Opening night of New York Fashion Week started with unforeseen pouring rain. The clouds cleared and the heavens opened up in time, though, for the book launch of photographer Russell James’ “Angels.”
Supermodels Cindy Crawford and Candice Swanepoel co-hosted the bash on Thursday night at Stephan Weiss Gallery, which features an exhibit of photos from the book.
Friends and muses in attendance included Alessandra Ambrosio, Donna Karan, Gigi Hadid, Josephine Skriver, Sailor Brinkley Cook, Rande Gerber, Elsa Hosk, Elena Matei, and Jasmine Tookes.
“He is more than a photographer. He is also a friend,” model Adriana Lima told Variety. “In this industry, we grew together. Russell has done some of the most iconic pictures.”
As statuesque beauties sipped tequila cocktails, Kendall Jenner slipped in to congratulate James and take photos in front of her own nude portrait.
Much discussion revolved around embracing nudity as a form of empowerment. From high fashion to social media, guests at the soirée agreed there is nothing to be shy about when taking your clothes off.
“Just be confident in your own body,” Swanepoel said.
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Russell also discussed his legendary nude photos.
“It is a beautiful subject,” said Russell. “How do we treat it with the appropriate respect, so that the women in these images are champions and not exploited? That is a really hard thing to do. I don’t know if I get it right all the time, but I try my damnedest to do it.”