10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Willy Vanderperre’


Willy Vanderperre is one of the most influential fashion photographers of our time. With his distinctive aesthetic and innovative approach, Vanderperre has captured the essence of numerous high-fashion brands and models. While you may be familiar with his stunning imagery, there are some fascinating facts about him that you may not know. In this article, we will delve into ten intriguing things about Willy Vanderperre that will give you a deeper appreciation for his talent and artistic vision.

1. Collaborations with Iconic Fashion Houses

Willy Vanderperre has formed long-standing partnerships with several prestigious fashion houses. He has produced captivating campaigns for renowned brands such as Prada, Dior Homme, and Jil Sander. Vanderperre’s ability to visually interpret the DNA of these fashion powerhouses has made him a sought-after collaborator in the industry.

One notable collaboration was with Raf Simons, the former Creative Director of Dior. Vanderperre’s striking images captured the essence of Simons’ bold and imaginative designs, resulting in a visual dialogue that pushed the boundaries of fashion photography. Their collaboration continues to be highly anticipated by fashion enthusiasts around the world.

2. From Assistant to Visionary

Before becoming a master of his craft, Willy Vanderperre started as an assistant to the renowned fashion photographer Nick Knight. During his time under Knight’s guidance, Vanderperre honed his technical skills and developed a keen eye for composition and lighting. This experience played a pivotal role in shaping his unique photographic style.

Vanderperre’s body of work showcases his transition from an assistant to a visionary. He has successfully carved out his own distinctive aesthetic, characterized by a sense of vulnerability and dark allure. Vanderperre’s images often challenge conventional beauty standards, capturing the raw emotions and complexities of his subjects.

3. Exploration of Gender Identity

A recurring theme in Vanderperre’s work is the exploration of gender identity. He challenges traditional norms by featuring models who blur the lines between masculinity and femininity. Vanderperre’s images embrace and celebrate the fluidity of gender, creating a visual conversation on the subject.

Through his photography, Vanderperre encourages viewers to question societal constructs and preconceived notions of beauty. His thought-provoking images have played a significant role in redefining and expanding the representation of gender in fashion and art.

4. Inspirations from Flemish Art

Born and raised in Belgium, Willy Vanderperre draws inspiration from his Flemish heritage, particularly Flemish painters from the 16th and 17th centuries. The influence of masters such as Jan Van Eyck and Peter Paul Rubens can be observed in Vanderperre’s use of lighting, color, and composition.

By merging elements of Flemish art with contemporary fashion, Vanderperre creates images that are visually striking and rich in symbolism. His ability to infuse classical references into his work adds depth and complexity to his compositions, elevating them beyond mere fashion photography.

5. Emphasis on Youth Culture

Vanderperre has a keen interest in youth culture and frequently draws inspiration from the energy and creativity of young people. His images often capture the raw authenticity and rebellious spirit of adolescence, reflecting the ever-evolving nature of youth culture.

Through his collaborations with emerging designers and young models, Vanderperre has become a driving force in shaping the visual representation of contemporary youth culture. His work serves as a window into the vibrant and diverse world of the younger generation.

6. A Fusion of Fashion and Street Photography

Blurring the boundaries between fashion and street photography, Vanderperre’s work often captures the essence of the everyday while incorporating elements of couture. His imagery juxtaposes high fashion with gritty urban backdrops, creating a compelling visual narrative that pushes the boundaries of traditional fashion photography.

Vanderperre’s fusion of these two genres brings a fresh perspective to the world of fashion. By embracing imperfections and street aesthetics, he creates captivating imagery that resonates with a wider audience and challenges the exclusivity often associated with high-end fashion.

7. Founding Member of Arena Homme+

Willy Vanderperre played a significant role in the establishment of Arena Homme+, a bi-annual publication dedicated to showcasing avant-garde fashion and artistic expression. As a founding member and regular contributor, Vanderperre has been instrumental in shaping the magazine’s visual language and editorial direction.

Arena Homme+ has become renowned for its boundary-pushing editorials and unconventional approach to fashion photography. Vanderperre’s involvement in the publication exemplifies his commitment to artistic freedom and pushing the limits of the medium.

8. Versatility as a Photographer

While Vanderperre is primarily known for his fashion photography, he has also proven his versatility in various other realms of the visual arts. He has directed music videos for artists such as Travis Scott and Frank Ocean, showcasing his ability to translate his distinctive aesthetic into the realm of moving images.

Vanderperre’s interdisciplinary approach highlights his willingness to explore different artistic mediums and expand his creative horizons. His vision extends beyond static imagery, creating a lasting impact across multiple artistic platforms.

9. Collaborations with Notable Artists

Throughout his career, Vanderperre has collaborated with several influential artists from different disciplines. He has worked closely with renowned Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons, creating a visual dialogue that has redefined the relationship between fashion and photography.

Additionally, Vanderperre has collaborated with contemporary artists such as Sterling Ruby and Anne Imhof, exploring the intersection between fashion, art, and performance. These collaborations have resulted in innovative and thought-provoking projects that push the boundaries of artistic expression.

10. A Mentor for Aspiring Talent

In addition to his prolific career, Vanderperre has taken on the role of mentor to aspiring photographers and artists. He frequently conducts masterclasses and shares his knowledge and experiences, nurturing the next generation of creative talent.

Vanderperre’s dedication to cultivating young talent reflects his belief in the power of collaboration and the importance of passing on knowledge and expertise. His mentorship has undoubtedly shaped the future of fashion photography, leaving a lasting impact on the industry for years to come.

Useful Links:

Official Website of Willy Vanderperre
Interview with Willy Vanderperre by ‘Highsnobiety’
Willy Vanderperre’s Profile on ‘Are.na’
Arena Homme+ Magazine