12 Fashion Illustrators Worth Following

Design Lists

In a non-stop digital world, there exists countless ways to experience the fashion industry firsthand, from watching runway shows live on Snapchat to catching up with the latest street style trends on Instagram. But after a while, that can be quite tedious and exactly what we would all hate to become—unnecessary. But fear not, there are fashion illustrators who capture new looks in entirely unique styles and supply us with a refreshing break from the blur of blogger-fueled #OOTD shots and identical front-row coverage.

While you might have heard the names of such illustrators as Julie Verhoeven or David Downton, the industry is buzzing with new artists who can put pen (or brush) to paper in order to capture the latest looks from an industry quite literally made for drawing. From the runway to the studio (and even the streets), these illustrators offer a stunning documentation of fashion at large through a variety of styles ranging from the ultra-fem brushstrokes of Katie Rodgers to the mesmerizing lines of Richard Haines’s natural pencil-on-paper technique—and prepare to follow them all.

1. Katie Rodgers

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A photo posted by Katie Rodgers (@paperfashion) on

Since launching her site, “Paper Fashion,” in 2009, New York City-based artist Katie Rodgers has been sharing her fantastical, ultra-fem drawings with a growing audience and the likes of Cartier, Christian Louboutin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, and the list could go on. Her style is marked with the use of soft watercolors and whimsical strokes, but you’ll definitely want to follow her if not only because of the way she constructs her signature ball gowns out of unconventional materials such as stones, paint blobs and crystals.

2. Megan-Ruth St. Clair Morgan

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Fresh from her final days at the London College of Fashion, the illustrator with all first names, Megan-Ruth St. Clair Morgan, is no new face to the fashion scenes in London, Paris and beyond. She’s been sketching live at runways for several seasons now, and her bold pen-and-watercolor technique has caught the attention of such magazines as Because, Hunger, The List and F Word. And with recent clients including Swarovski and Harrods, her work has spanned from the catwalk to advertising campaigns and even live-event sketching. Best yet, her Instagram (@MRSCMIllo) will keep you updated regularly with the drawings of this list’s youngest featured illustrator—and certainly one of the most promising!

3. Kristina Gedris

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Based in London, Kristina Gedris’ work draws on her experience as a visual artist. Her Instagram (@KristinaGedris) is filled with raw, unique illustrations and intimate photographs that perfectly showcase her point of view. Featured in such magazines as HERO, Volt and Dash, Gedris’ style can be described as youthful, underground, slightly gothic-cool and definitely graphic. You’ll notice her use of harsh colors and strong contrasts are not quite what you first think of when you think “fashion illustrator,” but it just really works for Gedris.

4. Richard Kilroy

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A rather big name in the fashion industry already, Richard Kilroy isn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill illustrator. His work may have graced publications around the world, but as a curator his limited-edition publication Decoy, which is created and edited by Kilroy himself, focuses on fashion illustration and the works of the field’s leading talents. As an illustrator, he recently collaborated with London’s top designers—from J.W. Anderson to Claire Barrow—on a Star Wars inspired project for charity. His style marries realism with suggested form for satisfyingly photographic artwork—and a graphite-filled Instagram worth a long browse.

5. Carly Kuhn

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What started as an extracurricular form of creative channeling, Carly Kuhn’s illustration made it big when Sarah Jessica Parker re-grammed her sketched portrait. Months later, Prada was asking Kuhn to illustrate their new Prada Raw Avenue eyewear campaign—and she hasn’t slowed down. Now her animated characters range from Lanvin models to remakes of celebrity photographs, and her constant interpretation of fashion is as unique and colorful as she is.

6. James Davison

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Like he’s done time and time again for clients including MAC cosmetics, Sibling and Dover Street Market, illustrator James Davison draws with a signature flair that binds rough sketchy lines with abstract vibrancy for a bold new look. Both graphic and fashionable, his fun illustrative style is a captivating approach to the runway, which he’s previously live-sketched for Wonderland Magazine. Though you shouldn’t be too surprised when you see a Disney-like penis sketch appearing on his Instagram once in a while, this London-based talent will keep you coming back for more with entertainment and illustration saturated feeds worth a double tap.

7. Poppy Waddilove

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Once described as a rising star in London’s art scene by Grazia Middle East, Poppy Waddilove combines her love for fashion with a passion for painting, resulting in an elegant (and sometimes rather minimalist) approach to fashion illustration. A regular at Fashion Week, she has sketched live from the runways of House of Holland and Jasper Conran, been featured on Net-a-Porter’s The Edit and Grazia and continues to build a client roster that includes several luxury interior goods and fashion brand. Her work is timeless in its approach to feminine elegance and captures the very movement of the female body. Outside of London, her creations have appeared in galleries around the world, in New York, Atlanta and Milan. And as if she’s not already busy as it is, her contract with IMG Models’ special talent board will surely guarantee that we have much to watch for in the future.

8. Meagan Morrison

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In 2010, New York-based Toronto-native Meagan Morrison launched “Travel Write Draw,” a platform where she illustrates her own travels around the world through a “fashion-art lens.” And while she has since gone on to partner with several leading fashion and travel brands, her particular flair has revolved around the same mission to fuse fashion illustration with jet-setting adventures. Morrison’s illustrations are feminine and colorful, while her photographs are 100% envy inducing; together, they’re an unbeatable mixture that has earned Morrison a substantial spot on this round-up of fashion illustrators worth following.

9. “Unskilled Worker”

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Simply referred to as “Unskilled Worker,” this unnamed self-taught artist has become one of Instagram’s latest hits. With a feed full of moody illustrations blurring the lines between social media craze and fine art, the Unskilled Worker’s creations evoke a certain Margaret Keane vibe and an entirely original approach to fashion illustration, where instinctive and emotional chaos balances and blends with imperfections and strong lines. Having captured the attention of several in the industry, including SHOWstudio and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, we’re bound to see more of this unconventional artist in the future.

10. Manjit Thapp

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A photo posted by Manjit (@manjitthapp) on

At the onset of what is sure to be a promising career, Manjit Thapp has already managed to do quite a lot. With Insta-perfect illustrations, her style is a mystifying balance between color and shapes and leaves much to be wanted, especially for her growing Instagram fan base. An illustrator in and outside of the fashion industry, her work consists of runway interpretations (from Balenciaga, Gucci and more) and more personalized creations, which she has turned into accessories, phone cases and stickers to be sold online. Having recently been featured by Dazed and Instagram, Thapp is proving to be quite the up-and-comer in the art and fashion scene—and we can’t wait to see more.

11. Gill Button

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A photo posted by GiLL BUTTON (@buttonfruit) on

A painter in the world of fashion illustration, Gill Button recently amassed an incredible social following after collaborating with Dries Van Noten on his Fall/Winter 2016 runway invites, during which she was filmed adorning with brushstrokes of watercolors. For many of her new fans, this partnership might have been a prime example of Button’s talents with watercolor technique, but only scroll down her Instagram (@ButtonFruit) and an even more technical side of the talented portrait artist will unfold.

12. Richard Haines

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Last but certainly not the least is Richard Haines. Once a designer for J. Crew, Calvin Klein, Perry Ellis and Bill Blass, the Brooklyn-based artist traded in his needles for a pencil and a notepad. Since then, he’s gone on to grace the pages of NY Times’ T Magazine, Paper Magazine, New York Magazine, GQ and many more. A reporter in illustrator form, Haines captures and documents life and forms as he sees it, whether its from the front row during Fashion Week or on a busy street in New York City. His popular blog, “What I Saw Today,” is a testament to the sort of archival approach he has toward sketching the every day trendsetters. With clients including Prada, Calvin Klein, Coach, Mr. Porter and J. Crew, Richard Haines is a tastemaker in the world of fashion illustration and an exemplary finale to this list of talented artists.

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