Abstract: Illustration in Fashion Publications and Retail Store Advertising in America: The Artist behind the Look and the Resurrection of the Fashion Illustrator

Cynthia Golembuski


Fashion illustration has had an extensive, yet tenuous, relationship with publications and clothing stores' commercial advertising throughout its history. In this essay, I explore the role of illustration in promoting retail stores and the evolution of artists who have combined simple media and modern technology to create unique advertising campaigns. I examine the styles and significance of illustrators J. C. Leyendecker, Andy Warhol, Antonio Lopez, Kenneth Block, Steven Stipelman, Mats Gustafson, and Jean-Philippe Delhomme. In 2008, artist-illustrator Ruben Toledo and photographer Ruven Afanador's three-dimensional vision for retailer Nordstrom's advertising campaign took fashion illustration to a new level. Illustrators Jason Brooks, Lisa Henderling, and Lisa Evans use digital technology to conjure visually stimulating campaigns for publications and retail store advertising. Ultimately, the epitome of fashion illustration in retailers' advertising can be realized when artists, no longer just illustrators, experiment with media, collaborate, and transform their styles into a commodity that transcends the status quo.

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