Andy Warhol - Fashion Accessories

According to Andy Warhol, “[f]ashion wasn’t what you wore someplace anymore; it was the whole reason for going.” Warhol expressed an interest in fashion from an early age – one of his early jobs in college was arranging window displays in department stores. “When you think about it, department stores are kind of like museums,” Warhol once said whole creating window displays at a department store, reflecting his obsession with clothes, accessories, and most importantly, how they influenced his work.

Many of Warhol’s early drawings related to fashion, including shoes, purses, necklaces, and gloves. His first job at Glamour Magazine in New York stemmed from commissioned work on shoes; Art-Directors from other publications came to learn of Warhol’s talent and thoroughly appreciated his style of painting. He then later revealed his talent for drawing other accessories – handbags, jewelry, perfume bottles and sunglasses.

Between 1954 and 1957, years of great success for Warhol, Esquire – a magazine tailored to men – commissioned him to illustrate the trends in male fashion and accessories at the time. For Esquire, Warhol displayed great flexibility, creating illustrations which were suitable and targeted the male audience. He did this by using cataloguing systems with drawings accompanied only by small amounts of specific information, and removing the use of males models. He simply represented clothes and accessories in black and white, with direct titles.

Between 1954 and 1961, Warhol’s work appeared sixty-nine times in Harper’s Bazar, the most prestigious fashion magazine, together with Vogue, for which he created extravagant and playful pages. In 1954, Warhol designed his first and only cover for the magazine. On it, a woman depicted wearing a long white dress, with four blue stars.