from Anaya-Lucca's 2009 Adam & Eve exhibition
Photograph (c) Arnaldo Anaya-Lucca

Photograph of Tyson Beckford by Arnaldo Anaya-Lucca

I had a beautiful childhood in Puerto Rico, very magical, and I guess that kind of sets the way you experience and see life in the future. My boyfriend and friends always say I am like a 5-year-old, which its kind of true. I get very excited every morning about what the day might bring. I guess I managed to keep that child inside of me. When you are excited about life in general, you feel very grateful and that breeds a very positive state of mind. And only a positive state of mind is able to see the endless beauty surrounding us. My inspiration always comes from every day life. People, places, history, art, society. It’s the way we see ordinary events, objects that leads us to creativity and then the way we experience those things that leads us to our unique style. But my way of seeing things was definitely influenced by the works of Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel and Herbert List‘s magical photographs.

I always loved taking pictures but never dreamed it could become a career for me. When I was in high school, one of my older brothers, Abel, started taking pictures and I got the bug. On my 18th birthday, my parents bought me my first camera, a Yashica FX3 (I still have it) I told my parents I wanted to major in photography but that did not go over well. My Dad was a cardiologist and to him photography could only be a hobby, so I went to college and majored in Finance. I became a yearbook photographer at my College (I went to school in Kansas City, Mo.). To this day all my college friends think of me as always having a camera around my neck and to them this career is not a surprise but it is to me.

After college I moved to NY and after being turned down 4 times…yes, I got 4 rejection letters in one year, I landed a job with Ralph Lauren at the Polo Mansion on 72nd St. in the spring of 1988 in the men’s clothing department selling suits. You see I had become a bit obsessed with Ralph Lauren and my dream was to one day work along side “The Man” himself.

Photographs by Arnaldo Anaya-Lucca

After 4 1/2 years in the mansion I got my big break in the beginning of 1993 and was offered a position in Ralph Lauren’s Men’s Design Studio. I was now working and developing Men’s Lines with Ralph…my dream became a reality or so I thought!! I was still taking pictures but design was my focus and I loved it. It was Ralph’s eldest son, Andrew Lauren, that inadvertently opened my photography’s Pandora’s box in late 1994. Andrew’s then girlfriend and my best friend, Rebecca Indri, told Andrew that he should ask me to photograph him as he was interested in becoming an actor and needed a head shot. She told him that my hobby was taking pictures and that I was good. I photographed him a few weeks later and the result was amazing. I shot him in my apartment with daylight b&w portraits against a white wall. He looked like a 1950′s movie star in my photos. A month later I was in a design meeting with Ralph he pulled out the photos and said, “Your pictures of Andrew are unbelievable…you captured him like no one has in the past and he has been photographed by many top fashion photogs!” He said,“You have a gift, an amazing eye and I want you shoot an ad campaign for me.”

Photograph by Arnaldo Anaya-Lucca

Well he kept his word and 3 month’s later I photographed Tyson Beckford for the launch of Ralph Lauren’s high-end men’s brand, Purple Label. The photo ran in American GQ in the fall of 1995. It was my 1st published photograph and still one of my favorites! My photography career was born and in the summer 1997 I left Ralph Lauren after 10 years in the company to pursue photography full-time with Ralph’s blessing. He became my most loyal client. That’s the real dream for me, shooting Ad campaigns for my mentor, Mr. Ralph Lauren.

You can read the full Interview with Arnaldo Anaya-Lucca and photographer Navo on The Minority Reports. Thanks so much to Navo for letting me excerpt from your Interview.
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It was Arnaldo Anaya-Lucca who "discovered" my son Matthew Avedon, took his photograph and brought it in to Next Model Management. Matthew signed up for a modeling contract and has been working ever since. Thank you Arnaldo!



absolutely breathtakingly beautiful b/w images! magnificent!!!

Susan May Tell said...

wow! what a great post with so many layers and sub-texts, including the photos and stories.

Caio Fern said...

a really wonderful work .
thanks for this post.

Karin Bartimole said...

Fascinating and rich post - a wonderful read with gorgeous images, of course!! Thank you.

Tori said...

great post. its always nice to hear how someone got to where they are. i love the retro feel of some of his ralph lauren campaigns.


Unknown said...

Mr. Anaya-Lucca's positive attitude is a joy to see and the photographs are breathtaking. Thank you for posting.

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

we look at these images and I for one often wonder- who does them. these are outstanding, as photo for a campaign and portrait as well. the first image is superb.

MilaneseGAL said...

Dear Elizabeth, the first photo is a piece of humanity.
All the others are stunning and very well executed.
I think that the stylist was Charleen Cherf de Dudzeele, any info? Hugs from Milan

Arnaldo Anaya-Lucca said...

Hi Elizabeth!! Wow...such a nice comment:) All the other images You posted are from jobs I did with RL and styled by their in-house team!!
I don't know who Charleen Cherf de Dudzeele is, but love her name :)