Linda Evangelista & Steven Meisel Immortalize Their Legendary Friendship in New Book

Linda Evangelista and Steven Meisel in 1992.
Linda Evangelista and Steven Meisel in 1992. Courtesy of Phaidon
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Steven Meisel isn’t one to look back at the past, but when Linda Evangelista, his longtime muse and creative collaborator, asked him to work on his debut fashion monograph (and her first-ever book) together, he agreed. The result is over 190 images depicting one of the longest and most influential collaborations in fashion and photography history.

Linda Evangelista Photographed by Steven Meisel spans over three decades, beginning in 1987, with the first image Meisel ever took of the model. As legend has it, Meisel discovered Evangelista in a European magazine and booked her for an upcoming Vogue shoot. His first impression of her was so great, he sent every other model on set home. That began a relationship that has lasted 35 years and birthed some of the greatest visuals in the annals of fashion. “It was trust,” Meisel tells William Norwich of his relationship with Evangelista in the book’s introduction. “We were always creating, and early on—really from day one—Linda and I both found that we love what we do.” Evangelista agrees. “Yes, it was trust. It is trust. It felt courageous to try things, think outside of the box with Steven, because I knew I couldn’t fail.”

Of course, the book is filled with Meisel’s most celebrated images of Evangelista—their many covers together and shots from the “Jazzy Jazz” story shot in Cuba for a 1989 issue of Vogue Italia. And yes, there are a variety of photos from what might be their most memorable project together—the seventy-page “Makeover Madness” spread from the July 2005 issue of Vogue Italia, exploring the then-growing popularity of plastic surgery. Meisel looks back at this particular story as “a statement about how we live now, how we think about beauty, think about our lives and status,” and one that may be even more relevant today than it was when first published almost two decades ago. Below, a look at some of the eye-catching images to be found in Linda Evangelista Photographed by Steven Meisel, available now.

© 2023 Steven Meisel

Vogue, June 1987.

© 2023 Steven Meisel

Vogue Italia, February 1989.

© 2023 Steven Meisel

Barneys New York, Fall/Winter 1991.

Photographed by Steven Meisel, styled by Edward Enninful, hair by Jimmy Paul, makeup by Pat McGrath

W Magazine, September 2011. Not included in the Phaidon book.