Princess Diana photographer Patrick Demarchelier dies aged 78

Patrick Demarchelier Dies Aged 78
Patrick Demarchelier was known for capturing the "Supers", six famous supermodels including Christy Turlington (left) and Linda Evangelista (right). (Getty Images)

Renowned photographer Patrick Demarchelier has died aged 78.

The famed fashion photographer, who worked with a number of high-profile women including Diana, Princess of Wales, Beyoncé and Demi Moore, passed away on Thursday.

News of his death was announced by representatives via an Instagram post, accompanied by black-and-white behind-the-scenes snaps of the photographer, and one portrait of Demarchelier and his dog.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Patrick Demarchelier on 31 March 2022, at the age of 78,” the post read. “He is survived by his wife Mia, his three sons Gustaf, Arthur, Victor and three grandchildren.”

Demarchelier worked for a multitude of magazines over his illustrious career, including Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, but it was his December 1991 Vogue cover shoot with Princess Diana that really put him on the map.

Recalling the moment, he once said of the late princess: “We became friends. She was funny and kind – but fundamentally she was a very simple woman who liked very simple things.”

Patrick Demarchelier's Princess Diana
A print of Patrick Demarchelier's Princess Diana was put up for auction with a £20,000- 30,000 estimate in 2019.(Getty Images for Sotheby's)

Demarchelier also shot a number of campaigns for high-end fashion brands, including Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior. Through the campaigns the French photograph captured a number of top models, including the late 1980s/early 1990s “Supers”: Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, and Christy Turlington.

However in 2018, the photographer was accused of sexual assault by seven female models, allegations that Demarchelier denied. The photographer labelled the claims as “ridiculous”. But publisher Condé Nast stopped working with him in response to the allegations.

It wasn’t just fashion’s elite that Demarchelier captured during his career. Demarchelier also photographed a string of high-profile celebrities including Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, and Madonna.

Tributes for the French photographer have poured in from across the globe. "It was an honour to know you and work with you," wrote Madonna on her Instagram stories, whilst actress Demi Moore took to Instagram to post a Harper's Bazaar front cover of her, and captioned the image with her condolences: "One of my favorite [sic] shoots and covers ♥️ Rest easy @patrickdemarchelier 🕊 Honored [sic] to have been in front of your lens."

Among those in the industry paying tribute to the late photographer was Sam McKnight, the celebrity hair stylist responsible for Diana’s cropped cut on the day of the Vogue shoot with Demarchelier.

“Oh I am so sad to hear this,” he wrote on Instagram. “I had the BEST TIMES with Patrick, endless incredible iconic photos, wonderful memories, a lifetime of laughter, I have so much to thank him for, there will never be another. Condolences to his beloved family. 💔💔💔”

Patrick Demarchelier 'Gilt-Laden' of Naomi Campbell 1987 and 'Coque Feathers' of Christy Turlington 1987
Images by Patrick Demarchelier – Gilt-Laden of Naomi Campbell, 1987 on the left and Coque Feathers of Christy Turlington, 1987 on the right – on show aas part of the Vogue 100 a Century of Style exhibition at the National Portrait Galley in 2016. (BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Elsewhere, tributes poured in from models including Bella Hadid, Cindy Crawford and Amber Valetta. “I’m so sadden by this news,” wrote Valetta. “Patrick was one of the first photographers to work with me. He is fashion history and legendary photography. We will miss him. I am sending love and good thoughts to his family. ❤️❤️❤️”

Claudia Schiffer also posted a cover shoot on her Instagram in tribute, this time for Vogue, and wrote: "So sad to hear of the passing of @patrickdemarchelier. Will always remember our shoots together — I will miss his enthusiastic ‘Bebe’ and ‘genial’ and the refined elegance he always brought to his work. I so enjoyed working with him and have many fond memories."

One of the original "Supers" Christy Turlington took to Instagram to recall her favourite moments with the late photographer. "When I think about @patrickdemarchelier I think about places," she wrote. "The many places where we traveled to make pretty pictures in the sun with our various fashion tribes. Cabo, St Barths, Venice, Miami, Los Angeles.

"Here in NYC it was his museum like studio in Chelsea that never changed where I first met Patrick on a 'go-see' in the mid-80’s," she added. "He was a tall, seemingly serious French bearded man then, whom I couldn’t decipher a word at first, let alone a sentence."

"That changed over the years. I learned to interpret everything eventually. The memories and stories are endless really. Another one is gone who was part of an era that is no longer. Rest In Peace, Patrick."

Demarchelier leaves behind his wife Mia, his three sons Gustaf, Arthur, Victor and three grandchildren, along with close friends and fans.