Francesco LO IACONO, is an Italian Illustrator and photographer based in Paris. I’m particulary stuck on his fashion illustrations. Francesco already collaborated with several magazine like Grey Magazine or DASH Magazine.
KALTBLUT: Who are you and where are you from?
Francesco: I’m an Italian fashion illustrator and photographer. I travelled quite a lot, mostly in Europe or Japan and about three years ago I moved to Paris.
KALTBLUT: Why did you move to Paris?
Francesco: Reasons were both personal and professional. I simply wanted a change in my life, I guess, and I’ve always wanted to live in Paris, so I decided to give it a try.
KALTBLUT: How did you come to fashion illustration?
Francesco: I think it was pretty natural. I have memories of me sketching since I was a child, then as a young man, I attended the Fine Arts so I started painting, mostly acrylic and oil and I used to sketch with watercolour. At some point, when my interest in fashion started to grow, it seemed so natural to start illustrating fashion. I then created an online shop where canvas tote bag illustrated by me were available, and later first commissions as a fashion illustrator started coming.
KALTBLUT: Who is inspiring you these days?
Francesco: Fashion shows, music videos, art exhibitions, but above all I guess fashion magazines editorials constantly inspire me. I buy tons of magazines each month.
KALTBLUT: Who is your favourite fashion designer and why?
Francesco: Vivienne Westwood has been my favourite fashion designer for a long time. It was like my first love, mostly because when I was young I was into punk culture and so on. So Vivienne Westwood always had a special place in my heart. I’m currently reading her biography and it is such a pleasure. I feel like I know her, even if it is not. I think I love her because somehow she always stayed true to herself during all these years. So, I think I can say I not only appreciate her as a fashion designer and creative mind. Lately I’ve been also very fond of J.W. Anderson work, pure genius.
KALTBLUT: You also do fashion photography. Do you do your iIlustration based on the photography that you make?
Francesco: Yes, it happens. Not often but it can happen. Maybe just as a first inspiration, like for the pose or so.
KALTBLUT: Did you first start as a photographer or an illustrator?
Francesco:As I said I started drawing and sketching since I was a child, so I think I must say photography came later. But photography helped me approaching fashion.
KALTBLUT: How does your photographer side influence your illustrator side?
Francesco: I think they both make me what I am as a person and as an artist. I think I need both to express myself. I couldn’t think of giving up on one of them.
KALTBLUT: What’s your favourite part about living in Paris?
Francesco: Paris is just wonderful. I think I like that there’s a lot going on here for an artist or just a human being. I’ve surely learnt a lot here. I enjoy a lot visiting exhibitions and galleries. They keep me inspired. And of coure I love when it’s time for Paris Fashion Week.
KALTBLUT; Your favourite adresse in the capital?
Francesco: I think my favourite spot in Paris is the Centre Pompidou, I’ve always felt a very special vibe when I’m in, and I love just being there. On a more commercial side I also have a list of favourite clothes shops and restaurants here in Paris, but there’s still so much to see and discover!
Interview by Nicolas Simoneau