This month marked the five-year anniversary of the publication of one of our all-time favorite coffee table books. The tome in question: Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex & Disco.
The colorful monograph surrounds the career, fame, and friends of the late fashion illustrator, photographer, boundary-pusher and man-about-town; who, though perhaps less famous by name than his fashion-documenting contemporaries like Bill Cunningham and Andy Warhol, had just as great an impact on fashion, pop-culture, and the social milieu of the 1970s and '80s as either. (Hence: The book's foreword by Andre Leon Talley and epilogue by Anna Sui, the latter to whom Lopez served as a muse.)
An illustration done by Lopez for Interview
Lopez started his career doing stints at WWD and The New York Times, later became Vogue's go-to fashion illustrator, and worked simultaneously for houses like Missoni, Versace, Norma Kamali, and YSL, making him unquestionably the most renowned fashion illustrator of his time. But still, perhaps his biggest impact on fashion was in his role as a connector. Lopez is widely known to have introduced Bill Cunningham to David Montgomery, said to have given Cunningham his first camera; and he's also credited with discovering supermodels like Jerry Hall, Grace Jones, and Jessica Lange, and kept regular company with Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent.
The book is a showcase of both aspects of Lopez'z life: as a documentarian of the fashion world, and as a major part of it. If you're a fashionista or appreciate style in any of its forms, you'll want the book for your collection. As Anna Sui sums it up: "I’m from the generation that came to New York to meet their idols. In my case it was Andy Warhol and Antonio Lopez."