A Moment with…Porter’s Fashion Illustrator & Insta Star Angelica Hicks

by Daniel Chivu

Twenty-two-year-old London-bred illustrator Angelica Hicks’ twisted-chic fashion illustrations have made her an Instagram star and landed her a gig with Porter magazine and a pow-wow with Amy Astley at Teen Vogue (set up through a direct message on Insta!). Hicks, who is the daughter of Ashley Hicks, the niece of India Hicks, and the granddaughter of the late legendary interior design icon David Hicks, sat down at Sant Ambreous in Soho to talk to The Daily about her Diana Vreeland obsession, the power of posting, and where to bowl in NYC.

When did you start to draw?
I was always encouraged to draw when I was younger. Growing up, most of my friends would play sports with their parents—ski, tennis, golf—this was all very foreign to me. My parents would encourage me and my sister to draw instead. On holiday we would all sit around a big table outside and we would all draw or paint. I’m so lucky that art was prioritized growing up and that I come from a creative background, as so many of my friends now shy away from painting because they were not really exposed to it in their youth. For many the pencil becomes a sort of oppressive force that they develop a fear of.

When did you decide to lampoon the fashion world?
During Fashion Week last FebruaryI noticed a niche in illustration. There were so many illustrators but none of them were really engaging with the comedic aspects of fashion. I decided to take advantage of this niche using the platform of Instagram to provide a comical commentary on Fashion Week.

Which fashion peeps are most fun to poke fun of?
My favorite fashion world fixtures to draw are really determined by the way in which their names can be manipulated and how easily they lend themselves to puns. A permanent fixture on my feed is Diana Vreeland, though, and that is because she has such a strong, interesting look to draw and she was such an incredible personality.

Fashion stars can have humongous egos. Has anyone been offended by a drawing?
Yes! A couple of times actually. One time I illustrated the place settings for a dinner honoring a brand and one of the women was very offended by her hair. She had brown hair with caramel highlights but apparently was in complete denial of the highlights so she exclaimed, “Never in my life have I had blonde in my hair!” the entire way through dinner. Those seated around her were quite bemused as her hair was indeed highlighted! Drawing people is tricky, though. Someone will always be offended by your interpretation of them.

How has Instagram helped your career?
Instagram has definitely helped my work insofar as it has enabled me to engage with people that I would not normally have access to. The chance that these high-profile figures might see your portrait of them is so great. Regardless of where you are, you are able to engage with people. I did a portrait of Amy Astley and posted it. She reposted it and then set it as her profile picture on Instagram. I noticed there was a cropping issue so I direct-messaged her the same portrait, modified, so that it would look better as her profile picture. She replied and suggested that I come into the Teen Vogue offices and see her during NYFW. This was my first blind date arranged through a direct message.

You recently did a project for Porter? Who else do you want to work with?
I would love to collaborate with a brand and put my drawings onto shirts or accessories. I think they would lend themselves so well to that. I would love to do something with Opening Ceremony—I really like their aesthetic.

Are you constantly drawing?
I draw whenever I can and wherever. One time my flight was delayed so I set up a makeshift workspace in the terminal at the airport waiting for my flight. People looked at me rather strangely as they were not accustomed to someone using watercolors while sprawled on the floor of the terminal. I am inspired by anything from billboards to conversations with friends to magazines. Most of my ideas just come to me. I suppose I subconsciously take in so much advertising just walking around that it then comes back to me in random flashes of inspiration.

How is Fashion Week in New York different from London?
I loved being in New York over Fashion Week as it was nice to see the difference between London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week. New York seemed to be more about the parties and the social media, whereas I feel like London is more about the young up and coming design talent. New York was much more celebrity aware than what I was used to in London, which was very interesting to see.

What are your hangouts in NYC?
Ruby’s for pasta, The Gutter for bowling—they have these amazing lanes from the ’70s that have been imported from Iowa—Paul’s Baby Grand for dancing, and a tiny karaoke bar in Chinatown called Asia Roma.

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