Francesco Lo Iacono: “It is important to be able to stay true to yourself”

December 29, 2015  00:15  |  Let’s talk

Francesco Lo Iacono

Illustrations by Francesco Lo Iacono. J.W.Anderson

“I am very self-critical” – says Italian fashion illustrator Francesco Lo Iacono, born in Florence but living in Paris for three years now. Unlike the majority of illustrators, Francesco use watercolor and believes that is what makes him stand out in the world if illustration. However, he admits of always thinking that he could have done better, which makes him constantly develop his skills and strive for more.

After travelling through Europe and spending a few years exploring Japan, Francesco decided to settle in Paris. “You probably won’t even ask why! Paris is perfect to create beauty. Stylish citizens, dozens of art galleries, fashion weeks… It may sound simple, but anything can inspire me: music, fashion shows, strangers in the streets. And yes, I buy tones of magazines each month!” (Laughing)

Francesco admits he has never thought fashion is ever going to become a part of his life: “My interest in fashion was primarily as a photographer, but I used to draw since I was a child. Later I attended the Fine Arts at Ecole des Beaux in Paris and used to paint a lot. So I did not really have a proper fashion education, however, I did an internship in the fashion industry! The Trend Forecasting agency Nelly Rodi invited me to work with their women’s “ready-to-wear” and that was definitely a fulfilling experience. That was the point when I began to consider fashion as a perfect match of my interests. Currently I work as a freelance fashion illustrator and photographer – and I do not think I can choose here. Both of these fields of art are equivalent ways of expression to me.  Recently I have been working as an illustrator and not long time ago I used to work more as a photographer – I guess it all depends on the project and the way I feel. When the first fashion magazines came out, fashion illustration was the only way to fill them and photography came later. Even if fashion photography is now more popular I see them as equally complementing each other.”

Marc Jacobs by Francesco Lo Iacono

Marc Jacobs by Francesco Lo Iacono

When asked about the highlights of his career so far, Francesco admits he is proud of all his projects because they help him growing as an artist and they create great opportunities to challenge himself. However, there is a project, he is most proud of. “It was at 2014 when H&M Canada picked my illustration to celebrate their collaboration with Alexander Wang. That was one of the year’s most-hyped events in fashion so an open call for illustrators was organized by an amazing team of Draw A Dot website. I succeeded to get an opportunity to share my vision of H&M+AW partnership!”

Alexander Wang for H&M by Francesco Lo Iacono

Alexander Wang for H&M by Francesco Lo Iacono

Fashion Week is always the busiest time of the year for a talented Italian, he usually works as an illustrator and a photographer. Still, Francesco does not try to judge whether it is easier to draw from a picture or from a live model: “Each way is different and requires a different kind of technique. It is vital to have instant reaction and great attention to details while drawing during the fashion week! This huge event becomes an opportunity to have my skills challenged each year. Of course, there are some designers whose work I highly appreciate and dream of collaborating with: J.W.Anderson, Jacquemus, Alessandro Michele. I would name Vivienne Westwood as my icon – I admire her for being able to stay true to herself through all these years.“

Fashion Week by Francesco Lo Iacono

Fashion Week by Francesco Lo Iacono

Gucci by Francesco Lo Iacono

Gucci by Francesco Lo Iacono

Proenza Schouler by Francesco Lo Iacono

Proenza Schouler by Francesco Lo Iacono

Francesco admits he does not really have a typical daily routine: “Of course, I spend a lot of time at my desk drawing or correcting the pictures at my laptop. Even when I am on vacation, I stay in touch with different magazines and clients, as I always have emails to respond to or pending projects to work on. Fashion is not a job for me, fashion is my life!”

This article was originally published on SwO street Nr. 19 issue.

Francesco Lo Iacono on SwO street Nr. 19

Francesco Lo Iacono on SwO street Nr. 19


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