People Alessia Glaviano

The World Filtered Through A Camera Lens

, by Valentina Gatti
Alessia Glaviano’s career – that would lead her to the role of Director of Global PhotoVogue and the PhotoVogue Festival – took off in New York, "thanks to enlightened bosses." Over the years, the Alumna has helped launch the careers of several famous photographers

A passion for photography and an interest in inequality are two key factors that led Alessia Glaviano to launch the PhotoVogue platform and the PhotoVogue Festival. Her adventure began in New York, after graduating with a degree in economics from Bocconi University. "I thought about staying at the university as a researcher, focusing on developing countries, but I also wanted to work abroad," says Glaviano.

She worked as an assistant at a photography studio for six years in New York, a city she had a special relationship with since her father worked as a photographer there. Her family passed on her passion for not only photography but also art. During her time in New York, she had a working relationship with the Art and Commerce photography agency, which represented leading fashion photographers. "I had just turned 30 and I was undecided on whether to stay in New York or return to Europe. Through the agency I had the opportunity to interview with Vogue Italia, so I came back to Milan," she says. This is how Glaviano was able to contribute to the digital launch of the famous fashion magazine in 2010.

But she wanted to do more and create something new in photography, after noticing that a curated photo platform did not yet exist. So in 2011 she decided to open PhotoVogue, a photo platform available for both professional and amateur photographers. The platform was initially always open, while today it now only accepts entries on Mondays from 8:00am to 8:00pm, receiving over 17,000 photos. In 2021, the platform went global.

In 2016 Glaviano launched the PhotoVogue Festival, the first conscious fashion photography festival dedicated to the common ground between ethics and aesthetics, linked to the influential fashion publication. PhotoVogue's Open Calls have helped launch the careers of photographers such as Nadine Ijewere, Kyle Weeks, Camila Falquez, Kennedi Carter, Scandebergs and Mous Lamrabat. The next edition of the Festival will focus on "The Tree of Life: A Love Letter to Nature".

In addition, Glaviano has been invited to participate on the panels of numerous internationally renowned photography competitions and portfolio reviews, such as World Press Photo, Festival International de Mode et de Photographie à Hyères, and the New York Times Portfolio Review.

During her more than 20-year career at Condé Nast, Glaviano has also curated exhibitions at prestigious museums and institutions with some of the most important artists of our time. She also developed Vogue Italia's Instagram strategy, curated a series of video interviews with Photography Masters and has directed several digital projects from an artistic point of view, such as a story that went viral with Ellie Goldstein for Gucci Beauty.

Glaviano's career has been fast-changing and surprising, facilitated by her supervisors. "I've always had enlightened bosses who have respected my work and have always supported me," she says. This was despite the fact that the art scene and the photography industry in the ‘90s were almost exclusively the prerogative of straight white men. "Now the environment is more inclusive, and I'm happy I made my small contribution in this regard."

Parallel to her career in photography, Glaviano has also pursued an academic career, teaching at universities such as the University of Brighton, Central Saint Martins, IED, Bocconi and Politecnico di Milano. "It is essential for me to be in contact with young people who are still completing their educations, not only for what I can give them in terms of mentoring, but also for what they can give me. Being a mentor to young people allows me to work on my open-mindedness and listening skills, because I come into contact with different cultures, ages and inspirations. And that's always enriching," explains the Director of Global PhotoVogue. "Bocconi gave me a method and a foundation for my studies and opened my mind," she adds.


translated by Jenna Walker