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Mario Testino – The Beginning

Mario Testino was born on the 30th of October in Lima, Peru to an Irish-Italian mother and a Spanish father. Testino attended an American school in Peru, which meant he had a good English vocabulary. In his teenage years Testino’s father would take him on business trips to New York to take advantage of his good English skills by getting Mario to translate for his father. It was in New York where he came to the realisation that he had a love for fashion. Whenever he came back from New York he would amaze his friends with the latest fashion trends going on in America. It was also because of his father that he became interested in a career in photography for he was always trying to push Mario to choose a career that he would enjoy. Before he decided on photography he attended five different universities including Universidad del Pacifico and Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Peru and the University of San Diego in the USA. In 1976, when he was 22, he moved to London to pursue a career in photography. He started out working as a theatre photography assistant until his boss, John Vickers, died. He then went on to work as a waiter while taking picture of workmates, who happened to be aspiring models in his rented flat, located in an abandoned hospital in Trafalgar Square, selling the projects for £25, which included hair and make-up.

Once he had found his own style he started to make it into big name magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. He only made it to international fame in 1997 when Vanity Fair asked him to shoot Princess Diana only months before her death. After this his career really took off.

 

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