On any given day, Prince Federico Pignatelli della Leonessa’s line of work ensures that he will encounter anything from Britney Spears posing before a manmade erupting volcano or Peter Beard, camera in hand, negotiating with an elephant. On a very good day, he may come across a handful of Victoria’s Secret models prancing around in the latest lingerie.
Such is life when you’re the owner of a photography and multimedia studio, especially when it’s none other than New York’s famous Pier 59 Studios and its LA outpost, the newly erected Pier 59 Studios West.
Inspired by the studio’s overwhelming success on the East Coast, Pignatelli, who also serves as the CEO of holding company Art and Fashion Group Corporation, saw a tremendous opportunity on the West Coast.
“Los Angeles, in my opinion, is replacing Miami as a fashion production place and also, the fashion industry has gone more and more toward celebrities,” says Pignatelli.
As principle architect, Pignatelli used many elements of his New York studio as a foundation for his LA venture. Pier 59 Studios West offers 27,000 square feet of space divided between two floors. The area holds four studiOS, three with skylights, and one with a western exposure. Mobile walls allow each space to be opened into the next.
Combined with private lofts, individual bathrooms, eqUipment rentals, a digital retouching lab, and a glass suspension bridge that lends itself to extraordinary shooting angles, Pier 59 Studios West ensures that any client’s needs are fulfilled beyond expectation. “I took all my experience and my knowledge created with Pier 59 in New York to an even better studio in Los Angeles,” he says.
Renowned photographers such as Steven Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier, and Steven Klein-all of whom are clients of the New York location-have expressed interest in continuing to work with Pignatelli on the West Coast.
Models Adriana Lima and Gisele Biindchen consider New York’s Pier 59 “their second home.” So it’s clear why he is going the extra mile to ensure his clients feel the same way about his new LA facilities-even at the expense of an occasional elephant in the room. -LESLEY BRYCE