David Bailey had Jean Shrimpton. Franco Rubartelli had Veruschka. Irving Penn had Lisa Fonssagrives. And Francesco Scavullo? He had Brooke Shields. The duo first worked together long before Shields became a household name, when she was a mere eleven months old. Years later, Shields went on to be one of Scavullo's favourite muses, who he dubbed, "an absolute miracle – a beautiful, unspoiled, untempermental, unaffected, unprecocious, uncomplicated, un-Goody-Two-Shoes miracle." We spoke to Shields about working with the late photographer and discovered that the feeling was pretty mutual.
How did you and Francesco first meet?
I first met him when I was eleven months old. I was brought into his studio for an Ivory soap ad. He called my mom (they were friends) and he said, “Bring the baby.” I got the job because I was happy and had had my morning nap.
What was it like working together?
He was always fast and very positive, yet he was quiet spoken. He was like family; I called him Uncle Frankie.
Is there a piece of advice or guidance he gave you that you’ve followed throughout your career?
He used to tell me to, “Stay Sweet, keep your sense of humour," and that if I continued to be a good girl, it would get me far.
What do you think makes a Scavullo photograph so special? How would you describe his style?
You could feel the love for his subjects. He celebrated beauty and women, and not just glamour, but purity.
Do you have a favourite photo he took of you?
The Ivory soap photo because it began my entire career.
FRANCESCO SCAVULLO, BROOKE SHIELDS. ESTIMATE $5,000-7,000
Could you talk about the glamour shot we have of you in the sale? What do you think of when you see it now?
It was my first Cosmo cover and it was the first time I ever had bangs. I was very proud of those bangs.
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