Steven Meisel is an enigma to many. First and foremost, he’s a fashion god, as one of the premier photographers in the industry with a career spanning over 30 years. Considering he’s worked with virtually every publication, designer, and brand you could possibly imagine, you’ve likely seen his work, even if you don’t know it. He’s responsible for ushering in a new era of fashion imagery, one that is, yes, practically flawless and alluring, but also bracingly nostalgic and intimate. Meisel loves the ’60s—particularly Swinging Sixties London—and music. However, if you don’t know what he looks like, you’d be forgiven.
After all, he is notoriously elusive, and if you don’t live on Fashion Twitter or Instagram, you might wonder how Zara could possibly pair up with him for a collection. Fortunately, even Meisel’s very few public photos offer a glimpse into his personal style, which he leaned on heavily to create the 50-ish pieces for his collection with the street fashion magnate. His wardrobe is (unsurprisingly) all black, a familiar palette for those who work in the industry and specifically on set, where the monochromatic look is preferred. His iconic headband was also reworked for the collaboration, alongside more special pieces like a croc-embossed jacket and a plain biker style that both speak to his punk inclinations (anyone remember his 1992 editorial that cemented his status in the business)?
To shoot the campaign, Meisel called upon his “alter ego,” the legendary Linda Evangelista, plus a cast of around 30 other regulars that he works with, from Sora Choi to Gigi Hadid, Kit Butler, and Kaia Gerber. The photographer has shot many a Zara campaign, so to create this one, he also relied on his usual accompanying team of Karl Templer as stylist, Pat McGrath for makeup, and Guido Palau on hair, making this a true family affair. To celebrate the special occasion, Zara and Meisel are hosting a pop-up in New York, which will then travel to London during London Fashion Week for a popup at Dover Street Market before being released internationally through Zara on September 18. Prices range from $27.90 for the “iconic” headband to $439 for the leather jacket.
Kevin LeBlanc is the Fashion Associate at ELLE Magazine. He covers fashion news, trends, and anything to do with Robyn Rihanna Fenty.