Steven Meisel was born in 1953 in the United States. He graduated from the New York High School of Art and Design before enrolling in Parsons School of Design from which he majored in Fashion Illustration. During his time there he developped a relationship with Designer Anna Sui.
After graduating, he became an Illustrator for Halston, a job which opened him the door to his then first position at Women’s Wear Daily. During his time there, he met the man who would then become his mentor, Kenneth Paul Block, and was introduced to all the different facets of fashion communication.
He contacted the model agency Elite in New York and began shooting tests for their new faces, amongst which Phoebe Cates who then helped starting his career in Editorial Photography.
He worked on his first editorial shoots a few years later for the magazine Seventeen which discovered him through his work at Elite NY. From that point, he started working with many publications, amongst which W Magazine, Self, Per Lui, Lei, whilst still working with WWD.
In 1988 he met Franca Sozzani who, when she then became Editor-in-chief of the Italian edition of Vogue, made sure Meisel became of the key photographers of the Magazine, asking him to shoot several covers and most main fashion stories.
Meisel became a close friend of the singer Madonna. He worked with her for the first time in 1984 when he shot the album cover of « Like A Virgin ». He photographed her again in 1992 for her very controversial book « Sex ».
He shot Mariah Carey’s 1995 « Daydream » cover album as well.
In the process, he launched the career of many now well known models amongst whitch Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Amber Valletta, Lara Stone, Coco Rocha, and Karen Elson, to only name a few.
Meisel published a unique book called « Steven Meisel » in 2003, which is today sold out and the photographer is represented by the Agency Art + Commerce.