We were pretty excited when we discovered Joana Avillez’s illustrations of fashion’s top editors transformed into cartoon form for the online style website Refinery 29.


All perfectly re-imagined in their signature styles with a cheeky note explaining a fun fact, quote, or their title, Joana’s illustrations are a treat for the fashion savvy eye.

Anna Dello Russo is immortalised in her hyper-cherries headband; Anna Wintour in her eternal Chanel two-piece suit; Emmanuelle Alt pulls off a moody attitude and pin-like legs; Carine Roitfled gives a smoky eye that Avillez calls the “tired but sexy” look; Julia Sarr-Jamois is head to toe fur in an Alberta Ferreti blue shearling coat; Olivier Zahm gets his perpetual aviator amber-coloured shades; And Katie Grand a takeaway coffee and a mention of her rabbit Clara.


These illustrations offer a lighter and playful insight into fashion after drama-fuelled nature of fashion weeks gone by – need we mention Cathy Horyn and Heidi Slimane’s quarrels and Jalouse’s French editor Jennifer Eymere slapping Zac Posen’s PR? We caught up with Joana to ask her a few questions about her very fashiony scribbles.


Why did you start drawing fashion personalities?  

I have always been obsessed with eccentrics and people with outlandish style, and so the fashion personalities project came out of a desire to catalogue them.  I love how some people create a uniform — they feel most themselves in something that can be so particular.  A bowler hat just really does it for some people!

How did you get such a sharp vision of each of the characters you drew, did you meet every single one of them?  

No, unfortunately, I did not!  Usually when I am drawing, especially a very funny pose or facial expression, I like to get up and get into the pose myself.  Or I make the facial expression so I know how it feels. Some of these people you just see walking around New York; I see Grace Coddington around a lot for example. I think each is so unique that a very clear wardrobe pattern emerges just by looking at three pictures of them.

Where did you get the cute little anecdotes such as the Julia Sarr Jamois’s Halloween costume details or the fact that Anna Wintour was wearing her Chanel skirt suit with the zip open during her pregnancies?

The internet is full of surprises!

Which one of these characters is your favourite? Which one was the most difficult to draw?  

My favorites are Grace Coddington, Rei Kowakubo and Tavi Gevinson.  But I love so many things about each of them, for example Suzy Menkes’ hair flip or Daphne Guinness’ elaborate dressing that verges on contortion. The most difficult to draw was Anna Piaggi, that kind of arrangement was hard to translate.

Do you have any other cool fashiony projects in the pipeline?  

Yes! Refinery29 and I are creating T-shirts of many of the favorite fashion characters for Christmas 2012.  I have many other exciting things in the pipeline that I don’t think I should talk about yet, but stay tuned!

Which fashion insiders are next on your list?

Lynn Yaeger, Hamish Bowles and Karl Lagerfeld — finally! There are so many great dressers I’m not sure there will be an end.

Watch this space for Joana’s next cute to boot illustration.