‘Breakthrough’ fashion photographer Roxanne Lowit has died

American fashion photographer Roxanne Lowit has passed away at the age of 80. Lowit is considered one of the most innovative photographers in her field, thanks to her intimate and personal photographs from behind the scenes of the fashion world.

Born in New York City in 1942, Lowit never studied to become a photographer, but instead graduated from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology in art history and textile design.

However, after fiddling with an Instamatic 110 camera gifted to her by illustrator Antonio Lopez in the late 1970s and using it to shoot her designs backstage at shows, fashion editor Annie Flanders of the SoHo News assigned Low to cover Paris Fashion Week. .

Lowit learned to load film for her new Nikon 35mm camera on the flight to France. She found herself photographing the scenes going on backstage at Paris Fashion Week and famously shot Andy Warhol and Yves Saint Laurent atop the Eiffel Tower on that trip. After returning to New York, Lowit quit her job and became a full-time photographer.

Lowitt became a pioneer of behind-the-scenes fashion photography. Her images provide a rare insight into the glitz and heady excesses of the late 20th century fashion industry.

like Vogue writes, “It was Low’s instinct to film the behind-the-scenes happenings at fashion shows, however, which would prove to be one of her most enduring legacies—one born largely of necessity, she noted, given that the photographers allowed to shoot the runways at the time were mostly men. By hiding behind the scenes, Lowit was able to capture another side of the fashion circus—a form of coverage that has now become tougher for industry publications during fashion month – and offered an intimate window into the more mundane aspects of life as a model.

During her career, Lowitt photographed cultural icons such as Salvador Dalí, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Karl Lagerfield. But her most iconic photographs show the rise of supermodels like Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Noami Campbell and Linda Evangelista in the 1980s and 1990s.

A representative confirmed the photographer’s death on Instagram last week: “Roxanne Lowit was a legendary photographer who offered an intimate look into the world of fashion and showed us a side of nightlife that most people didn’t get to see.”

Image credits:Special photo from the Museum at FIT.

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