by Chaka Sobani
Originally published: June 23, 2017
If further proof was needed of the creative power that diverse backgrounds and thinking can provide and the need for the advertising to embrace that change, the celebrated photographer Mario Testino provides just that.
Speaking at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, Peruvian-born Testino said that his position as an outsider in an industry dominated by the French, Italians and Germans meant that he approached his art with a different vision to his contemporaries. “We live in a world where everyone is made to emulate others. It was only when I accepted that I was Peruvian was I true to myself,” he said.
Having worked with brands ranging from Gucci to Chanel to Versace and famous for his pieces with the Royal Family and model Kate Moss, Testino’s contribution cannot be underestimated. the Observer described him as “the world’s most prolific magazine and fashion trade photographer.” For a man from Peru – a country not necessarily known for its fashion credentials – his ability to accept and then wholeheartedly embrace his status as someone who did not fit the stereotype has allowed him to take his craft to new levels.