Last Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles, Variety and WWD teamed up to celebrate outstanding talents in the worlds of fashion, beauty, and style who made an impact on the entertainment industry in the past year. Among the presenters and honorees at the First Annual Variety and WWD StyleMakers celebration, hosted by Smashbox Studios in Culver City, were actresses Kerry Washington, Freida Pinto, and Viola Davis, New York fashion designer Zac Posen, Hollywood stylist-to-the-stars Elizabeth Stewart, Hollywood costume designer Lyn Paolo, and photographer, director, and creative director Matthew Rolston.
Rolston was honored with the first-ever Smashbox Visual Impact Award, presented to him by photographer Davis Factor, the founder of Smashbox Studios and its eponymous cosmetics line. “In addition to revolutionizing video and film as we know it today, Rolston has captured some of the most iconic photos in the history of photography,” says Factor. “His impeccable eye and attention to detail have made the impossible, possible.”
In WWD last week, Rolston looked back on his multifaceted career, which began with an assignment for Andy Warhol and Interview magazine and grew rapidly from there. Rolston recalls photographing the cast of the original Star Wars movie, working with Michael Jackson, and directing commercials for brands like Gap and music videos for platinum-selling artists such as Madonna. He also touches on his influences—famed ’40s Hollywood portraitist George Hurrell—and his most recent endeavors, including fine-art photography and acting as a creative director for a number of prominent hospitality and entertainment clients.
“As my career has grown and gone on, I’ve never really abandoned anything,” Rolston tells WWD. “It’s more like a flowering, or a tree just getting more branches of leaves: It kind of keeps on expanding.”