Horst was Born in Weissenfels, Germany, 14 Aug 1906. After briefly studying in Frankfurt, he entered the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg, where from 1926 to 1928 he designed and made furniture. Following this he went to work as an architectural assistant to Le Corbusier in Paris. There he met George Hoyningen-Huene, who worked as a photographer for Vogue , and through him iconic photographer Cecil Beaton. In 1931 he himself began working as a photographer for Vogue.
His photographs soon achieved an individual style characterized by their striking light effects and sensual use of the models. In 1932 he spent several months working for American Vogue in New York, but his employment was terminated before the end of his six-month contract. He emigrated in 1935 to the USA, again working as a photographer for American Vogue while continuing to contribute to the French edition until the late 1940s. He spent much of his time in New York and Paris, photgraphing celebrities such as Salvador Dali, Marlene Dietrich, Warhol, and the designer Coco Chanel.
"The elegance of his photographs took the viewer to another place, very beautifully; his ability to give his models the untouchable quality is really interesting as it gives you something of a distance; it's like seeing somebody from another world and you wonder who that person is and you really want to know that person and really want to fall in love with that person".
~ Photographer Bruce Weber