When Ferdinando Scianna first started shooting fashion – after a chance commission from Dolce and Gabanna – he approached it as a reporter and used the streets as his catwalk. Beginning in his home of Sicily, he went on to photograph fashion all over the world, from bustling Cairo to the catwalks of Paris. “Streets are the stage of our life. In Italy, women and men dress up to be looked at when walking down the street. Somehow, catwalk shows are the theatrical representation of a street full of women passing by,” he said.

A photograph is not created by a photographer. What they do is just to open a little window and capture it.

Ferdinando Scianna
© Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos

Ferdinando Scianna started taking photographs in the 1960s while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo. It was then that he began to photograph the Sicilian people systematically.

After moving to Milan in 1966 he worked as a photographer then journalist, writing on politics and on photography and literature. He entered the field of fashion photography in the late 1980s, producing pioneering work that brought fashion into the streets of his home of Sicily.

Scianna has also explored the subject of religious rituals and photographed across Italy, America and beyond, as well as collaborating with famous writers such as Leonardo Sciascia. He joined Magnum Photos in 1982.

© Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos

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