Why smart collectors are focusing on fashion photography

Herb Ritts highlighted on Christie's

The pages of fashion magazines are filled with idealised images of glamour and beauty. The best of these photographs, which present an intersection of fantasy and the sublime, have become increasingly collectible in recent years, with images by the likes of Herb RittsHelmut NewtonRichard Avedon and Peter Lindbergh regularly appearing in the top-10 lists of auction results.

While prices for fashion photographs have been particularly strong in 2019, momentum has been building for a while - in 2014, the New York Times  was confidently proclaiming 'fashion photography is art's rising star.' 

In the same feature, Mark McKenna, executive director of the Herb Ritts Foundation, stated that in economically challenging times the appeal of these pictures lay in the fact that 'people wanted to surround themselves with images of glamour and beauty as things were tough, and fashion photos represented the opposite of what was happening in their day-to-day lives.'

4 December 2019