Magazines have long been incubators for talent, and their editors, in possession of a prescient eye for who’s next. In 1944, Richard Avedon
was working in advertising at a department store when he caught the eye of the art director for Harper’s Bazaar
; in 1993, Mario Sorrenti
’s photograph of his naked, then girlfriend Kate Moss brought him instant attention in the Calvin Klein Obsession
campaign that, too, began his career on the glossy pages of print. Spend some time in the archives of the 40-year history of W
magazine, and you’ll see the early days of fashion photography pioneers like Mert and Marcus
, Steven Meisel, or Sorrenti—careers nurtured while showcased in high fashion journals. But who comes next?
For the first iteration of a newly annual competition, The Shot
, W Magazine
teamed up with the International Center of Photography (ICP) to cast their lens upon the next generation of fashion photographers—one of whom would be awarded a major feature in W
’s September Issue (a fashion-world barometer of its own). Out of the six finalists, emerging photographers Erik Madigan Heck, Boo George, Kacper Kasprzyk, Karim Sadli, Zoe Ghertner, and Benjamin Lennox, on January 29th, the judges chose George, the 32-year-old Irish photographer whose romantic and gritty, photo-documentary influenced portraits now have him on a sure path to stardom.