In the late ’60s, a nightlife-loving New York City artist was not just making era-defining images but creating superstars. He cultivated an entourage of young and beautiful people and catapulted them and himself to fame. You’d be forgiven for identifying the artist as Andy Warhol, but he wasn’t the only one hanging out at Max’s Kansas City with a glamorous entourage. In fact, when Andy was at Max’s, he surely saw the charismatic fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez surrounded by a gang of models and muses like Jane Forth, Pat Cleveland, Donna Jordan, and later, Jerry Hall. All would eventually appear in Warhol’s universe—he cast Jordan and Forth in his film L’Amour (1973), co-starring Karl Lagerfeld. But it was Lopez who discovered these beauties and immortalized them in his graphic, lifestyle-driven advertisements and editorials for publications like Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Times, and of course, Interview.
Corey Tippin makeup artist and model
“Everyone imitated his style because it was so distinct and so of the moment,” says Corey Tippin, who as a teenager joined the Lopez band as a makeup artist and model. “His work was such a fashion barometer.”
“Everybody fell in love with him,” says Tippin. “Creative people who give you that much attention have a lot of power.”
Donna Jordan wasn’t very interested in becoming a model, but Antonio saw something special in her. Together with Juan, Antonio bleached Donna’s hair and eyebrows and a new model was ‘born’. “Antonio was magical,” says model Donna Jordan. “When I first met him in 1967, he was coming down the steps to Bethesda Fountain, in Central Park, dressed in a red suit. He was quite a vision.”
For W magazine September 2010 Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott photographed Lara stone as Donna Jordan
Jerry Hall became Antonio’s perfect muse. Jerry was sixteen years old when she arrived (from Texas) in Paris. She was an Antonio drawing come to life-or was soon to become one. Antonio felt her face was to pudgy and she had to lose weight. Antonio had a sort of Pygmalion effect on Jerry, seeing possibilities of what she could become and illustrated her in this way. He chiseled her face, arched her eyebrows and deepened her eyesocks, eerily predicting what she would look like a few years later when she became world’s most sought-after model.
Jerry moved in with Antonio and Juan and pleaded Antonio to be her boyfriend. Curiously he accepted and they became a couple and even engaged. For him it was more strategic than romantic. Corey Tippin: “I think a little bit of it had to do with Antonio transforming these girls and suddenly every designer in the world is using his image. I think he tried to hold on to Jerry as much as possible.” The engagement only lasted a few months. Jerry and Antonio continued working together, but their Svengali-muse relationship definitely ended by 1977.
There were many, many other ‘Antonio’s Girls’, like Pat Cleveland, Paloma Picasso, Tina Chow, Jessica Lange, Loulou de la Falaise and Marisa Berenson
MAC cosmetics campaign
The next big MAC cosmetics campaign will be makeup thematically inspired by Mr. Lopez’s illustrations and by the rare birds he surrounded himself with, drew and photographed — and whose images he substantially helped create. A pencil and watercolor portrait by Mr. Lopez of model Maria Snyder from 1983 that will be used as part of MAC cosmetics’ campaign
Anna Sui S/S 2012 Inspired by Antonio
“Things are obviously a lot different now,” the designer Anna Sui said. “It’s not about fabulous anymore. It’s about having 500 friends on Facebook and the same American Apparel outfit to wear to a festival. It was kind of the opposite then. Freak was the preferred genre.” Thus anyone with the slightest interest in becoming a fabulous freak made a beeline for Mr. Lopez’s studio.
Antonio Lopez; Fashion, Art, Sex & Disco
The book is filled with a great collection of drawings and photographs by Antonio and through reading the story you can imagen how exciting those decades were…