Serge Lutens was born on 14th March 1942, during World War II, in North of France. After a few weeks, his mother was separated from him and this abandonment became his identity. He was not wanted by his grandparents or even his father. For some time he had to dwell in his loneliness and later on he became a world famous visionary. In 1956, when he was 14 years old, he did an apprenticeship at a hair parlor. This period aided him in appreciating beauty. Lutens grew up to be a French fashion designer, perfume maker, photographer and hair stylist.
In order to experiment with and practice photography, Lutens asked his friends to become his models and pose in front of the camera. Later, in 1962 he shifted to Paris and was hired by Vogue to do fashion jewellery, hair and makeup. Lutens was enchanted by the epitome of beauty represented in the magazine. He often mythologized of Vogue being something like a convent of fashion.
In 1973, Serge Lutens produced a photographic series which was inspired by the works of artists, such as Georges Pierre Seurat, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet. These photographs were displayed in New York’s Guggenheim Museum. In the mid-70s, Lutens was the director of art films, like Suaire, 1976; and Les Stars, 1974. These short films were presented at the Cannes Film Festival.
He is most famous for working as an art director for Shiseido, a well-known cosmetics company in Japan in the 1980s. He was assigned to extend and enhance their product image. Throughout this time, Serge Lutens created photographs, commercial films and campaigns. He also designed their packaging and makeup. This whole set of work got him Lions d’Or twice at the International Advertising Film Festival. The same company in 1982, asked Lutens to make Nombre Noir, a fragrance.
In the 1990s, Lutens envisioned and designed a perfume house, Les Salons du Palais Royal. In 2000, he launched Parfums Beaute Serge Lutens, his personal brand. Fragrances, such as Tubéreuse criminelle, Cuir mauresque and Ambre Sultan marked a new chapter in the history of perfumes.
From 2001 consecutively until 2004, Luten was given the Fifi Award for his Best Original Concept. In 2004, he participated in Lille 2004 – European Capital City, where he installed a structure of light and concrete to re-create childhood scents of leaves, earth, rain and etc.
In 2006, he was given the Talent d’Or award from Sommet du Luxe. A year later, made the Commandeur of Order of Arts and Letters, by the French Government.
Some of the most prominent fashion publications had their eye on Lutens and were constantly calling him to work for them. These magazines include Jardin des Modes, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and many others.
The way Luten takes a picture is by first setting things right with the technicians of color, then he selects his models and designs their hairstyles and clothes. Once this is done, he does makeup on them and creates the right mood in his studio and then he clicks.
Serge Luten has also published photographic books, such as L’Espirit Serge Lutens: The Spirit of Beauty, 1992; and Serge Lutens, 1998.