Antonio Lopez (illustrator)

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Antonio Lopez
Born (1943-02-11)February 11, 1943
Utuado, Puerto Rico
Died March 17, 1987(1987-03-17) (aged 44)
Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Education Fashion Institute of Technology
Known for Illustration

Antonio Lopez (February 11, 1943 – March 17, 1987) was a 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 High School of Art and Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. While attending the F.I.T. he began an internship at Women's Wear Daily which led to him leaving school and working at the publication. Shortly afterward he left for a position at the New York Times.[2]

Lopez worked in close collaboration with Juan Eugene Ramos.[2] He also did illustrations of fashion designs by Charles James.

In 1969 he moved to Paris along with Ramos and was an associate of Karl Lagerfeld; he stayed there until the mid-1970s.[1] Antonio discovered Jessica Lange in 1974.[3] He discovered Jerry Hall and lived with her in Paris at the beginning of her modeling career.[4][5] [6] Lopez and Ramos also discovered Grace Jones and Tina Chow.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

Personal life

His circle of friends also included the photographer Bill Cunningham;[5] circa 1966 Antonio introduced him to photographer David Montgomery, who gave Cunningham his first camera.[10]

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; he was attended by his friend and model Susan Baraz.[1][11]

His collaborator Juan Eugene Ramos survived until 1995, when he also died of AIDS.[7]


Lopez explored themes of queer desire and race in his art through cultural references to subjects such as Josephine Baker and The Wild One.[12]

Influence and legacy

Painter Paul Caranicas is president of the Antonio Lopez Foundation.[5]

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.[13]

Lopez' art and photography were exhibited at Staley-Wise Gallery in New York in March–April 2000.[14]

Designer Hannah MacGibbon cited Lopez as an inspiration for her Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear Collection for Chloé.[15]

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.[16]

Antonio's Tales from the Thousand & One Nights was an inspiration to fashion designer Suneet Varma's 2010 collection "The Pirates of Couture."[17]

His work is also included in the exhibit "Drawing Fashion" at the Design Museum in London, England, running November 17, 2010- March 6, 2011.[18]

Lopez was a major source of inspiration for fashion designer Anna Sui's Spring 2012 fashion collection.[19]

Students at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City request his name at the library more than any other.[4]


  • 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[20] Includes an interview of Antonio Lopez with Michael McKenzie, June 28, 1976[21]
  • Padilha, Roger; Padilha, Mauricio. Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex, and Disco (Rizzoli, 2012) ISBN 978-0847837922


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 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 Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Antonio Lopez & Juan Ramos, Smithsonian Institution, retrieved 2009-12-04<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Cunningham, Bill (1974-03-04), "There is a new kind of fashion model", Chicago Tribune, pp. B5, retrieved 2009-12-08<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kroll, Betsy (2004-09-14), "Artistic Renderings", Time, retrieved 2009-12-04<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Horyn, Cathy (2002-10-27), "The Picture Subjects Talk Back", New York Times, retrieved 2009-12-04<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Gross, Michael (2003-01-12), "Instamatic Karma", Daily News, retrieved 2009-12-11<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 Louie, Elaine (1995-11-04), "Juan E. Ramos, 53; Devised Concepts For Fashion Ads", New York Times, retrieved 2009-12-04<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Cunningham, Bill (2007-12-30), "On the Street: Unveiled", New York Times, retrieved 2009-12-08<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Nelson, Karin (September 2012), "Shooting Star", W<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Cunningham, Bill (October 27, 2002). "Bill on Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Simross, Lynn (1987-05-24), "13 Random Victims of an Indiscriminate Killer -- AIDS", Los Angeles Times, retrieved 2009-12-09<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Malagamba-Ansótegui, Amelia; Rivera-Servera, Ramón. "Critical Desires: Race and Sexuality in the Work of Antonio". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2009-12-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Who We Are". Focus on AIDS. Retrieved 2009-12-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Haden-Guest, Anthony (2000). "Disco Dreams". Artnet. Retrieved 2011-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Mower, Sarah (2009-03-11), "Chloé Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear Collection",, archived from the original on 24 January 2010, retrieved 2010-02-11 Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "The Line of Fashion: Curated by Robert Richards". Society of Illustrators. April 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Fashion is universal expression of art'", The Pioneer, 2013-02-22, retrieved 2013-03-13<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Drawing Fashion, Dexigner, 2010-07-08, retrieved 2010-07-08<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Bolton, Andrew (2013). Sui, Anna; White, Jack; Meisel, Steven (eds.). Anna Sui. Chronicle Books LLC (published May 7, 2013). p. 288. ISBN 1452128596 – via Google Books.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Antonio Lopez - Instamatics" (Press release). Twin Palms Publishers. Autumn 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Antonio Lopez: Instamatics Worldcat catalog record

External links