World-renowned for his rock 'n' roll lifestyle full of beautiful women and exclusive parties, Olivier Zahm offers a peek into his glamorous world with his Purple Diary exhibition at Parisian boutique Colette. Swide takes a look at the man behind the Ray-Ban aviators and why we're so fascinated by him.
Photo by Olivier Zahm
Uninhibited, provocative, envelope-pushing are some of the words we would use in describing co-founder and editor in chief of Purple Fashion magazine, Olivier Zahm. Zahm has made a name for himself in the fashion world for his willingness to bare all, both with Purple Magazine and his personal life, as well his "anti-fashion" approach. Before entering the world of fashion, Zahm worked as an art critic with widespread recognition for his work as a curator as well as his participation in over 150 exhibitions featuring international contemporary art. In responding to the superficial glamour of the 1980s, Zahm co-founded Purple Prose magazine. In the introduction of Purple Anthology, Zahm shares why he chose to create Purple Prose:
"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 noone else supported, much less talked about. [..] It would be a form of opposition of our own".
Vincent Gallo shot by Terry Richardson for Purple Fashion
Soon after the birth of Purple Prose, Zahm created spin-off publications like Purple Sexe, Purple Fiction and what we now know and love, Purple Fashion. Zahm aimed at fusing together his two worlds, fashion and art, in creating Purple Fashion. Realizing that even though Purple Fashion speaks to so many, it needed to also speak digitally, so Zahm created Purple Diary. Not wanting to create an online version of Purple Fashion, expressing "that would only add to the disorder", Zahm opted for a basic blog. With Purple Diary, Zahm offers visitors a look behind the scenes at Purple Fashion, as well as shares who's going to be on the next cover." I think it’s exciting to make what I do public. I’m so excited in, fact, that for the first time in 20 years, I’m willing to work for free", Zahm shared in discussing then-new blog, Purple Diary.
Kate Moss, Olivier Zahm and Milla Jovovich by Olivier Zahm
Purple Diary can now be viewed beyond just the internet as a part of an exhibition held at Parisian boutique Colette. On display are 10,000 black & white photographs by Olivier Zahm taken from everywhere: Cafe de Flore in Paris to Omen restaurant in New York.The collection of photographs documents Zahm's globe-trotting life and an intimate look behind Purple Fashion. Anyone who's familiar with Purple Diary won't be surprised to find images of girls kissing girls and people having sex. The exhibition surely isn't for the timid kind. In addition to sex-driven photos, one would find candid photos of celebrities, supermodels and musicians.
The Purple Diary exhibition launched earlier this week and continues through April 3rd, 2010.
Le Baron's Andre and Lindsay Lohan by Olivier Zahm
Photo by Colette
For more information, visit Colette's website.
Photo credit: Olivier Zahm via Purple Diary