The HG Hommage: Arthur Elgort

The HG Hommage: Arthur Elgort

The legendary fashion photographer recollects on some of his memorable images from his new book, I Love.

Cindy Crawford, NYC, 1995

Photographed by Arthur Elgort
Interview by Chelsea Zalopany

Volume 3 - Kerolyn Soares

The HommeGirl toes that thrilling line between tomboy and sexpot, between totally studied and totally off the cuff—a stylistic tight-rope act that Arthur Elgort captured perfectly throughout the 80s and 90s.

The New York photographer, whose work brought spunk and glamour to the pages of American Vogue, is credited with making the careers of some of the great supermodels (and OG HommeGirls) including Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Patti Hansen; his now iconic images of them were at once charming, disarming and in-your-face—much like Elgort himself. (No surprise, Elgort honed his signature approach documenting his own children.) “I wasn’t ready yet,” Cindy Crawford would protest, after Arthur snapped her in an unscripted moment. Thankfully the fashion world was.

Elgort on Gia Carangi

"She lived in Philadelphia and would come into New York on the train and after a job head back home. We didn’t know this then but she had a rough time in Philadelphia, and lived a different life there. I remember there was one incident where she didn’t like something onset and she climbed out the window. They all looked for her but she left because she didn’t like the clothing. So, you see, she could be a little..."

Linda Evangelista, 1989

Elgort on Cindy Crawford

"I got a call from Monique [Pillard], who was the top agent at Elite, and she said, I think Cindy Crawford could be big, and I said I do too. You can see it right away. It was in her face—she had an exotic look. She was still living in Chicago at the time—but had come to model. It was her first time modeling in New York City. The first time, ever. Cindy came to my studio for the test shoot for Elite. The outfit was Christiaan’s [Houtenbos] idea, we made it on the spot: he grabbed an old T-shirt laying around the studio and cut it up into this. Cindy worked hard and always did what you asked. I remember taking her picture—I liked to take her picture fast—and her saying, I wasn’t ready yet. She was always ready though, whether she liked it or not. Even when she wasn’t looking at the camera, she was perfect all time."

Gia, Fire Island (with Elgort in the reflection), 1980