Iconic fashion photography of Erwin Blumenfeld
Born in Germany in 1897, Erwin Blumenfeld was one of the most innovative photographers that the fashion world has ever seen. Still when was a child, Erwin started taking pictures, but never had a course to become a professional photographer.
In 1918 he moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands, where he began working in a department store for women, more specifically in the lingerie sector. In 1923 Blumenfeld opened a shop specializing in women handbags called “Fox Leather Company”. In 1932 he moved to new premises and it was there that his career as a photographer began almost by accident. Behind a closed wall he found a fully equipped photo studio, where he began to photograph some clients, often naked. He began exhibiting his photos in galleries until, in 1935, the French magazine Photographie published one of his first pictures. It was the first time his work appeared and a publication.
Erwin moved to Paris in 1937 and soon got a contract in the famous Vogue magazine. Along with his family, he suffered persecution from the Nazis during World War II and came to get stuck in concentration camps. But in 1941 he managed to escape and went to the United States. In New York, he got a contract with Harper’s Bazaar. After three years in New York, he began working as a freelance for American Vogue and over the next fifteen years, Blumenfeld’s work has been featured in numerous magazine covers and several other publications, including Flair, Life and Look. Also during this period, he worked as a photographer for the Dayton department store and produced advertising campaigns for cosmetics companies such as Helena Rubinstein, Elizabeth Arden and L’Oreal.
Died in 1969, Erwin Blumenfeld left a huge legacy and is considered today one of the most innovative photographers of the 20th century. Innovative because he used complex techniques like solarization, wet silk, double exposure and photographed from several angles to achieve beautiful and elegant results. The influence of the Dada movement is clear in your images with vibrant colors and shadows in stylized scenes giving a surrealistic touch to your photos.