A well-known fashion designer of French and Spanish descent, Paco Rabanne, visited Moscow as a child during the USSR times. He was even introduced to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
But more important is the fact that he was one of the first designers to use black models on the catwalk in 1964 along with another fashion legend, Yves Saint Laurent. At that time many in the fashion industry refused to work with him because it was deemed “for whites only”. And very few people know that Paco Rabanne is quite a successful artist.
The photoshoot was carried out simultaneously with an interview, as it often happens. Like any media persona who used to get photographed, Paco often paused and made factitious facial expressions for me to snap him. I did not like it very much, because I prefer to shoot genuine portraits.
At one point I almost touched his hand with my camera. He then looked at me with a slightly surprised expression that lasted probably no more than a second. Enough to press the shutter button.