Ralph Lauren taught us that fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not even about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you. In that sense, fashion illustrator Annie Naranian has captured fashion’s very essence. Based in Toronto, she’s known for her playful, quirky, and oftentimes exaggerated illustrations.
According to Naranian, this “quirkiness” is very much intended and is meant to spark happiness in her audience. Through her work, she hopes others can experience a sense of joy in a world that often takes itself too seriously.
“Before I begin illustrating, my technical process begins with collecting images from Instagram, Pinterest, various fashion magazines, and Vogue.com,” she shared her creative process in an interview with I Love Illustration.
Her work, often digital, is created using an iPad (with software like Illustrator, Photoshop, Procreate). And when Naranian isn’t working digitally, you can find her testing out mediums like ink, pastel, acrylic, and watercolor.
The end result often portrays high fashion design by emphasizing the use of color in a way that captures the communicative nature of fashion (that extra something, something Lauren has referred to). Her stylistic versatility has also allowed her to work alongside reputable companies, with collaborations with brands as big as Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Reebok.
Naturally, Naranian’s inspiration comes from the fashion world, in all its versatility. “When I am not in the studio, you can find me getting lost in vintage clothing stores,” she shares. “My interest in vintage fashion can be seen reflected in my art, because I think much of contemporary fashion is indebted to what has come before it. And it is that very connection my art seeks to explore: the ways in which the methods of contemporary fashion are related to or are different from the techniques of the past.”