Helmut Newton’s photographs for the Wolford brand have always been a source of inspiration to Rita Minissi, more so than his other projects. His work with Wolford is simply put: iconic. Rita loves the idea of strong independent women, assertive and in control of their life – and she loves seeing this idea translated into an image. As a woman, she strives for an awareness of how her work is perceived by other women. She always hopes to be a source of positivity that brings women together, even just by sharing a similar idea and connecting through that.
When Wolford initially approached her about collaborating she was actually very surprised and had to sit down for about half an hour to calm herself. It has been a dream of hers to work with the brand, although she never imagined that it would actually happen; her experience of the brand was mostly through Helmut Newton’s photographs. Rita didn’t know exactly what the Wolford product line entailed, but she knew that she wanted to be part of it; the brand felt very special to her.
The terms of her collaboration were left very open – nobody directed her regarding what or how she should shoot, and she was encouraged to be creative. Her first idea was that she did not want to attempt to copy Helmut Newton’s vision of the Wolford woman. She felt that would have been “a safe bet,” but she would’ve failed herself by not staying true to her own vision. So, she thought about it and tried to imagine the Wolford woman: to her she is strong, sensual, intelligent, and elegantly understated.
She decided to explore these ideas in a self-portrait series mostly because self-portraits are the medium that she is most comfortable with and she knew that she would be anxious throughout the collaboration process. While Rita was literally living out her dream and working in a new way that was unfamiliar to her, she admitted that directing such specific energy in another person created an additional challenge. Now that the collaboration is finished and the process is no longer a mystery, Rita feels more confident in both photographing and directing another person – especially since working with myself and successfully creating images together as a team.