SVA Students Reimagine Paul Stuart’s Classic ‘Man on the Fence’ Logo

February 6, 2014

Iconic clothing brand Paul Stuart, which celebrated its 75th anniversary last year, invited current MFA Illustration as Visual Essay students to re-conceptualize its 43-year-old logo, designed by illustrator J.C. Leyendecker. Students were asked to retain the man sitting on a fence, but were given the liberty to creatively update this image in illustrations to be exhibited in Paul Stuart window displays. The resulting illustrations place Leyendecker’s young man in such re-imagined settings as a subway bench, a fashion runway and the American Museum of Natural History, among others.

paul2The man himself is transformed in some of the works—in one as a silhouette comprised of an aerial view of bustling people, in another as a harrowed worker on

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his lunch break near the tracks, manifesto in hand, and in another, as a red-haired woman clad in the familiar men’s suit paired with red heels.

paul3“There is always the danger of losing your artistic voice when interpreting or reimagining another artist’s style,” says MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Chair Marshall Arisman of the department’s collaboration with Paul Stuart. “The end result is testimony that the individual artists can maintain personal integrity while referencing another artist’s work.”

paul425Though the project was originally conceived as a competition with only 10 winners, the Paul Stuart team was so impressed with the works submitted that they have chosen to display all of them in their New York and Chicago stores. Participating artists will be awarded with a scholarship from Paul Stuart. The window displays were installed in early January and will be on view in New York and Chicago stores through mid-February.

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