographed by Avedon
Elizabeth Taylor, photographed by Avedon

With Vreeland, Avedon was able to hit his creative stride, photographing models from Janice Dickinson to Gia Carangi (or just Gia, if you will). Working at the height of the supermodel era (though some might argue this took place in the 1990s), Avedon was a key contributor to fashion’s history. Upon leaving Vogue, Avedon took his talents to an entirely new medium: The New Yorker. Beginning in 1992, Avedon brought his unique sensibility to this other Condé Nast publication. And while he would endure in taking evocative photos there, it will forever be his beautiful symbiosis with Vreeland that makes him such a legend.

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