Growing up on Mercer Island, fashion illustrator Blair Breitenstein was inspired by artist Ruben Toledo’s campaigns for Nordstrom. “I remember looking at his Christmas shopping bags, and wishing my drawings could someday be printed like that,” Breitenstein says.
That someday came a few years ago when, thanks to her Tumblr and Instagram feeds, the 26-year-old’s illustrations captured the attention of West Coast beauty brands Julep Nails and Bare Escentuals. With a style she describes as spontaneous (she never uses a pencil or an eraser), Breitenstein’s expressionist, layered watercolor illustrations have been featured in high fashion campaigns for Prada, Coach and Saks Fifth Avenue. “I’m drawn to exaggeration in art,” she says. “Models like Daphne Groeneveld with huge lips or eyes, who the average person doesn’t look like…those are the types of girls I like to draw.”
Breitenstein’s high fashion illustrations
Currently living in Manhattan’s Gramercy neighborhood, Breitenstein will return to Seattle this month with art imitating her lifelong dream: The artist was selected to illustrate the 10th-anniversary campaign for Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection. “I’ve never been to Bellevue Fashion Week,” Breitenstein says “Being from Washington, and having the opportunity to be a part of this event, it’s really special.”