I Want To Be An Alt

Kellina de Boer
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Paul Kolyer
MANAGING EDITOR

Heather Dunhill
FASHION EDITOR

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Justine Ariel
Kamila Brudzynska
Bernie Rothschild

Yuka Ryou
VISUAL EDITOR

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Galerie de Alt
Armoire de Alt
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I Want To Be A Roitfeld

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« Vogue Paris Translation: Editorial, June/July 2012 | Main | Happy 45th Birthday Emmanuelle Alt! »
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The Angle On Alt: Mario Sorrenti

Olivier Zahm, Emmanuelle Alt, Mario Sorrenti, and Mathias Augustyniak, Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan

The Angle On Alt: Mario Sorrenti
By Heather Dunhill

Behind his signature vintage Persol frames is the man with an explosive career in fashion photography that is Mario Sorrenti. Among his endless fashion editorials you will find credits that read “Photography by Mario Sorrenti/Styled by Emmanuelle Alt,” many of which pre-date Alt’s rise to Vogue Paris editrix. In a Vogue US article that introduced Alt as the new editor-in-chief, Sorrenti shared his feelings about the chic woman in charge: “Emmanuelle is not a dark person. She cares about expressing optimism and positivity.”

Mario Sorrenti and Emmanuelle Alt entering the Tuileries, Paris, March 2012

A friendship forged in business, the two have collaborated on projects with models such as Natasha Poly, Sasha Pivovarova, Kate Moss, Isabeli Fontana, and Raquel Zimmermann. In fact, Zimmermann was the star of a Sorrenti/Alt collaboration titled "Graffi-Couture," an editorial for the November 2009 issue of Vogue Paris, which was voted as one of the best editorials of 2009 by models.com. Another beautiful example of their work together is the editorial "Et Dieu Créa le Soleil" with Kate Moss for Vogue Paris June/July 2010.

Mario Sorrenti’s iconic 1993 photo of Kate Moss

Interestingly enough, but not surprising, this handsome Italian got his start in front of the camera posing for such names as Steven Meisel, Richard Avedon, and Bruce Weber. But it was in 1993 that Sorrenti’s career behind the lens was launched with a single photo. Well, not just any photo — it happened to be the sensual image of a naked Kate Moss, his then girlfriend, for the Calvin Klein Obsession campaign. This iconic photo was featured at the Danziger Projects 2011 exhibit of the Kate Moss Portfolio of which Cathy Horyn of The New York Times wrote, “Those of us who follow fashion and photography tend to have a favorite image of Kate Moss. I have two: Corinne Day’s portrait of a laughing and feather-headdressed Kate for a 1990 cover of The Face; and Mario Sorrenti’s 1993 image of her, with its deep shadow and her eyes looking at once tender and wary.”

Mario Sorrenti with his portrait of Kate Moss at the Danziger Projects’ Kate Moss Portfolio 2011

More than an editorial photographer, Sorrenti is also an author and director. As the former he wrote The Machine, a photographic retrospective of work by his brother Davide Sorrenti who passed in 1997 from a drug overdose. Sorrenti has found himself in demand as a director as well. In 2004 he worked with John Mayer on his grayscaled music video for “Daughters,” and this year he shot the ultra-chic L'Eau de Chloé Spring/Summer 2012 commercial and print campaign.

L'Eau de Chloé Spring/Summer 2012 campaign

The Chloé campaign is not all that the mega-photographer has accomplished this year. In the first half of 2012 alone Sorrenti has shot the cover of W with Edita Vilkeviciute, Abbey Lee Kershaw, and Tom Cruise; the W Korea cover with Candice Swanepoel; the i-D cover with Julia Restoin-Roitfeld; a Vogue Paris editorial featuring Alber Elbaz along with model Katryn Kruger; the M.A.C. Fall 2012 Campaign with Carine Roitfeld; an editorial titled "The Transformers" with Doutzen Kroes for Vogue US; the Calvin Klein Eternity Aqua Spring/Summer 2012 campaign with Edita Vilkeviciute; the Bulgari Man Spring/Summer 2012 campaign with Clive Owen; and the Pirelli calendar among other work for Hugo Boss, Barneys New York, Max Mara, and Vogue Italia

Sorrenti explained his method to Interview Magazine, “I guess my work is described a lot of the time as very sensual and sexy. When I take a picture, I'm very focused on trying to discover something about a person. Or about an idea. I try to be quite successful at it.” Sorrenti turned New Yorker at the age of ten and lives there today with his wife Mary Frey and two children.

Mario Sorrenti and wife Mary Frey

Mario Sorrenti photographs © 2009 and 2010 Condé Nast and courtesy of purple.fr, modelsjam.com, Chloé.

Reader Comments (5)

His photography is always been so sensual and intimate which I love about it
12 juin 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbernie
Agreed, Bernie!! There is something so sensual and intimate about him... wait, I mean...
12 juin 2012 | Registered Commenterkellina
Interesting summary of his career.
12 juin 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike
I remember his work in Harper's Bazaar during the 90's
13 juin 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbernie
Mario is the best
21 novembre 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmil Stancu

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