The lady vanishes
In 1970 I was a young German amateur photographer who went to Paris to learn French. There I got a contact with a model agency, who, I was told, had models who would accept prints as a form of payment. So I contacted a model and we made some photographs, but at the end she asked for her payment. I explained that the agency had told me I could pay a test model with prints. When she heard the phrase ‘test-model’ she got quite angry, but a call to the agency sorted it out. She gave me her address in Sweden and I sent her a few photos.
Most of my images back then were underexposed so there were only a few I could show to friends. About 40 years later, a gallery owner saw the few prints I had, and successfully sold some. Often I was asked if I was still in touch with the model, but stupidly I’d lost her address, as well as forgotten her name. This bothered me, as all I wanted to do was say ‘thank you’ to her. I wrote an email with some of her images and sent it to some model agencies in Paris, hoping someone in the business back in 1970 might remember her. But not one answer came.
Recently I saw a film about Diana Vreeland, which featured the photographer David Bailey. Suddenly, I saw a ray of hope – maybe Bailey knows her name? The lady must be between 60 and 70 years old now, so I wondered if you could pass on my letter. Wolfgang Kleber What an interesting story, Wolfgang, and your images are wonderfully evocative of a lost age. We’ll pass this on to Bailey’s people, and who knows, the mystery model may even be an AP reader (or another reader might recognise her). Good luck – Geoff Harris, deputy editor
Wolfgang took this photo in 1970; he would like to locate the model in the picture