Famous fashion photographer, Patrick Demarchelier, is a name known by many in the industry. He has created some of the most iconic portraits and photographed covers and campaigns for some of the most influential publications and fashion houses in the modern age, such as Vogue, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Elizabeth Arden, Dior, Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton to name just a few. Although he has built a career with outstanding results, he has recently been accused of sexual harassment by members of the fashion industry, including models and fashion house employees.


Born on the 21st of August, 1943 near Paris, Patrick Demarchelier spends his childhood in Le Havre with his mother and four brothers. His father and mother were divorced when Patrick was at a young age.

It was his stepfather, however, that began Patrick Demarchelier long-lasting and successful career as a photographer. For his seventeenth birthday, his stepfather bought him his first Eastman Kodak camera. Self- taught, he learned how to develop film, retouch negatives and began photographing friends and weddings, even charging them to touch up photos.

When he decided that his future lay with photography and he wanted to pursue his dreams, both his biological parents and his stepfather were immensely proud.

“They were pleased … because I was just this layabout who wasn’t very good at school. Luckily my dad was able to witness the beginnings of my success before he died.”

Patrick Demarchelier is currently married with three kids and lives in New York City.


When Patrick Demarchelier graduated high school, he had no wish to continue on to college and study his passion. Instead, he decided to teach himself.

“I have no formal qualifications, just the school of life. I learned most by just taking pictures; a lot of pictures. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but it’s often from your mistakes that you learn most. Being a photographer is like being an athlete. You must practice every day.”


At the age of 20, he followed his girlfriend at the time and moved to Paris to work for a photography lab where he printed newspaper photographs. He later moved on and became the assistant to a photographer who shot film magazine covers. This experience led Patrick Demarchelier to become the assistant to Hans Feurer, a photographer who worked with Vogue, and so he officially got his foot in the door.

Patrick Demarchelier had the pleasure to work with Grace Coddington during her tenure at British Vogue. It is because of her Patrick Demarchelier his career was launched. British Vogue was the one magazine many fashion photographers were trying to work for, and Patrick Demarchelier got his big breakthrough with them.

In 1975, Patrick Demarchelier won the reputation of the most respected fashion photographer in France. Despite this, he decided to pack up his things and follow his girlfriend to New York. There, he worked as a freelance photographer and assisted the likes of Henry Cartier-Bresson, Terry King, and Jacques Guilbert.

The year of 1989 was when he officially cemented himself as one of the best fashion photographers of all time.  Patrick Demarchelier became the personal photographer of Diana, Princess of Wales. She got in contact with him after seeing one of his photographs on the cover of Vogue. He was the first ever non-British official photographer to the Royal family.

“I remember when she first contacted me. I had done a picture for Vogue in which a model was opening her coat to show a picture of a little, laughing boy tucked into the inside pocket. The boy was, in fact, my son, and Diana, maybe because of her little boys, loved that picture so much that she got in touch. We became friends. She was funny and kind – but fundamentally she was a very simple woman who liked very simple things.”

Patrick Demarchelier has had a successful career, however, in February 2018, he was accused by seven models who worked with him of sexual harassment. Working for Condé Nast at the time, the fashion house announced they would be terminating their work with the fashion photographer indefinitely.


Patrick Demarchelier is famously known for his classic black and white portraits mixed with an ability to reinvent a form or silhouette. He has an incredible eye for lighting techniques and can create a mysterious mood. Many describe this as dreamlike compositions and they have become instantly recognizable.

He also likes to use stark contrasts on his prominent silhouettes and has used this technique since his introduction to fashion photography. Because of this, Patrick Demarchelier is often noted alongside former fashion photography greats such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Irving Penn. Patrick Demarchelier, throughout his career, has made a point to the industry of creating his own unique language. He has created a way of intertwining honesty and fantasy with both the model and the shot and is seen in all of his work that spans thirty years.


1. Patrick Demarchelier has said that his favorite subject to photograph is his dachshund, Puffy. “When people ask me which is your favorite portrait, they expect it to be Diana, or someone famous. But the answer is my dog, Puffy. They think I mean Puff Daddy. No, it is the dog,”

2. The fashion photographer has also worked with a large number of celebrities over the years, such as Farrah Fawcett, Madonna, and Kate Hudson. He was the main photographer for Brooke Shields’ ‘On Your Own’ book which was a guide to beauty and lifestyle for young women.

3. In October of 2011, he published Dior Couture Patrick Demarchelier, a coffee-table book that was a photographic collection of Dior Couture pieces, starting from Dior’s very first collection in 1947 to John Galliano’s collection.

4. Patrick Demarchelier did a guest appearance Sex and the City’s film and was featured in season15 of America’s Next Top Model.

5. At 30, New York born-and-raised Victor Demarchelier is living up to his family name. The youngest son of legendary fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier is quickly becoming one of the hottest young photographers in the business.

6. Fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier has denied the allegations after the Boston GlobeSpotlight team published claims of sexual misconduct.