Illustrator Malika Favre has created a cover for The New Yorker’s spring style issue, inspired by Frida Kahlo’s colourful wardrobe and “iconic look”. The artwork, called Spring to Mind, features a woman with a flower-laced headdress on a background of flat flower and leaf shapes.
The illustration was used to introduce the fashion focus of the issue, which includes interviews with Louis Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh and gym wear brand Outdoor Voices.
In The New Yorker’s weekly article, Cover Story, Malika explains that the piece was inspired by Kahlo’s unique sense of style for the cover as well as the colours and forms she witnessed on a recent trip to Mexico City. “I wanted to retain the energy and vibrancy of [Kahlo’s] paintings and the strength of the woman herself, hence the looser strokes and the explosion of colour,” Malika explains. “This cover may be flamboyant, and it does use organic shapes, but it’s still in tune with my aesthetic approach. My work has a lot to do with colours and shapes, and this piece is another way to experiment with combining those things.”
In the interview, Malika also reveals that she once aspired to be a fashion designer herself: “Designing clothes was a childhood dream, but after working with a lot of fashion brands that dream wore off,” she tells the magazine. “I prefer wearing the clothes and keeping the magic intact.” Favre’s minimal colour palette has even inspired one fan to create a capsule wardrobe inspired by her work.
The piece is the seventh cover the London-based illustrator has designed for the magazine. Previous covers have included a two-colour illustration of Bob Dylan, a female figure sheltering under a huge umbrella and children drawing a hopscotch grid with zeros and ones for a feature on coding.