Antonio Lopez was a highly successful fashion illustrator. He was born in Utuado, Puerto Rico in 1943, and moved with his parents to New York, specifically to the Hispanic part of Harlem, in 1950.
Since he was little, Antonio showed talent for drawing and his mother, who was a seamstress, encouraged him to get involved with fashion. He joined the High School of Art and Design, a high school in New York dedicated to the artistic production of its students, and, in the early 1960s, he enrolled in FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). There he met Juan Ramos, who became his partner and collaborator. He gained attention as a fashion illustrator for the first time by participating in a project between FIT and the Women’s Wear Daily, a respected fashion journal. Because of the success of this project, he dropped out of college and went to work for the WWD.
In 1963, he left the WWD and went to work for The New York Times. Soon he was doing freelance work for major magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, the English Vogue and the French Elle. At that time, he started doing work for the fashion designer Charles James.
In 1969, Antonio and his companion Juan moved to designer Karl Lagerfeld’s apartment in Paris. There, he quickly responded to a request by Andy Warhol to make illustrations for Warhol’s Interview magazine.
It was Lopez who discovered models Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange. And along with Ramos, he also introduced Grace Jones and Tina Chow to the world.
In 1975, Antonio and Juan returned to New York and opened a studio on Broadway and, three years later, moved to Union Square West. In 1981, he started working with Anna Piaggi for Vanity magazine, and his self-portrait was the cover of the magazine’s first issue in September of the same year.
He was acquainted to fashion personalities from all walks of life, such as photographers, models, designers and artists who were in vogue. At the time, he worked for several brands. His works were made in watercolor in such a way that the clothes and accessories were very well represented.
Antonio died in Los Angeles in 1981 due to AIDS-related complications.
You can check an interesting video with testimonials from Antonio himself bellow:
Bibliography: Allan, Georgina O’Hara; Enciclopédia da Moda: De 1840 À Década de 90: Companhia das Letras, 2010.