Brian Duffy is best known as one of the great British fashion photographers of the 1960s and 70s, and one of the greatest innovators of documentary fashion photography. Together with David Bailey and Terence Donovan, he is recognised as one of the innovators of "documentary" fashion photography, a style which revolutionised fashion imagery and furthermore the fashion industry.
Duffy's first commission came from Ernestine Carter, the then fashion editor of The Sunday Times. From there he was hired by British Vogue in 1957 where he remained working until 1963 photographing famous models such as Pauline Stone and Jean Shrimpton. In the 1960s Duffy worked for many of the major fashion magazine and papers, not only British but also serving long periods with French Elle magazine. His list of subjects was a role call of the celebrities of that time: Sidney Poitier, Michael Caine, Tom Courtney, Sammy Davis JNR, Nina Simone, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Charlton Heston and William Burroughs.
Duffy's most famous photograph dates from the 1970s and is the iconic cover of David Bowie's album Aladdin Sane. He was also critically acclaimed for advertising campaigns for Benson & Hedges and Smirnoff.