Patrick Demarchelier Has Died, Aged 78

by Freya Drohan

Legendary French photographer Patrick Demarchelier has died, according to a statement on his official Instagram account. An image maker whose work transformed the pages of every glossy from Vogue editions around the world to Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, he was also immortalized in pop culture in the movie The Devil Wears Prada when Anne Hathaway’s Andy Sachs learns of his importance around the halls of the fashion publication.

Demarchelier is survived by his wife Mia, his three sons Gustaf, Arthur, Victor, and three grandchildren. Among those who weighed in on the Instagram post was supermodel Amber Valletta. “I’m so sadden by this news. Patrick was one of the first photographers to work with me. He is fashion history and legendary photography. We will miss him. I am sending love and good thoughts to his family,” she said.

Among the highlights of his resume—beginning with a stint under Henri Cartier-Bresson—Demarchelier has shot campaigns for French luxury brands (Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Yves Saint Laurent), American giants (Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren), high street fixtures like Express and H&M, and beauty companies including Elizabeth Arden. Demarchelier has also released several coffee table books, lensed numerous Pirelli calendars, had cameos in Sex & the City and on America’s Next Top Model, and was Princess Diana’s personal photographer during the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Other industry stalwarts who rushed to pay tribute were models Gisele, Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Christie Brinkley. Hair guru Sam McKnight added: “Oh I am so sad to hear this. I had the BEST TIMES with Patrick, endless incredible iconic photos, wonderful memories, a lifetime of laughter, I have so much to thank him for, there will never be another. Condolences to his beloved family.”

Demarchelier’s stellar career did not come without its ultimate downfall. In 2018, the Boston Globe published an extensive report in which he was accused of sexual misconduct on the job by 50 models, which he denied. The accusations resulted in Vogue and other publications stating they would not work with the photographer again.

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1 comment

Rob Campbell February 25, 2023 - 12:54 PM

I wonder whether being punished – without ever being proven guIlty – had an effect on his health…


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