Horvat was born in 1928 on April 28th, in Abbazia, Italy (now Opatija, Croatia). Parents, Karl and Adele Edelstein, were both medical doctors. During the second world war, he lived in Switzerland.
His first photographic gadget was a Retinamat – bought by swapping his stamp collection (browse Google to learn about this projector).
In 1947, he moved to Milano, Italy and studied art at the Accademia di Brera. Horvat first worked in art for an advertising firm before buying a Rolleicord and freelancing for Italian magazines.
In 1950, he met Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa in Paris. In the early 1950s, Horvat did freelance work in Pakistan and India before moving to London to work mainly for LIFE and PICTURE POST. In 1955, Horvat moved to Paris were he remains today as a fashion photographer and a member of the elite MAGNUM group.