As a vehicle of creative expression, fashion is a powerful art form that often draws from neighbouring genres in its designs. Long before the Campbell’s soup cans, the Elizabeths, the Marilyns, and the Maos, there were shoes.
Andy Warhol loved to draw them—high heels, pumps, or jewelled stilettos. Many of them were blotted-line drawings, filled in with colour and created when the artist was a commercial fashion illustrator in 1950s New York. Warhol’s work demonstrates the close relationship between art and fashion. Elsewhere, deluxe prints designed by celebrated artists such as Takashi Murakami and Andrew Saravia for Louis Vuitton are examples of great partnerships.
Here are five inspiring visual artists who have made a huge impact via their collaborations with renowned fashion brands:
A prominent name in New York’s art scene, Harif Guzman, aka Haculla, is best known for his signature “Dark Ages” characters. His vibrant and provocative style builds on old masters in classical art. Guzman juxtaposes his signature street-art characters with iconic styles often depicted in old master paintings.
He’s explored the transition of art into fashion and collaborated with Ralph Lauren, Burton and Del Toro. In 2014, Haculla launched a hoodie collection with a goth/punk edge & graffiti character graphics.
Hailing from Los Angeles, Francis has been designing skateboard graphics since 1993 and designed the iconic anti-hero eagle logo. He blends political and satirical themes, paying homage to sport’s raw energy through narratives littered with underlying messages.
Francis has partnered on signature design projects with respected brands such as Vans, Stance, HUF, Oakley and Firestone Walker. His work has been featured in numerous skate art and culture magazines including Juxtapoz, Vice, Monster Children, Complex and Thrasher.
Inspired by images of models on runways and high fashion look books, Artillo blends fashion images with vibrant elements including renaissance art, architectural structures and photos of family members. He has collaborated with fashion brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Pepe Jeans, Harvey Nichols and Swarovski.
During 2018, he launched his feminist project “My Outer Woman” which gained international recognition. He has also been published in several publications such as Harpers Bazaar China, Citizen K Paris, Glamour Spain and Italy, Elle UK and Elle Mexico.
A French graffiti artist based in NYC, Gorey shifted towards fine art depicting a post-apocalyptic society. In 2013, he moved into design launching streetwear brand, Woolf NYC. Available only on www.jackthreads.com, Woolf brings the street flair to men’s wear with originality and dedication to details. Gorey has also collaborated with accessories label Druthers and streetwear mainstay HUF.
Melding ancient scriptures with calligraphy to present a unique visual language, Mestrovic’s work stands in a genre of its own. His father, a Yugoslavian expat and art enthusiast, introduced him to painting and calligraphy at an early age, exposing him to the languages and cultures that fuelled his output.
In 2014, the New York-based Argentinian artist presented at MoMA’s Armory Arts week. Mestrovic’s expertise in straddling the worlds of fashion and art resulted in collaborations with brands such as KENZO, Nike and Adore Japan, alongside recent works with Public School and ISAORA x Quicksilver.