photo of Dario Calmese

Dario Calmese

The Institute Of Black Imagination

Sitting at the nexus of art, fashion and academia, Dario is an Artist, Creative Director and Founder of the Institute of Black Imagination. He received his master’s in photography from the School of Visual Arts and his bachelors in psychology at Rockhurst University in Kansas City.
Classically trained in the performing arts, he uses his knowledge of movement, gesture, and psychology to create complex characters and narratives that explore history, race, class, and what it means to be human.
In 2020 he made history as the first Black photographer to shoot a cover for Vanity Fair in it’s 106-year history with his portrait of Oscar-winning actress, Viola Davis. 2020 also saw the launch of his widely-acclaimed podcast, The Institute of Black Imagination, featuring conversations from the Pool of Black Genius through the lens of design. Most recently, he collaborated with Adobe Lightroom to design presets specifically for people of color.
Dario serves on the global advisory board for Estee Lauder Companies and is a professor at The New School’s Parson’s School of Design in New York City. He is currently a NYC Urban Design Forum Fellow and his show direction for the fashion brand Pyer Moss has been consistently hailed in Vogue and The New York Times as the “best show of Fashion Month.”

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Events featuring Dario Calmese
Events featuring Dario Calmese