Steven Meisel and Zara launch collection inspired by the fashion photographer’s personal style
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Poker-straight black hair, trapper hat, black bandana, slouchy jeans, dark sunglasses – seminal American image-maker Steven Meisel’s distinct look is (almost) as recognisable as his photography, which came to define 1990s fashion and cemented the era of the supermodel.
Coinciding with the arrival of New York Fashion Week – which begins today (Friday 8 2023) with Peter Do’s debut collection for Helmut Lang – Meisel reveals a new collaborative collection with Galicia-based fashion behemoth Zara, which mines both his personal wardrobe and his catalogue of photography, particularly that from the 1990s. Titled ‘Steven Meisel New York’, it also pays homage to the city where he was born – ‘a love letter to the photographer’s hometown’, as the notes describe.
A first look at Steven Meisel’s collection for Zara
As such, the collection includes Meisel signatures – an oversized black trapper hat, checkered kilt, slouchy leather boots and biker jacket all feature – alongside pieces that capture the spirit of the 1990s, from a grunge-inspired plaid shirt to an oversized striped sweater and baggy denim shirt. Others capture ‘the dreamy realms of his own obsessions’, like a croc-print coat designed to evoke the 1960s, another era that has fascinated the image-maker.
Elsewhere, T-shirts and sweaters are stamped with ‘Steven Meisel New York’, while smaller accessories include black-rimmed sunglasses, leather cuffs, and an array of jewellery including simple studs and chains in silver that nod to the punk movement. Of the ‘darkly seductive’ collection – much of which is designed for both men and women – Zara says it draws on the same ‘edgy confluence of music and fashion’ that has defined Meisel’s photographic output.
The project is launched with a series of portraits, photographed by Meisel, of 26 figures who ‘act as different faces’ of the image-maker. Notably, these include his perennial muse Linda Evangelista, alongside Amber Valletta, Liya Kebede, Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Penelope Tree, Eva Herzigova, Alton Mason, Ash Stymest and Scott Barnhill, among others. Meisel worked on the portfolio with perhaps his closest collaborators: stylist Karl Templer, make-up artist Pat McGrath, and hair stylist Guido Palau.
The collection will launch in two dedicated pop-ups, the first running from 9-13 September 2023 at 33 Howard Street, SoHo in New York; the second from 15-17 September 2023 at Dover Street Market London, coinciding with London Fashion Week.
The collection will launch more widely on September 18 2023 in Zara stores and online.
The collaboration continues a longstanding partnership between Zara and Meisel, the latter having captured several recent campaigns for the brand. Last year, an exhibition in A Coruña, Spain, ‘Steven Meisel 1993 A Year in Photographs’ – documenting one particularly prolific year in the photographer’s career – was hosted by Marta Ortega, chair of Inditex, the Spanish textile conglomerate which owns Zara.