Andy Warhol, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 6, 1928. He was the youngest of three children. As a child he suffered a neurological disorder called Sydenham Chorea. As the disorder often kept him at home he would engage in reading comic books and Hollywood magazines. Before attending high school Andy Warhol took Tam O’Shanter art classes conducted by Joseph Fitzpatrick at the Carnegie Institute. Later in 1945 he attended Carnegie institute of technology and graduated art school with a degree in pictorial design. He then moved to New York to pursue his career as a commercial artist. In the 1960s he moved his attention on to pop art, where his work was based on comics and advertisements.
Later, he cofounded a magazine called ‘Interview’ which focused on film, pop culture and fashion, this gave him access to many artists and stars.
Warhol produced TV shows and also published books such as, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (from A to B and Back Again) (1975) and Andy Warhol diaries (1989), which was a record of his daily life from 1976 to 1987.
On February 22, 1987 Andy Warhol died in the New York Hospital in Manhattan due to complications caused by a surgery. He was buried next to his parents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Before Andy Warhol made an influence to the fashion world, he illustrated adverts and articles for magazines like, Glamour, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. In 1962, when Warhol was contemplating on content to paint, he got suggestions to paint something that is easily identifiable such as ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’. Hence, he hand painted all 32 flavours of the soup cans and this was first exhibited at the Ferus Gallery, LA.
In 1984, Jean Charles de Castelbajac, was inspired by the paintings of the soup cans that he designed a soup can dress and included it in his Spring/Summer collection, this is when the era of fashion inspired by Andy Warhol began.
Many influential designers were inspired by Warhol and included his artwork in their designs.
In 1972, Halston, an American designer, was influenced by the flower paintings done by Warhol that he designed a dress based on it. He also asked Warhol to design his runway presentation at the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Awards. Even Versace, in his 1991 Spring/Summer collection, designed a jewel encrusted gown printed with a Warhol inspired artwork of Marilyn Monroe.
A Year after Warhol’s death, his friend and designer Stephen Sprouse, honoured him by designing a whole collection based on Warhol’s Camouflage prints.
Jeremy Scott, another designer, who was also highly inspired by Warhol and it can be clearly seen through his own work and what he has done for Moschino. For his Fall/Winter 2011 collection he designed a sequined dress with the classic Coca Cola logo on it. The idea of consumerism through fashion was born. Therefore, in the spring of 2013, Moschino designed a menswear collection where every element of clothing was covered with logos such as Budweiser and a detergent brand and Moschino’s fall 2014 womenswear, where clothing was designed based on the McDonalds logo. This was all inspired by Andy Warhol.
However, designers were not only inspired just by his artwork but also his own personal style. In his book, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), he stated, “A good plain look is my favourite look. If I didn’t want to look so ‘bad’, I would want to look ‘plain’. That would be my next choice.”
His style could be defined with plain long sleeve t-shirts with stripes or polo necks paired with jeans and Chelsea boots, he would accessorize with clear glasses with crystal frames or round horn rimmed sunglasses and his signature silver wig, in which he was rarely photographed without. Although, Warhol used a lot of colours in his work, his sense of style always included leather jackets and dark sunglasses.
In 2014, designer Peter Jensen created a resort collection in the memory of Andy Warhol, he used two models a man and a woman. The man replicated Warhol’s style with blazers, jeans, and sweaters, he also wore a silver wig and dark sunglasses. And the woman style matched the style of Paulette Goddard who was Warhol’s creative influence. Tom Ford’s spring 2016 collection involved models dressed in Warhol’s favourite style, which was stripped sweaters and leather jackets.
Overall, it may be said that Andy Warhol, a dominant character in the pop art movement and it can be said that the ingenuity in his artwork has inspired many highly influential designers and the sartorial world to utilize his artwork in their collections and to show consumerism.