View Master Seminars 2013: Richard Avedon

What is fashion without the legendary images of Richard Avedon? The last seminar introduced us to the life and work of the acclaimed photographer that a fashionista can’t miss.

Text: Sophia Karagianni

“Photography for me is life, I cannot imagine being alive without it”, Avedon once said. Indeed, from the early age of 19 until the end of his life, Avedon did not stop loving photography and service its art. He has been described by Vanity Fair as “Photographer as auteur”, since he is one of the most famous chroniclers of the 20th century.

“Richard Avedon” was the last stage of the fashion seminars organized by the Fashion Workshop by Vicky Kaya. Fashion Workshop’s teachers Dada Ioannidou and Genevieve Majari, being in the fashion industry as stylist and fashion photographer respectively, together with photographer Bill Georgousis and editorial director Polina Sarri, created the perfect team for a journey into Avedon’s life and career.

Genevieve Majari, Dada Ioannidou, Bill Georgousis, Polina Sarri

Born in New York in 1923, Avedon learned photography by joining the YMHA Camera Club at the age of twelve. He started his career as fashion photographer, studying by the side of art director Alexey Brodovitch. He soon became the preeminent photographer of Harper’s Bazaar, working with the most innovative and talented people of his era like Diana Vreeland, Brodovich, Carmel Snow. Isn’t it the dream team and most powerful quatretto of the decade?

In 1965 he began a long-term collaboration with Vogue that continued till 1988. During his career, he also worked for the biggest brands in fashion industry –Vresace, Paco Rabbane, Dior, Calvin Klein.

Versace Advertising Campaign

Marilyn Monroe


His work has remained a benchmark for photography and characterized by an original approach to making fashion photographs. What made him stand out was the innovative and lively style of his work. He brought both motion and emotion to his assignments -smiling, laughing, and often posed in action. He even danced along with his models in the studio, in order to create beautiful fashion shots.

Avedon in action, Place de la Concorde

However, his work has not remained only at fashion assignments. He extended portraiture projects as means for exploring cultural, political and personal concerns. A remarkable work was «The Family» in 1976, for the Rolling Stones magazine, including the portraits of the American power elite at the time of the country’s Bicentennial election. There is an endless list of worth mentioning works of Richard Avedon.  

Potraits from his assignment «In the American West»

“His fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century”. The New York Times.

What an amazing and creative way to complete the last seminar cycle.

The speakers of fashion seminar with some of the students


Stay tuned. SUMMER INTENSIVE COURSE is coming up, including an intensive syllabus of Fashion Styling and Fashion Journalism workshop.