Donald Robertson (artist)

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Donald Robertson, (born March 7, 1962) is an artist and a creative director for Esteé Lauder Companies.

Early life[edit]

Robertson was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He moved to New York in the early 90s and after settling down in Larchmont, has recently relocated to Santa Barbara in the neighbourhood of Montecito.



In the 1980s, Robertson attended the Ontario College of Art and Design. He did not complete his education there as he was asked to leave due to his disregard of realism, drawing people "longer and skinnier than they were."[1]

When MAC Cosmetics launched in 1984, Robertson assisted with creative direction.[2] In 1991, Robertson moved to New York City and worked at Hearst Communications where he launched Marie Claire magazine in 1993. He then redesigned Cosmopolitan (magazine) with editor Bonnie Fuller. Donald then moved to Condé Nast where he worked with James Truman and S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications on Glamour (magazine) and Cargo.[2][3] After Esteé Lauder Companies acquired MAC Cosmetics in 1998, Robertson continued to work with the brand, helping create the MAC Viva Glam line in 1994.[3] 100% of the MAC Viva Glam line's profits benefit the MAC AIDS Fund.[3]

In 2007, Donald started as a creative director at Esteé Lauder Companies.[3] His recent work includes projects for Smashbox, Bobbi Brown, and Bergdorf Goodman.[4] In August 2016, Amber Rose and creative director Robertson launch Flirt Cosmetics, a direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand.[5]

In 2014 Robertson completed an artist-in-residency at Eric Firestone Gallery

He then joined Instagram and began to call himself " Donald Drawbertson", posting all of his work to all of his followers. He joined Instagram in December 2012 with a massine 206,000 followers. [6]


Over the years, Robertson has collaborated with various charities, brands and companies. In 2014, Robertson partnered with ASPCA, designing products whose profits benefit the foundation.[7] In 2015 he returned to work with the company again on their Save the Bees campaign, creating T-shirts that helped raise money for UK organization Buglife.[2] Robertson's most recent charity collaboration was in 2016 with Bloomingdales, designing a sweater of which a portion of profits benefitted the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.[8]

In 2014, Robertson partnered with J. Crew to create a line of graphic T-shirts.[9] That same year, Robertson collaborated with fashion designer Giles Deacon of Giles Deacon Couture, creating a flamingo motif for the Giles Resort '15 collection.[10] This was an addition to his work on the Giles S/S '14 collection of which he designed its signature lip motif.[10] Robertson also got the opportunity to collaborate on an art event at the famous French boutique Colette.[11]

In 2015, Robertson collaborated with a New York-based retail shop STORY on its 26th installation.[12] Aside from Robertson's art, products featuring his designs included those by Canada Goose, Warby Parker, S'well Bottle, and Smashbox Cosmetics, amongst many others.[13][14] In November of the following year, Robertson launched a capsule collection with Junk Food Clothing Co., which featured a range of women's long and short sleeved T-shirts, tank tops, and baseball shirts, as well as, men's T-shirts and children's T-shirts and onesies.[15]


In August 2015, Robertson published and released his first children's book Mitford at the Fashion Zoo, which follows Mitford the giraffe on his adventures at COVER magazine in the New York City fashion industry, what Robertson dubs the zoo.[16] The books North American launch was held at Hot Renfrew In January(2017), Robertson follows up his first book with Mitford at the Hollywood Zoo, which documents the Mitford's experience at the Academy Zoowards.[17]

In September 2017 Donald published Donald: The Book with Assouline Publishing. Donald: The Book features many pieces from his collection and "playful anecdotes and quotes from industry leaders, fashion designers, and his many collaborators and muses." [18]


Robertson posts pieces of his art which often depict satirical fashion scenes and events.[19] Robertson's Instagram page has gained a substantial following of over 188,000 people and been recognized by celebrities like Beyonce. In 2014, Robertson was recognized by the CFDA and was nominated for "Instagrammer of the Year."[20][better source needed]


  1. ^ Callahan, Maureen. "How Donald Robertson Went from Art-School Failure to Fashion's Favorite Artist". Vanities. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  2. ^ a b c "Dubbed the 'Andy Warhol of Instagram,' this Toronto native's illustrations are making a difference". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  3. ^ a b c d "Donald Robertson, Creative 'Wacky Warrior'". The Business of Fashion. 2015-08-10. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  4. ^ Callahan, Maureen. "How Donald Robertson Went from Art-School Failure to Fashion's Favorite Artist". Vanities. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  5. ^ Strugatz, Rachel (2016-08-15). "Amber Rose, Donald Robertson Flirt With ELC". WWD. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  6. ^ "Donald Robertson". Eric Firestone Gallery. 2014-06-12. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  7. ^ "Meet the Fashion World's Favorite Illustrator". Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  8. ^ "Give Pink, Get More – Breast Cancer Awarenes". Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  9. ^ "Studio Tour: Donald Robertson™- Read more at our blog". J.Crew Blog. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  10. ^ a b "Meet Mr Drawbertson | Studio | Giles Deacon". Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  11. ^ "The Daily Davis: Donald Robertson x Colette - Daily Front Row". Daily Front Row. 2014-10-10. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  12. ^ Williamson, Sue. "Donald Robertson Tells His STORY". W Magazine. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  13. ^ "[READ] Our New STORY Is...Donald - STORY". STORY. 2015-08-09. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  14. ^ "Cool Collab: Canada Goose x Donald Robertson". The Kit. 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  15. ^ Hamanaka, Kari (2016-10-31). "Junk Food, Donald Robertson to Launch Capsule". WWD. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  16. ^ Inc., Indigo Books & Music,. "Mitford At The Fashion Zoo, Book by Donald Robertson (Hardcover) |". Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  17. ^ Inc., Indigo Books & Music,. "Mitford At The Hollywood Zoo, Book by Donald Robertson (Hardcover) |". Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  18. ^ "Donald: The Book". Assouline. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  19. ^ "For the Love of Drawing: At Home with Donald Robertson". SCENE Magazine - Fashion, Interior Design, Luxury, Social Events in New York and beyond. 2014-04-02. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  20. ^ "About". DONALD ROBERTSON. Retrieved 2017-03-20.