Model, Muse and Photographer Lynn Kohlman dies
Model, fashion muse and photographer Lynn Kohlman succumbed to brain cancer on Sunday in Manhattan at the age of 62. Kohlman was a prominent staple in the fashion industry for decades: as a model in the 1970's she was well known for her androgynous and eclectic style, and she later went on to become a photographer and fashion executive.
Her personal style was tough and creative. She wore her hair short and her suits oversized, often paired with motorcycle boots. It was her offbeat style that attracted the attention of Mr. Ellis in the 1970s, as he often described her as a muse. Mr. Ellis once designed an entire collection based on an oversized white linen jacket Ms. Kohlman had worn and, as usual, she was the first model sent out onto the runway at that show. He gave her a position as an assistant designer at his company, even though she said she could not sketch or sew.
Kohlman also helped to launch collections for Donna Karan and Tommy Hilfiger, and captured candid shots of such icons as Calvin Klein, Keith Richards and Stephan Weiss.
Ms. Kohlman wrote about her experience with breast cancer and brain cancer in a 2005 autobiography called “Lynn Front to Back.” The title referred to her career transition from being a model in front of the cameras to the person taking the pictures, but also to her acceptance of her post-surgery body, as she had always been proud of her figure. The book opened with two arresting images of Ms. Kohlman, shown before and after a mastectomy and a separate operation to remove a walnut-sized brain tumor that left 39 visible titanium staples in her scalp, which she said she had chosen to show that her body was more beautiful than ever.