Born in Paris, Dominique Issermann entered the world of image with a multitude of experiences: through the cinema in Italy; with reportage of the Carnation Revolution in Portugal; then into fashion with Sonia Rykiel, who entrusted her with her advertising campaigns beginning in 1979. She has taken portraits of legendary contemporary artists such as Catherine Deneuve, Marguerite Duras, Balthus or Bob Dylan. Over the years, her work as a fashion photographer has been featured in international press including the NYT Magazine or Vogue. She continues to direct ads and advertising films for Maisons such as Chanel or Dior and has shot music videos, in particular for Leonard Cohen. Her personal work includes books featuring Anne Rohart or Laetitia Casta. Exhibitions dedicated to her photography have been staged at the Rencontres d’Arles and the Maison Européene de la Photographie. Dominique has received both the Officer of Arts and Letters, Knight of the Order of Merit, and Knight of the Legion of Honor, in 2018 and 2019 respectively. In 2021, she becomes the first woman elected to the photographic section of the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
How did you become a fashion photographer?
At a fashion photography competition. These were my first fashion photos.
Did you have a point of reference?
I don’t think so. My reference was beauty across a range of photographic styles.
You have collaborated with many houses during your career. What was the most memorable collaboration?
I have been lucky enough to have long and faithful collaborations with Claude Montana, Nina Ricci, Dior, and Chanel; but the one that undoubtedly meant the most to me was with Sonia Rykiel. It was my first and it lasted 15 years.
Still today, there are few women fashion photographers. Do you think that things are evolving?
Yes, women are definitely making the world evolve with the help of some men…
You are going to chair the jury of the photography competition of the upcoming Hyères Festival. What do you expect from these young photographers?
I expect them to surprise us.
Your wish for the future?
In the immediate future, a few good laughs.
Dominique Issermann is the president of the jury of Photography of the 36th Hyeres Festival at the Villa Noailles: