Lots of celebrities live in New York so it’s not unusual to spot one on the street. And when you do spot one, being a New Yorker and being super cool and jaded, you pretend you don’t care or notice and then quietly freak out to your friends over text, ‘OMG Pat Kiernan was in line in front of me at Trader Joe’s and he likes the dark chocolate lacy cookies too!!’ (because that would be mine).
But when it’s Karl Lagerfeld that you run into on the street, and when you are a serious fashion fan/artist who makes necklaces in Karl’s likeness, and you are wearing said necklace when you run into Karl on Prince St. and end up having an impromptu photo shoot with him, you freak out loudly. Like real loud. This is what happened to Victor-John Villanueva a few days ago.
During the day, Victor-John Villanueva, 34, is the art director for the New York City Opera. He’s also an artist with a serious passion for fashion whose work tends to incorporate fashion icons. You know those Perler beads that you ironed together to create coasters or whatever at camp? Vallanueva uses those beads to create giant pendants of fashion greats like Bill Cunningham, Anna Wintour, Andre Leon Talley and of course, Karl. “I love fashion and art,” Villanueva told us. “It’s an homage to that world as well as these ideas of pop art–celebrating celebrity and creativity.” (He has an Andy Warhol pendant too–check them all out here.)