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12 - 01 - 2016

Purple Fashion Magazine (initially conceived under the title Purpose Prose) was founded in 1992 by Oliver Zahm and Elein Fleiss. The magazine was created in reaction to an era of superficial glamour that characterized the 1980s.   Purple fashion drew significant inspiration from some of the major tenets of the anti-fashion movement, specifically Interview Magazine, Ray Gun, Nova, along with Helmut Newton's aesthetics. 


Oliver Zahm was known for his visceral photographic style, approaching art, fashion, and sex with a blend of the rawness and elegance.


As Oliver Zahm writes: “We launched Purple Prose in the early 1990s without any means, and without any experience, because we wanted to make a magazine that was radically different. We wanted to support the artists around us that no one else supported, much less talked about. It would be a form of opposition of our own, different from the critical jargon of the generation of '68. From a visual standpoint, we represented the break from '80s imagery (like Richard Avedon's photography for Versace, for example). From an artistic standpoint, the artists of the early '90s were rising up against art as capital fetish. In saying that Purple is the portrait of a generation, I mean it's a portrait of those who embody their times. At the same time, it's a portrait of myself and Elein Fleiss, our ideas, our lives, and our aesthetics.”


Working with names like Juergen Teller, Terry Richardson, Wolfgang Tillmans and Mario Sorrenti, Purple Fashion Magazine was took an intimate, personalized approach to fashion photography, a foundational break from many of their contemporaries.


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