Thierry Le Gouès’ New Tome, ’90’s’, Is A Supermodel-Studded Retrospective

Supermodel on the mind? With Apple TV+’s release date announcement for its highly anticipated docuseries The Supermodels last month and Vogue’s supers’ studded September cover, a rigorous retrospective looking back at the crux of iconic catwalk careers in the ‘80s and ‘90s, everyone is reminiscing about the glory days of the runway. Enter: 90’s by legendary French photographer Thierry Le Gouès, the new coffee table antidote to supermodel fever. 

Christening the cover of the nostalgic tome is a naked Kate Moss covered completely in gold, encapsulating the raw, yet glamorous essence of her modelling heyday. Inside, across 336 fast-lane pages Le Gouès delves into the birth of the “supermodel” as the enchanting enigma she would become in the ’90s, through a slew of seminal photos depicting Moss, Diane Kruger, Amber Valletta, Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Linda Evangelista, Stephanie Seymour, Eva Herzigova, Kristen McMenamy and more. Picture a catsuited Evangelista and Campbell popping out of billboards to tower over city sidewalks and nude Bruni gazing at herself in a bathroom mirror. “Thierry’s eye on his models is very special: imbued with delicacy and empathy, the shots are simple and joyful,” recalls French singer, model (also pictured inside) and frequent Le Gouès collaborator Bruni in the book’s preface. “His images are always strong – even the most delicate of them exudes a granitic starkness…. And that is what one feels when leafing through this book: all the strength and emotion of his talent.”

Le Gouès first found a fascination for photography during an internship at Paris photo studio, Pin-Up where he saw the likes of Steven Meisel, Tony Viramontes and Peter Lindbergh at work. His career then commenced at Condé Nast in 1986, and Le Gouès would go on to capture some of the most epochal fashion images of the ‘90s – photos that defined a decade – even launching a number of those prominent supermodels into stardom. Shooting for European Condé Nast and Fairchild fashion bibles like Vogue, l’Uomo Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Marie Claire, as well as American editions like W Magazine and UK frontrunners including i-D and The Face, the Frenchman has done it all, even co-founding the editorial publication dubbed French Magazine. And that’s not to mention all the commercial projects he lent his golden touch to; Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Hermès, Fendi, Moschino, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Paco Rabanne to name a few. 

90’s is Le Gouès’ fourth book to be published by PowerHouse Books; his opus kicked off with Soul (1998) a landmark compendium featuring exclusively models of African heritage and ethnicity, making him one of the first fashion photographers to do so. That work garnered him a multi-year international campaign with Nike. Later with Popular (2000) and Havana Boxing Club (2015), Le Gouès focused on Cuban street fashion and sports culture. Now after nearly a decade-long absence, 90’s (2023) marks the French photographer’s latest photographic meditation. 

90’s isn’t just a walk down memory lane, it’s a supermodel-studded editorial work emblematic of the hottest trending decade of the zeitgeist, in turn reinvigorating the season of the supermodel.

Photography by Thierry Le Gouès. Purchase ’90’s’ here.

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