The subject of a new documentary, Sex, Fashion and Disco, Lopez was best friends with Karl Lagerfeld, advocated diversity long before woke-ness was in fashion – and had dance moves that can only be described as legendary
There can’t be many fashion illustrators who can count Jessica Lange, Grace Jones and Karl Lagerfeld as their BFFs, and Jerry Hall as their one-time bae. But Antonio Lopez was special – as the new film, Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex, Fashion and Disco testifies.
An illustrator who started out in the mid-60s (when he dropped out of college to work for Women’s Wear Daily), the Puerto Rican-born artist bucked the trend for photography as the dominant medium in fashion media. This was through sheer talent. In his work for the New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, the whooshes of his lines, movement of his drawings and the confident, sexy poses of the models he depicted gave illustration a reboot. It went from an old-fashioned curiosity to a Technicolor world that everyone wanted to occupy, populated by a glamorous cast of “Antonio girls”. Speaking in the film, the former editor of French Vogue Joan Juliet Buck says the illustrator convinced her the “ideal life is lived through a line drawing”.