ONE OF A KIND – MARIO TESTINO
I doubt it’s possible for anyone to be a part of the fashion industry and be unaware of this legendary photographer.
The 62 year old Peruvian – of Irish, Spanish and Italian descent- has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry, internationally, some of which include, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Gucci, Chanel, Versace and Michael Kors.
As a child, Testino wanted to be a priest, but he went on to study economics at University. In 1976, he abandoned his education in Economics, Law and International Affairs, moving to London to pursue a career in photography.
While he was busy with his apprenticeship at John Vickers and Paul Nugent, he launched his career. He dyed his hair pink in order to get noticed and work as a waiter so he could fund himself. However, according to numerous critics, his images were flat and lacked spice. Only after he injected his passion and love for the culture he had left behind, did people start appreciating his work.
The influence of the culture he grew up surrounded by, is beautifully translated in his images with the portrayal of bright colours, exciting energy and the use of exotic locations and sultry models, creating an image that the general public can only dream of living.
The 2 main women said to have defined his career and taken it to new heights are Kate Moss and Princess Diana.
His work first appeared in Vogue, 1983. Mario worked with many high level and widely celebrated projects, one of which was the 1997 Princess Diana project, commissioned by Vanity Fair.
He has always worked closely with the different Royal families of the world and was the official photographer for the portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in 2010 at their engagement. In July, 2015, he was appointed as the official photographer after the christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandringham Estate.
Numerous books, exhibitions and interviews have allowed us to connect with this visual genius and appreciate his work and talent. He is truly one of a kind and it is always exciting to see what new project he is coming up with.