Serge Libiszewski, better known as Sergio Libis, was born at San Gallo on 3 March 1930. The son of artists, he attended a three-year course in photography at the Kunstgewerbeschule school of art and crafts in Zurich. In 1951 he achieved the federal diploma of vocational education with top marks. This was followed by his first job at the Heiniger-Muller graphic design studio.
A meeting that influenced his career was with graphic designer Max Huber, who encouraged him to move to Milan. Following Max Huber’s invitation, in 1956 Libis moved to the capital of Lombardy where he was given the job of photographer at la Rinascente’s advertising office. He worked with art director Amneris Latis and Adriana Botti, graphic designers Max Huber, Lora Lamm, Giancarlo Iliprandi and Roberto Maderna. While working at Rinascente he met and worked with Richard Sapper, Giancarlo Ortelli, Bruno Munari, Roberto Sambonet, Marco Zanuso and George Coslin.
In 1961 he opened a studio and devoted himself to still life and fashion photography and image advertising. During this time Libis continued to work with la Rinascente and was renowned for his creative and innovative ability. For the department store Libis created photography campaigns of great immediacy: articles for catalogues and advertising posters in which he proposed a new type of fashion photo shoot that was between a happening and reportage (Inverno passione mia and Vacanze di moda are just two).
Libis changed the concept of fashion photography: he collected fragments of life, preferring spontaneity to poses, and abandoned the walls of the photography studios for the streets.
Between the Sixties and Eighties he created photography campaigns for Olivetti, Pirelli, Alfa Romeo, Giorgio Armani and Prenatal, where he was the director on the set. He worked increasingly for fashion magazines; his covers for “Annabella” and his posters became part of the collective memory of an age.
The selection presented here testifies to the collaboration between Libis and la Rinascente and includes mainly photo shoots for advertising catalogues, photographs for advertisements and advertising posters and several photos taken during breaks from shooting, which show him with Giancarlo Iliprandi, Gabriella Caffiero, Mario Monti and Oliviero Toscani.
The selection also includes a frame for a Rinascente folder, a photograph for Upim bags and a unique photograph taken during a photo shoot for the Moda Uomo 1964 catalogue.