Warhol you can wear – but will it be in vogue for more than 15 minutes?
Official cosmetics add to fragrance and clothing lines in Pop Art's fashion moment
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Thursday 22 March 2012
If everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes, as Andy Warhol said, they can make sure they look fabulous at the same time with the launch of a range of cosmetics dedicated to the Campbell's Soup Cans artist.
Pop Art fans can already smell like their idol after New York perfumer Bond No.9 launched a series of Warhol scents. Now, the New York foundation that manages the artist's estate has signed a licensing agreement with Nars Cosmetics to release a collection of branded make-up in the autumn.
The popularity of the artist, who died in 1987, continues to endure. Last week, Sotheby's announced it is to auction a life-size Double Elvis (Ferus Type) in New York this May and believes it could fetch up to $50m. The Andy Warhol Foundation is not shy to license the artist's images. His work can be found on everything from iPhone cases to skateboards, as well as Dom Perignon bottles, jewellery and clothing.
Francois Nars, the French make-up artist who founded the company in 1994, will personally create the range of products, after he secured permission from The Andy Warhol Foundation. Women's Wear Daily said it "is intended to evoke the cool, image-rich, character-laden world of Warhol in a limited edition collection".
This comes just weeks after rival cosmetics group Mac Cosmetics announced the launch of a line celebrating one of Warhol's most celebrated subjects. The 30-piece Marilyn Monroe range by Mac will arrive in October.
Warhol himself was never slow to advertise products, from Japanese electronics company TDK, to American airline Braniff with Sonny Liston, and described himself as "always a commercial artist". He began his career as a commercial illustrator, and once said: "Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art."
This is not the first collaboration between artists and the make-up industry. Cindy Sherman last year teamed up with Mac to create a limited edition collection. The Andy Warhol Foundation took over Warhol's copyrights and trademarks following the artist's death. Yet, it has run into problems over its licensing policy and is currently locked in a legal battle with some of the artist's former collaborators.
The Velvet Underground, whose surviving members include Lou Reed and John Cale, have filed a lawsuit over the foundation's decision to license the image on the cover of the band's debut album.
The Warhol-designed banana, with the artist's signature underneath, is "a symbol, truly an icon, of The Velvet Underground," lawyers for the partnership now representing the band, said. Warhol managed the group and nominally produced its debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico.
This week the foundation urged the judge to dismiss the suit saying the band had not identified any uses for the design.
Limited editions: Products with Warhol seal of approval
In 2010, the Andy Warhol Foundation licensed Alien Workshop to create limited edition skateboards. The designs included The Velvet Underground Banana and a Marilyn Monroe screen print.
Dom Perignon launched its own tribute to the artist in 2010, commissioning a bottle made in Warhol's style, the first time it has allowed the design to be changed.
In Philip Treacy's 2003 spring/summer collection, the models took to the catwalk with Warhol-inspired headwear. He has also produced a series of Warhol print bags.
Bond No 9 first created a branded perfume in 2007, dubbed Andy Warhol Silver Factory, and has gone on to produce six more. The latest one is dubbed Andy Warhol by Bond No 9.
Adidas released the Superstar II in 2005. The shoes referenced Warhol's Athlete Series of prints and included images such as basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
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