Ormond GIGLI was born in New York City in 1925 within a modest family. The photographic journey started when, still a teenager, his father offered him his first camera. Ormond GIGLI is fond of photography. After the class, he worked as an assistant for several photographers. Thanks to that he met the fashion world through Wilhela CUSHMAN, fashion editor for the Ladie’s Home Journal. He graduated from the School of Modern Photography in 1942 and served in the Navy as a photographer during World War 2. He spent some time living a bohemian life in France: “I lived the life of a penniless artist in Paris… and it was a wonderful place to be”.
His career took off in 1952. He was working at this moment for the Rapho photo agency, when a LIFE editor enlisted him to do a series of celebrity portraits in replacement of Robert CAPA. This very same year LIFE assigned Ormond GIGLI to cover the Paris fashion shows. He encountered success with one of his pictures published in the center spread of the magazine. It started a fashion photographer career of more than twenty years. Ormond GIGLI worked with the most famous magazine of his time such as Paris-Match, LIFE, Time, Collier’s and the Saturday Evening Post. He settled his studio in Manhattan in 1954. Sophia LOREN, Anita EKBERG, John F. KENNEDY, Gina LOLLOBRIGIDA, Diana VREELAND, Giancarlo GIANNINI, Marlene DIETRICH, Judy GARLAND, Louis ARMSTRONG, Sir Laurence OLIVIER, Alan BATES or also Richard BURTON are among the numerous celebrities meeting his lens. During the 70’s and the 80’s the evolutions of the fashion world pushed him to work rather for advertising photography.
He died in 2019, leaving behind him a formidable photographic heritage, a colorful and multi-faceted testimony to the second half of the 20th century.
Ormond GIGLI, Anita Ekberg, 1954
Ormond GIGLI managed to caught the spirit of his time through celebrities and fasion photos.
Ormond GIGLI likes to build his own pictures. He imagines and stages them. It is by this way he created in 1960 one of the most iconic fashion photography: Girls in the windows. The models take up the pose in the different windows of the building facing Ormond GIGLI’s studio. In 1990 Jean-Paul GOUDE revisited it through an advertising movie for the eau de toilette Egoïste by Chanel.
Nowadays, Ormond GIGLI’s photos appear in major collections, like the one of the International Center of Photography in New York, and are amid the collectors’ favorite, as the Collectors’ Choice exhibition in the Cummer Museum (Jacksonville, Floride) in 2014 can testify.
Fairs and exhibitions:
Galerie GADCOLLECTION, Paris, France, Novembre – Décembre, 2016
Photo Shanghai, Shanghai, Chine, Staley-Wise Gallery, 2015
Collectors’ Choice: Inside the Hearts and Minds of Regional Collectors, Jacksonville, Floride, Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Septembre, 2014
Miami Project, Miami, Floride, Staley-Wise Gallery, 2014
International Center of Photography, New York City, New York
GIGLI, Ormond, Girls in the Windows And Other Stories, powerHouse Books, 2013.