For many fashion fans, Mario Testino is the greatest fashion photographer in the world. Is it a title earned for his many collaborations? Is it something about his photos? Who is this man and how do you explain his career?
Who is Mario Testino?
Italian on his father’s side and Irish on his mother’s, Mario Testino was born and raised in Lima. Raised in a middle-class family of six children, he studied at the Catholic school Santa Maria Marianistas and at one point wanted to become a priest. He then continued his studies at the University of Pacifico, the University of Peru and the University of San Diego.
In 1976 he moved to London to study photography. Living on very little money, he had to work as a waiter to finance his studies and support himself. In 1982, he moved permanently to London and dyed his hair pink in order to gain more visibility in the photography world.
Why is Mario Testino considered one of the greatest fashion photographers?
For some, Mario Testino is the greatest fashion photographer in the world. His numerous collaborations, the magazine covers he has taken and his participation in the rise of models like Kate Moss or Gisele Bündchen have contributed to make him this icon of photography.
Even if his work has been on the cover of the most important magazines (Vanity Fair, Vogue, etc.), even if he has worked with the best models (Kate Moss, Gisele Bündchen, etc.) and the biggest brands (Calvin Klein, Gucci, etc.), the highlight of his career remains his shoot with Princess Diana for Vogue. Mario Testino’s career is marked by collaborations.
Mario Testino’s most beautiful collaborations
One of the moments that contributed to make Mario Testino the greatest fashion photographer of his generation was the photo shoot he did in 1997 of Diana, Princess of Wales. The series of portraits he took showed a different side of the Princess and served as a symbol of her new life away from the formal dresses, hairstyles and jewelry of her former life. We see the Princess dressed in modern dresses, with very little makeup, posing very naturally and almost without jewelry.
Who says Mario Testino says Kate Moss. It is a friendship and collaboration that began when the model was not yet 17 years old in the backstage of the John Galliano fashion show. A few years later, Kate Moss will be one of the most emblematic models in the world and the release of a book by Mario Testino where hundreds of photos of her will be published.