Ellen von Unwerth
(1989-1996, 1998, 2000, 2003-2006, 2009-2012)
“I love shooting Guess. Guess changed my career primarily in that it gave me the opportunity to shoot so many great and gorgeous women — and I became known for creating a certain kind of sexy image. From the beginning, I was given so much freedom — we have shot some of the most memorable women in the world. I love the photographs have generated such a response from around the world. I meet people all the time who tell me that a picture I took of Carré Otis or Claudia Schiffer 20 years ago was on their bedroom wall and helped them figure out what they wanted to do when they grew up.
“It’s very gratifying to have touched people’s lives in that way.”
“Over the years, I have had the pleasure of shooting many of the Guess campaigns featuring Anna Nicole, Laetitia Casta and many others. My first Guess campaign was in Miami in 1992 with Anna Nicole Smith. The look of the shoot was inspired by the film ‘Scarface.’ This shoot was a milestone in my career. It influenced the way I shot back then and to this day. Paul and I both found inspiration in film and we used it to set the tone for this campaign. We continued to use films to inspire use through our years of collaboration. Two of my favorites were: Anna Nicole/‘Raging Bull’ in New York, and ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ in L.A. with Laetitia Casta.
“Paul launched my career internationally and I’ll always be grateful to him for giving a young girl from Melbourne such an extraordinary opportunity. He changed my life.”
“Guess started and built my career in the world of photography. My understanding and love of sexiness is defined by the Guess brand.”
(2001-2003; 2005; 2009; 2010)
“I had never shot in New Mexico before, and Georgia O’Keeffe has always been one of my favorite artists. Shooting Guess in New Mexico gave me an opportunity to understand her work and connect with those paintings in a totally new, organic way. The sunsets in New Mexico can only be described in pictures.”
“I remember waiting for a friend in a restaurant in New York soon after shooting Guess. It was kind of an industry hot spot, and someone sat down at the next table with the new Vanity Fair. In the first couple of pages there was the double-page spread that we had just shot and he says to his colleague, ‘Look at this sick new Guess campaign…this is amazing!’ I knew at that point we were going to get a great reception.
“Internationally, it opened a lot of doors for me to work for European magazines. Modeling agents became more anxious for me to work with their talent. There’s something about being from L.A. and being able to do a Guess campaign…it’s like the pinnacle of L.A. fashion advertising. I also thought it was great that there was such an editorial spirit working with them that really let everyone on set, from stylists to makeup artists to models, interpret a feeling and get inspired. It rarely happens.”
“I shot my first Guess campaign in 1996 with Laetitia Casta, Mark Vanderloo, Alex Lundqvist and Jason Lewis. We shot on the Staten Island Ferry, and rode it back and forth. It was my first advertising shoot and my first time riding the old Staten Island Ferry. It immediately changed the trajectory of my fashion photography career.”