Georges Dambier

George Dambier was born in Paris in April 1925. In early 1942, with WWII raging, Dambier, at age 17, began assisting the famous artist and poster designer Paul Colin. Colin was responsible for introducing his budding young apprentice to the world of fashion, interiors, antiques and, most of all, to beautiful Parisian women.

 

At the end of the war, Dambier got his first job with a magazine, Presse, where he met and assisted the up-and-coming photographer Willy Rizzo. He quickly moved on from assisting and became a photographic reporter working on a range of stories for Le Tout-Paris. It was his natural skill with graphics and penchant for stylish women which led him to concentrate on fashion photography. Within a few years he was regularly photographing the beauties of the day: Dorien Leigh, Suzy Parker and Brigitte Bardot.

 

It was not long before Helene Lazareff, the famous editor of ELLE, took notice of his work and offered him a position at ELLE. This was a fantastic opportunity for Dambier which he happily took advantage of. It was while working with ELLE that he became one of the first French photographers to take models out of the studio for their shoots. It is here, on the streets of Paris, that Dambier took some of his most memorable and engaging photographs. In May 1954 his friend Robert Capa suggested to George that they start up a "Fashion Department" at the photo-agency Magnum. Unfortunately this never happened: several days later Capa died unexpectedly while working in Vietnam.

 

Between 1960 and 1980, Dambier started and worked at two important publications that helped spread his fame. In 1964 he created the magazine, Twenty, which embodied a new publishing concept in the early 1960's: presenting fashion and culture in a style to attract a younger generation of readers. Twenty's fashion photographer, Jean Paul Good, was one of the most important French photographers of the day, making the magazine even more popular. The second magazine he worked on came about in 1980 when the popular news magazine, V.S.D., took an editorial turn towards the arts, and for the next ten years became the second most popular magazine in France, after Paris Match.