Roxanne Lowit

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After almost four decades of shooting, Roxanne Lowit is as much a celebrity as the icons she photographs. "Some of my most historical pictures come from private and public parties like those of Andy Warhol - he was out all the time," she remembers. As was Salvador Dali, Paloma Picasso, Elizabeth Taylor, and Mick Jagger. Today it's Madonna, George Clooney, Sophia Coppola and Nicolas Cage. Lowit is so much a part of the fashion and pop culture scene that she is, says designer Karl Lagerfeld, "A visual confidant to whom all is revealed." This is nowhere more apparent than in her second book, People.


But Lowit did not go to school to be a photographer. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York with a degree in art history and textile design. It was during her successful career as a textile designer that she realized something. "I paint and there were people who I wanted to sit for me but had no time, so I started taking pictures of them. I liked the gratification of getting the instant image so I traded in my paintbrushes for a camera." Lowit started making pictures in the late 70's with her 110 instamatic, photographing her own designs at the New York fashion shows. Before long she was covering all the designers in Paris where her friends – models like Jerry Hall – would sneak her backstage. It was there that she found her place (and career) in fashion. "For me, that's where it was happening," she says. "No one thought there was anything going on backstage, so for years I was alone and loved it. I guess I made it look too good because now it's so crowded with photographers. But there's enough room for everybody."