Chris von Wangenheim

Christoph von Wangenheim (21 February 1942 – 9 March 1981) was a German fashion photographer of the late 1960s through the early 1980s.

Chris von Wangenheim
Christoph von Wangenheim

(1942-02-21)21 February 1942
Died9 March 1981(1981-03-09) (aged 39)
OccupationFashion photographer
Years active1965–1981
Spouse(s)Regine Jaffry
Parent(s)Konrad Freiherr von Wangenheim


Wangenheim was born in Brieg,[1] during the Second World War, the son of Konrad Freiherr von Wangenheim, an aristocratic German Cavalry officer who became a well-known horse rider at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, winning a gold medal in Team Eventing. In 1944, while serving on the Eastern Front, his father was taken prisoner and held in a POW camp located in the Soviet Union. He remained imprisoned for almost ten years and was found hanged days before his intended release.[2][3]

After studying architecture for a period of time, Wagenheim decided to pursue his interest in photography. In 1965, he moved to New York City where he worked as a photographer's assistant for David Thorpe and James Moore until 1967.[4] He started his own studio the following year and began working for the American edition of Harper's Bazaar, and for the Italian edition of Harper's Bazaar in 1970.[5][6]

American Vogue became his primary outlet in 1972, but he also worked for its German, French and Italian editions, as well as for Esquire, Playboy, Interview, and Viva magazines. Wangenheim is also well known for his advertisements for Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, and Revlon.[7]

Supermodel Gia Carangi did her first major fashion shoot with him in October 1978. He took the notorious photographs of Carangi standing naked behind a chain-link fence.[8] Carangi became one of Wangenheim's favorite models and worked with him on several fashion photographs throughout her career.[citation needed]

On 9 March 1981, Wangenheim was killed in a single-car crash while on holiday in Saint Martin.[9] At the time of his death, he was in the process of divorcing the former model Regine Jaffry, with whom he had one child.[10]

On September 15, 2015, Rizzoli published a book on Wangenheim's work and life by Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha entitled Gloss: The Work of Chris von Wangenheim, with a foreword by the photographer Steven Klein.[11]


  1. ^ "Chris von Wangenheim". American Photo. 17 (6): 61. Nov–Dec 2006. ISSN 1046-8986.
  2. ^ Large, David Clay (2007). Nazi Games: The Olympics Of 1936. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 283. ISBN 0-393-05884-0.
  3. ^ Goldblatt, David; Acton, Johnny (2012). How to Watch the Olympics: The Essential Guide to the Rules, Statistics, Heroes, and Zeroes of Every Sport. Penguin Books. p. 147. ISBN 0-143-12187-1.
  4. ^ Fashion Theory, edited by Carol di Grappa, Lustrum Press, 1980.
  5. ^ "Chris von Wangenheim". American Photo. 17 (6): 89. Nov–Dec 2006. ISSN 1046-8986.
  6. ^ Gross, Michael (2011). Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women. HarperCollins. p. 376. ISBN 0-062-06790-7.
  7. ^ Hoy, Anne H. (2005). The Book of Photography. National Geographic. p. 386.
  8. ^ Fried, Stephen (1994). Thing of Beauty. Pocket Books. p. 159. ISBN 0-671-70105-3.
  9. ^ Fried, Stephen (1994). Thing of Beauty. Pocket Books. p. 259. ISBN 0-671-70105-3.
  10. ^ Fried, Stephen (1994). Thing of Beauty. Pocket Books. p. 257. ISBN 0-671-70105-3.
  11. ^;

External linksEdit