Peter Lindbergh, revolutionary German fashion photographer, dies at 74

Peter Lindbergh, the German photographer credited with launching the careers of supermodels such as Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista, has died at 74, his family told AFP Wednesday.

Peter Lindbergh, revolutionary German fashion photographer, dies at 74
Peter Lindbergh at the press conference for an exhibition of his photographs in Munich in 2017. Photo: DPA

Lindbergh's stark black-and-white images of models and stars staring straight at the camera, which played with light and shadow, helped overturn glossy standards of beauty and fashion in the 1980s and 1990s.

Lindbergh was born in Lissa in western Poland in 1944. When he was a few months old his family fled the advance of Russian troops to southern Germany.

He grew up in the steel town of Duisburg, which he recalled as “the worst industrial, depressive part of Germany”, only discovering the art world when he later moved to Berlin.

He shot the first ad campaign for the Volkswagen Golf and also worked with Stern magazine — renowned for its photography — before moving to Paris in the late 1970s.

It was his 1988 photo of a group of young women in white shirts and tousled hair on a beach in Malibu — a far cry from the big make-up, big-hair studio shoots of the day — that helped define his stark, cinematic style.

The new faces included Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Tatjana Patitz, all of whom would go on to become stars of the international catwalks.

The German singer Helene Fischer graces a magazine cover of the German edition of Vogue in November 2018. All photos of her were by Peter Lindbergh. Photo: DPA

'No beauty without truth'

The Vogue editor at the time, who commissioned the shoot, was unhappy with the clean, natural look and tossed the picture aside.

But it was unearthed by Anna Wintour, who took over the magazine's helm a few months later and promptly hired Lindbergh for her first cover shoot.

Lindbergh also worked with Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar and The New Yorker magazine.

His aversion to touching up photographs to hide imperfections was legendary.

“There is no beauty without truth. All this fake making up of a person into something that is not them cannot be beautiful. It is just ridiculous,” he said in November 2016 when launching the 2017 Pirelli calendar.

For that feminist-friendly edition of a calendar long synonymous with langorous nudes, he roped in veteran stars Helen Mirren and Charlotte Rampling — aged 71 and 70 — as “a cry against the terror of perfection and youth”.

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Sustainable fashion: Five German brands aiming to make your wardrobe eco-friendly

We're all trying to do our bit to cut down on waste. But what about fashion? Laura McDermott takes a look at some sustainable brands in Germany aiming to tackle fast fashion.

Sustainable fashion: Five German brands aiming to make your wardrobe eco-friendly
The Berlin-based brand HUNDHUND. Photo: Ewan Waddell, HUNDHUND.

Research by Eurostat has found that a standard German produces 633kg of waste a year: that’s almost 200kg higher than the EU-wide average of 487kg per citizen.

Meanwhile, one Greenpeace survey found that German’s have 5.2 billion pieces of clothing stashed away in their wardrobes; 40 percent of which is never worn with Greenpeace claiming that most unused items are thrown away.

With the growing culture of consumerism in the west, fast fashion is an issue that is becoming an exceedingly serious problem, and has been named the world’s ‘second largest polluter’.  

READ ALSO: Germans 'waste valuable clothes': Greenpeace

However, do not despair– not all is lost for the world of fashion. Many companies have both been founded upon or shifted their stance on the benefits of sustainable fashion, producing garments through socially responsible labour practices from sustainably sourced fabrics. 

Here are five German-based brands doing their bit to tackle the issue of fast fashion. 

1. UlStO, Dresden-Neustadt





Let’s bring some brightness into autumn season!

A post shared by UlStO (@ulsto.bags) on Nov 14, 2019 at 9:03am PST

UlStO is a vegan brand striving for three key components in their garments: durability, sustainability and fairness to people and nature. Situated in Dresden’s hip Neustadt district, the main product sold by the label is their range of backpacks which incorporate cork; however they also sell accessories. As a natural material, each piece of cork has a unique look whilst being extremely durable.

UlStO produce their items locally, in Dresden and Saxony with the textiles sourced in a region known for its long textile tradition, the Erzgebirge – less than an hour away from the office. UlStO are not only producing sustainable pieces, but they are also economically supporting the local community.

The cords and zippers are produced in Germany, the recycled PET felt from Italy, and the cork from Portugal.

2. HUNDHUND, Berlin





Hello Weekend! .

A post shared by HUND HUND (@hundvonhund) on Jan 11, 2020 at 12:24am PST

For the Berlin based brand HUNDHUND, it is all about transparency. They state ‘transparency empowers us all to make more informed buying decisions.’

This comes in the form of breaking down the costs of every single garment they design and manufacture, so the consumer knows exactly what it is their money is going towards.

HUNDHUND maintains a local production base within the capital to cut down on emissions from transport.

Through cutting costs by removing the middle-man, skipping physical retail and offering their products at an identical rate to the wholesale price, the brand have an increased level of expenditure to put towards other elements of the production process, such as a higher quality of material.

READ ALSO: Recycled fashion: Refugee boats find second life as bags in Berlin

They also strive to design their pieces in a way that lies outside of contemporary trends, making garments timeless. As a result there is a lower chance of people throwing them away.

3. Pinqponq, Cologne





Rüdiger wears the Brik and Dania the Blok Large both in Cement Taupe. ⁠ ___⁠ #pinqponq

A post shared by pinqponq (@pinqponq) on Jan 30, 2020 at 10:45am PST

The Cologne-based brand pinqponq create effective and lightweight backpacks, which are 100 percent made of recycled PET bottles. The label offers an original angle of purely sustainable design and production without compromise. In their own words, the brand strives towards creating ‘sophisticated and timeless products’ for their consumers. 

Pinqponq believe that ‘sustainability is a promise for the future’ and this is a promise that they truly take to heart, following ‘this path step by step’. The brand is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF).

4. Jan n June, Hamburg





SO in Love with the new drop earrings. You too? ✨ #byebyefastfashion #jannjune

A post shared by JAN 'N JUNE (@jannjune) on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:34am PST

Jan n June maintains the ideal that affordable fashion does not entail a choice between a reasonable price and the environment.

They believe that ‘you can have it all’. Their garments are produced in Wroclaw, Poland in a family-owned factory. All the fabrics used by the brand are certified by GOTS, the Global Recycling Standard and Oekotex.

Jan n June also promotes the concept of transparency, so customers have a holistic understanding of what they are buying.

The brand even goes further to increase levels of sustainability; reusing their carton shipping boxes as often as possible, purely using recycled office paper supplies, working to give off-cuttings a new life in the form of scrunchies or notebooks, and cutting down the level of plastic used throughout the entire shipping process.

5. LANIUS, Cologne

Since 1999, vegan clothing company LANIUS have been creating organic garments responsibly. To this day, over 20 years later the label are still bringing together sustainable materials with sophisticated design. LANIUS  is GOTS-certified and only uses materials controlled by independent institutes. They only use mulesing-free wool qualities, meaning that their clothes have a PETA-Approved Vegan Label for pain-free clothing.

Higher costs but better for environment

The labels mentioned in this article are just a small handful of sustainable clothing brands throughout Germany doing their bit to fight against fast fashion 

Their inspiring work is revolutionizing consumer relationships to the garments we  buy and as a result reducing overall waste in the long-term.

Although such brands tend to be more expensive, buying such a piece of clothing is seen as an investment, due to its durable nature, and therefore in the long-run, it could be better for both your pocket and for our environment.