Antonio Lopez (illustrator)

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Antonio Lopez
Born(1943-02-11)February 11, 1943
DiedMarch 17, 1987(1987-03-17) (aged 44)
NationalityPuerto Rican
Alma materTraphagen School of Fashion, Fashion Institute of Technology
Known forIllustration

Antonio Lopez (February 11, 1943 – March 17, 1987) was a Puerto Rican fashion illustrator whose work appeared in such publications as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Interview and The New York Times. Several books collecting his illustrations have been published. In his obituary, the New York Times called him a "major fashion illustrator."[1] He generally signed his works as "Antonio."[1]


Antonio Lopez was born in Utuado, Puerto Rico. When he was seven years old, his family moved to New York City.[2] His parents, Maria Luisa Cruz and Francisco Lopez influenced him to apply his artistic talents to fashion.[1][2] He attended the Traphagen School of Fashion, the High School of Art and Design, and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Lopez graduated from Traphagen School of Fashion in 1955 in Illustration.[3]

While attending F.I.T. as a student in 1962, he began an internship at Women's Wear Daily[4] which led to him leaving school and working at the publication. Shortly afterward he left for a freelance position at the New York Times.[2] He also did illustrations of fashion designs by Charles James.[when?]

Lopez worked in close collaboration with Juan Eugene Ramos, and for a few years they were romantic partners.[2][4] In 1969 he moved to Paris along with Ramos and was an associate of Karl Lagerfeld; he stayed there until the mid-1970s.[1]

Lopez was known for discovering talented young models who would become his muses, often referred to as “Antonio’s Girls”.[5] Lopez discovered Jessica Lange in 1974.[6] He discovered Jerry Hall and lived with her in Paris at the beginning of her modeling career.[7][8][9] He “discovered” Warhol superstars Donna Jordan and Jane Forth, providing an important stepping stone for their budding careers.[5] Lopez and Ramos also discovered Pat Cleveland, Grace Jones, and Tina Chow.[10][5]

In additions to books of his fashion illustration, the book Antonio's Tales From the Thousand and One Nights was published in 1985.[1] The book was the inspiration for Marc Jacobs' 2007 "Arabian Nights" event.[11]

A book on the career of Antonio Lopez, Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex, & Disco, by Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha (with a foreword by Andre Leon Talley and an epilogue by Anna Sui), was published by Rizzoli in September 2012.[12][13]

Lopez explored themes of queer desire and race in his art through cultural references to subjects, such as Josephine Baker and The Wild One.[14]

Personal life[edit]

His circle of friends also included photographer Bill Cunningham;[8] circa 1966 Antonio introduced him to photographer David Montgomery, who gave Cunningham his first camera.[15]

Lopez died of Kaposi's Sarcoma as a complication of AIDS at UCLA Medical Center; he was living in New York but was in Los Angeles for an exhibition of his art at Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica; he was attended by his friend and model Susan Baraz.[1][16]

His collaborator Juan Eugene Ramos survived until 1995, when he also died of AIDS.[10]

Influence and legacy[edit]

Painter Paul Caranicas is president of the Antonio Lopez Foundation.[8] The organization Focus on AIDS, which raises funds for AIDS research, care and education through photography auctions was founded in 1987 by Baraz and Vue magazine publisher Hossein Farmani in response to Lopez' death.[17]

Lopez' art and photography were exhibited at Staley-Wise Gallery in New York in March–April 2000.[18]

Designer Hannah MacGibbon cited Lopez as an inspiration for her Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear Collection for Chloé.[19]

Lopez' work was included in April 2009 exhibit "The Line of Fashion", curated by Robert Richards at the Society of Illustrators in association with the Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation.[20]

Antonio's Tales from the Thousand & One Nights was an inspiration to fashion designer Suneet Varma's 2010 collection "The Pirates of Couture."[21]

His work is also included in the exhibit "Drawing Fashion" at the Design Museum in London, England, running November 17, 2010- March 6, 2011.[22]

Lopez was a major source of inspiration for fashion designer Anna Sui's Spring 2012 fashion collection.[23]

Students at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City request his name at the library more than any other.[7]

Lopez' artwork also served as a major source of inspiration in Hirohiko Araki's artwork, especially in the character designs and poses in the earlier parts of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.

In 2013, MAC Cosmetics launched a campaign dedicated to Lopez. The ads for the campaign featured models Jerry Hall, Pat Cleveland and Marisa Berenson, who were all close friends with Lopez and were often called "Antonio's girls" early in their modeling careers.[5]

In June 2016, the exhibit Antonio Lopez: Future Funk Fashion opened at El Museo del Barrio in New York City.[24][25]


  • Lopez, Antonio; Hemphill, Christopher; Ramos, Juan; Amiel, Karen. Antonio's Girls (Thames and Hudson, 1982) ISBN 978-0-500-27265-7
  • Burton , Richard; Lopez, Antonio; Finamore, Roy. Antonio's Tales from the Thousand & One Nights (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1985) ISBN 978-0-941434-77-5
  • Lopez, Antonio; Ramos, Juan Eugene. Antonio, 60, 70, 80: three decades in style (Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 1995) ISBN 978-3-88814-759-3
  • Caranicas, Paul; Lopez, Antonio. Antonio's people (Thames & Hudson, 2004) ISBN 978-0-500-28502-2
  • Lopez, Antonio. Instamatics (Santa Fe: Twin Palms Publishers, 2011) ISBN 978-1-931885-94-2[26] Includes an interview of Antonio Lopez with Michael McKenzie, June 28, 1976[27]
  • Padilha, Roger; Padilha, Mauricio. Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex, and Disco (Rizzoli, 2012) ISBN 978-0-8478-3792-2



  1. ^ a b c d e f Schiro, Anne-Marie (1987-03-18), "Antonio Lopez is dead at 44; was major fashion illustrator", New York Times, archived from the original on 29 December 2009, retrieved 2009-12-04
  2. ^ a b c d Antonio Lopez & Juan Ramos bob marley 420, Smithsonian Institution, archived from the original on 2009-08-03, retrieved 2009-12-04
  3. ^ "Traphagen Alumni, The Traphagen School: Fostering American Fashion". Museum at FIT. Retrieved 2019-12-01.
  4. ^ a b "Fashion Illustrator Antonio Lopez Sketched His Dreams—and Made Fashion Reality". GQ. Condé Nast. 22 October 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-01.
  5. ^ a b c d Donna Jordan, ongoing exhibit. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.
  6. ^ Cunningham, Bill (1974-03-04), "There is a new kind of fashion model", Chicago Tribune, pp. B5, retrieved 2009-12-08
  7. ^ a b Kroll, Betsy (2004-09-14), "Artistic Renderings", Time, archived from the original on October 29, 2010, retrieved 2009-12-04
  8. ^ a b c Horyn, Cathy (2002-10-27), "The Picture Subjects Talk Back", New York Times, retrieved 2009-12-04
  9. ^ Gross, Michael (2003-01-12), "Instamatic Karma", Daily News, retrieved 2009-12-11
  10. ^ a b Louie, Elaine (1995-11-04), "Juan E. Ramos, 53; Devised Concepts For Fashion Ads", New York Times, retrieved 2009-12-04
  11. ^ Cunningham, Bill (2007-12-30), "On the Street: Unveiled", New York Times, retrieved 2009-12-08
  12. ^ Nelson, Karin (September 2012), "Shooting Star", W, archived from the original on 2016-11-30, retrieved 2012-10-24
  13. ^ Langkjær, Michael A. (2014). "[Review of] Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex & Disco. Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha. Foreword by André Leon Talley; epilogue by Anna Sui. New York: Rizzoli, 2012, 304 pages, 65 dollars, illustrated. ISBN: 978-0-8478-3792-2" (PDF). Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion, Beauty and Style. 3 (2): 121–124 – via ResearchGate.
  14. ^ Malagamba-Ansótegui, Amelia; Rivera-Servera, Ramón. "Critical Desires: Race and Sexuality in the Work of Antonio". Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
  15. ^ Cunningham, Bill (October 27, 2002). "Bill on Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
  16. ^ Simross, Lynn (1987-05-24), "13 Random Victims of an Indiscriminate Killer -- AIDS", Los Angeles Times, retrieved 2009-12-09
  17. ^ "Who We Are". Focus on AIDS. Archived from the original on 2010-04-17. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
  18. ^ Haden-Guest, Anthony (2000). "Disco Dreams". Artnet. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  19. ^ Mower, Sarah (2009-03-11), "Chloé Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear Collection",, archived from the original on 24 January 2010, retrieved 2010-02-11
  20. ^ "The Line of Fashion: Curated by Robert Richards". Society of Illustrators. April 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  21. ^ "Fashion is universal expression of art'", The Pioneer, 2013-02-22, retrieved 2013-03-13
  22. ^ "Drawing Fashion", Dezeen, 2010-07-08, retrieved 2019-07-05
  23. ^ Bolton, Andrew (2013). Sui, Anna; White, Jack; Meisel, Steven (eds.). Anna Sui. Chronicle Books LLC (published May 7, 2013). p. 288. ISBN 978-1-4521-2859-7 – via Google Books.
  24. ^ Honig, Michelle (2016-06-15). "Fashion Illustrator Antonio Lopez Featured in New Exhibition". New York Observer. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  25. ^ Cotter, Holland (2016-06-16). "A Nuyorican Artist's Career Survey: Loud, Proud and Timely". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  26. ^ "Antonio Lopez - Instamatics" (Press release). Twin Palms Publishers. Autumn 2012.
  27. ^ Lopez, Antonio (1 January 2011). Antonio Lopez: Instamatics. OCLC 780038308.
  28. ^ a b "Review: Documentary 'Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco' captures wild times of influential illustrator". Los Angeles Times. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2020-01-22.

General references

External links[edit]