Stefan Ruiz and Deanna and Ed Templeton capture the allure of Californians in Vogue’s “American Women” photo series.
A surfer chick in a pink rash guard, defiant cholas in a muscle car, bikini-clad teens holding a sign urging drivers to “honk for peace”—California boasts a plethora of personalities. And they’re featured prominently among 15 photography portfolios celebrating Vogue’s 125th anniversary.
Titled “American Women,” the series covers a gamut of subjects who, for instance, serve on a Honolulu military base, protest at Standing Rock, and win pageants.
“The objective was always beauty: diverse, unfiltered, and breathtaking,” says Sally Singer, Vogue’s creative digital director.
Then there are the women from the Golden State. Stefan Ruiz’s portraits of Latinas in East L.A. and Deanna and Ed Templeton’s photos of the real California girls who populate Huntington Beach convey their incomparable allure.
“On one level, these two portfolios are from photographers whose work I deeply, deeply admire,” Singer adds. “On another more personal level, I think I have always been dazzled by these two communities of women. When I was a young teen, my family moved from northern California to southern, and the culture shock of trying to blend in at the end of Whittier Boulevard and on that stretch of Beach Boulevard that leads to Huntington and Newport [Beach]. I think these girls—both the beach babes and the cholas—were utterly fascinating to me, exotic icons of my new existence.”
The Californians feel nurtured by their locale. As L.A. designer Dorys Araniva tells Vogue, “My style is really in tune with my culture and my upbringing.”
By Khanh T.L. Tran