Father of supermodel concept awaits ex-wives' verdict in film

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German photographer credited with inventing the concept of the supermodel in the 1980s is the subject of “Women’s Stories”, a documentary that premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on Friday.

Peter Lindbergh, born in 1944 in German-occupied Poland, is seen as the creator of a style of naturalistic fashion photography that dispensed with the lavish make-up and detailed retouching that had characterized the genre.

He brought this style, influenced by street photography and photojournalism, to a host of models who transformed the fashion world, shooting iconic images of Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington.

Jean Michel Vecchiet’s film, showing him on the prowl with a camera on the streets of New York, explores his relationships with the women who shaped his life and career.

“These are ex-wives, wives, neighbors and everything, so it’s very frightening,” said Lindbergh, arriving with his wife Petra and several of his former models for the premiere of the film, which he had not yet seen. “They didn’t want me to see anything before.”

Asked by the audience after the screening why women, even in the most vulnerable situations, look strong in his photos, Lindbergh said: “It’s not me. Because they are strong. Because when you don’t want anything from them, they feel strong, they don’t have to defend themselves, they give you everything.”

Additional reporting by Riham Alkousaa, Writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Hugh Lawson