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Doug Abraham

Artist, BessNYC4

Known for his counter-cultural collages on Instagram, the iconoclastic image-maker now works for the likes of Adidas, Dior and Givenchy.


Instagram artist Doug Abraham, better known as Bessnyc4, quickly gained a cult following through his re-appropriation of iconic fashion campaigns. In just a few years, his aesthetic has led him to work with high-profile clients such as Adidas, Dior and Barney's New York.

Having studied sculpture in San Francisco, Abraham relocated to New York in 1994 to enrol at Hunter College, where he studied combined media. As a way of paying off his student loans, Abraham began creating show jewellery for designers like Anna Sui and Alexander McQueen. In 2000, Abraham began designing his own fine jewellery line, Bess.

In 2002, Bess opened a physical store in the former location of Keith Haring’s Pop Shop in Soho, New York. In 2008, Abraham expanded the line to include apparel, which was immediately picked up by Barneys New York. Abraham and his team first looked to Instagram to create his now-famous images to accompany the launch of the apparel brand. In 2014, his work was recognised by the CFDA through its Award for Fashion Instagrammer of the Year. Abraham has seen his account, @bessnyc4, disabled by Instagram on several occasions due to violation of community guidelines.

Further to his work on Instagram, Abraham has been hired to do commercial work for a slew of brands. In 2015, he was recruited by Barney's New York to create imagery for Givenchy's Spring/Summer 2016 lookbook. For  Marc Jacobs 's Spring/Summer 2016 runway collection, he was commissioned to rework old cinema imagery to create the 'Screaming Lady' print, which became a prominent piece in the collection. In 2016, Abraham collaborated with Adidas for their campaign to relaunch the classic 'Gazelle' sneaker, in which he reinvented an iconic image of a young  Kate Moss  shot in the early 1990s. Other commercial clients of his include Courrèges and  Calvin Klein .

Abraham is represented by Creative & Partners and lives in Rockaway, New York with his wife and three children.

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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.