Mario Testino Receives One of France’s Highest Honors


Yesterday, the legendary fashion photographer Mario Testino was awarded with the Legion d’Honneur by the French National Order, the highest honor that can be given for a cultural achievement in France. It was presented at the Embassy in Lima, by ambassador Fabrice Mauriès.

Over the last thirty years,Testino has inarguably been one of the most prolific fashion photographers over our time, gifting us with a unique perspective and countless iconic imagery that will continue to be referenced for decades to come. He’s been the center of over eighteen solo exhibitions, and sixteen books published have celebrated his work. When the National Portrait Gallery in London held an exhibition in his honor in 2002, it was the most visited show in the museum’s history.

His subjects are often A-list celebrities and models, and he’s and collaborated with every major fashion magazine, while still finding the time to produce important brand campaign work that have become part of the fabric not only fashion, but pop culture. His series of racy ad’s made with Tom Ford in ’90s are credited for helping to revive Gucci.

All of these accomplishments make this prestigious accolade extremely well deserved for the French award, although Testino doesn’t hail from France. He was born in Peru, and he says what enabled him to make an impact on French culture was a little help from our editor-in-chief. “I found my style when working with Carine Roitfeld—first for French Glamour magazine, and then for French Vogue,” Testino says.

For several years, Carine and Mario worked closely together. He says that she played a key role translating his sexy style of photography to the fashion world, and surrounded him with French influences. “Carine pushed me to go into the South American mode I had developed in my nude photography, and suggested I also apply this to my fashion work. At the time, I worked with a French team continuously.”

Ambassador Mauriès explained why Testino is an honorary Frenchman. “France is happy to show its recognition today to a person who, despite living under the brightness and the warmth of the planet, contributes to the development of young Peruvians as well as to the appreciation of the art and cultural heritage of their nation.” Our sincerest congratulations go out to the photographer.


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