Vintage Obsessions... Nina Leen

Our new series Vintage Obsessions looks at photographers and designers whose work we adore and vintage objet d'art we just have to share with you.

Nina Leen 

Photographer and photojournalist Nina Leen was an intriguing enigma. The Russian born photographer studied painting in Berlin before emigrating to America in the 1930s.  A woman of mystery she kept her age a secret, refusing to reveal it, even in death.  She married fellow fashion photographer Serge Balkin and her photos graced over 50 LIFE magazine covers.

Nina Leen and Serge Balkin

Nina Leen and Serge Balkin

A self taught photographer, Nina loved to travel and lived a nomadic lifestyle making homes in Italy and Switzerland before finally settling in America where she bought her first camera (a Rolliflex) and began taking pictures. American culture fascinated her and in 1945 she became one of the first female photographers to work with LIFE magazine.

She was a great animal lover and produced some wonderful animal portraits, but it's her vintage fashion shoots of the 40s and 50s we fell in love with. 

Here's a collection of our fave Nina Leen summer shots, vintage style...


There's nothing like the real thing, so if you fancy a little vintage style, head on over to the store and grab your own slice of history.