Home > Fonssagrives, Lisa

Lisa Fonssagrives: Personality

Lisa Fonssagrives (1911-1992) was perhaps the first 'supermodel'. She was described as 'the highest paid, highest praised, high fashion model in the business'. Born in Sweden, she moved to Paris in the 1930s. Whilst training for the ballet, she met her first husband, the Parisian photographer Fernand Fonssagrives. Photographs of her subsequently appeared in publications, including Town and Country, Life, Vogue and the original Vanity Fair. Her background in ballet was evident in the grace and poise for which she became famous as a model. Although she described herself as no more than 'The clothes hanger', she became one of the most highly sought-after models in both Paris and New York. She posed for the photographers George Hoyningen-Huene, Man Ray, Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld, George Platt-Lynes, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Norman Parkinson, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn (her second husband). Her image appeared regularly on fashion magazine covers during the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

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