Born near Paris in 1943 to a modest family, he spent his childhood in Le Havre with his mother and four brothers. For his seventeenth birthday, his stepfather bought him his first Eastman Kodak camera. Demarchelier learned how to develop film, retouch negatives and began shooting friends and weddings.
In 1975, he left Paris for New York to follow his girlfriend. He discovered fashion photography by working as a freelance photographer and learning and working with photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Terry King, and Jacque Guilbert. His work drew the attention of Elle, Marie Claire and 20 Ans Magazine
He later worked for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, first in September 1992 which resulted in a 12-year collaboration. Demarchelier has shot international advertising campaigns for Dior, Louis Vuitton, Celine, TAG Heuer, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Lacoste, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.
Demarchelier has lived in New York City since 1975. He is married to Mia and they have twins. Since the late 1970s he has shot the covers for nearly every major fashion magazine including American, British and Paris Vogue. He has also shot covers for Rolling Stone, Glamour, Life, Newsweek, Elle and Mademoiselle. He has photographed many advertising campaigns, including Farrah Fawcett shampoo in 1978, the Brooke Shields doll in 1982, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Cutty Sark, and a Calvin Klein ad with Talisa Soto and Giorgio Armani, Chanel, GAP, Gianni Versace, L'Oréal, Elizabeth Arden,Revlon, Lancôme, Gianfranco Ferré. He was also the primary photographer for the book On Your Own, a beauty/lifestyle guide written for young women by Brooke Shields. Since 1992 he has worked with Harper's Bazaar, becoming its premier photographer. Demarchelier was awarded the contract for the 2005 Pirelli Calendar. Over the years he has catapulted the careers of many make-up artists like Laura Mercier, Jason Marks and Pat McGrath.
« A photographer is someone fragile. We must constantly renew ourselves.
For me, each project is a new challenge and whatever was done before is
forgotten » -Patrick Demarchelier
FASHION FROM PARIS TO NEW YORK
He started working in a dark-room for a young women’s finishing school
where he put together portfolios for the students. There, he perfected his
technique, sharpened his eye and began to develop his personal « style ».
He discovered fashion photography by working as a free-lance
His work drew the attention of Elle, Marie-Claire, 20 ans Magazine in France,
Italy and in Germany.
In 1975, he left France for New York without speaking a single word of English
with the intention to follow his girlfriend – who left him before he even arrived
– this trip would launch him on his journey to become one of the greatest
He learned English on the street and by watching TV. He began his
international career working for Glamour and Mademoiselle Magazines.
He later worked for Vogue magazine and Harper’s Bazaar (Hearst
Publications) in September 1992 which resulted in a 12-year collaboration.
Demarchelier’s work rapidly became recognized by key players in the fashion
industry and he was quickly solicited to shoot prestigious international
Dior, Louis Vuitton, Céline, Tag Heuer, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Lacoste
Lancôme, Guerlain, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Giorgio Armani,
Gianfranco Ferre, Anne Klein, Valentino, Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana,
Salvatore Ferragamo, Donna Karan, Michael Kors...
In 2004, he embarked upon a new exclusive relationship with Condé Nast
publications (Glamour, Mademoiselle, Vogue etc) where he continues to
grace hundreds of covers with his photographs.
On November 23rd, 2007, Mrs Christine ALBANEL, Minister of Culture, honored
Patrick Demarchelier as an Officier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres on the
50th anniversary of this most prestigious award that is only bestowed upon
Demarchelier is referenced in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada, when the "dragon lady", Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), asks Andy (Anne Hathaway), on her very first day on the job, "Did Demarchelier confirm?", leaving her utterly confused. The first assistant Emily calmly jumps into action and calls his office, replying, "I have Patrick!"
Demarchelier appeared in a cameo in the film version of Sex and the City; he can be seen taking pictures during Carrie Bradshaw's fashion shoot for Vogue magazine. He was featured prominently in the sixth episode of Cycle 15 of America's Next Top Model.
In 2007, Christine Albanel, French Minister of Culture, honored Patrick Demarchelier as an Officer in l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Literature).
Patrick Demarchelier’s photography offers a contemporary
aesthetic that is fused with the museum’s permanent collection. Traditional
European work and contemporary photography are intertwined such that the public
will be surprised, stimulated and awakened … creating an experience whereby the
spirit can roam freely...
Patrick Demarchelier’s fashion photographs emphasize yet another cultural
objective of Le Petit Palais’ philosophy - the recognition of the art of fashion. Many
fashion shows took place at Le Petit Palais where students of Sakina M’sa would revel
before the latest design in her costume workshop within the walls of the permanent
collection. Today, we welcome once more the new trends of prêt-a-porter fashion
Patrick Demarchelier’s sensitivity, deep sense of humanity, respect for his
subjects, and ability to unearth passion in each individual advances the museum’s
aesthetic commitment. Regardless of whether the subject is famous or unknown,
they vibrate to the frequency of the photographer’s generous gaze. And the visitor is
carried away by the life force bursting from the model’s eyes.
A museum is a source of life and a place of humanity. May all the faces of
Patrick Demarchlier’s portraits intertwined with the faces painted on Greek vases,
Dutch paintings of the XIX Century portraits… bring to all a greater love
Patrick Demarchelier’s style and talent has elevated his name to the
pantheon of the great photographers. An autodidact, he became one of the
most talented photographers in the world of fashion and beauty.
The « Demarchelier touch » is an absolute reference among the legends of
the fashion world. On the 4th of July, 2007, the prestigious Council of Fashion
Designers of America (CFDA) presented him with the « Eleanor Lambert
Award » to honor his esteemed career and « his unique contribution to the
world of fashion ».
AN EYE THAT EXHALTS THE INTUITIVE AND THE COMPLEX
Patrick Demarchelier loves spontaneity.
It’s at the beginning or end of a photo shoot that he unveils the subjects’
A state of mind that he pursues to capture.
The « Demarchelier touch » is spontaneity and positive vision projected upon
Under the umbrella of diversity and contrast, this exhibition travels through
several decades of inspiration where portraits of celebrities hang side-by- side
with portraits of unknown muses…
Patrick Demarchelier’s artistic approach for a photo shoot is identical whether
it’s with a celebrity or a fashion model.
He seeks to unveil the sublime natural essence of his subject and reveal their
Robert de Niro, Tom Cruise, Paul Newman,
Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Elton John,
Lenny Kravitz, Gianni Versace, Warren
Beatty, Madonna, Quincy Jones, Oprah
Winfrey, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier,
Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren,
Laura Bush, Président Bill Clinton, Ronald
All the above have posed for Patrick
Invited by the Princess Diana in 1989, he agrees to photograph her with a hair
stylist and make-up artist. As a result of this first encounter, she asked him to
become her official photographer.
He, therefore, became the first non-British official photographer of the Royal
Beyond his privileged status, he was a dear friend of Lady Diana until her
1995 : Tony Shafrazi Gallery - New York (USA)
1996 : Festival de la photo de mode de Biarritz (France)
1997 : Exposing Elegance, Musée d'Art Contemporain de Monterrey (Mexique)
2000 : Forms, Pavillon d’Art Contemporain – Milan (Italie)
1996 : Patrick Demarchelier : Photographs – ed. Rizzoli
1997 : Exposing Elegance
2000 : Forms - ed. Rizzoli
Special Projects :
Film posters: “James Bond : Die another day, Sex and the City, Bugsy, Dick
tracy, Mystic Pizza, etc…
CD disk covers for Britney Spears, Elton John, Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones,