Flashback to the Golden Years of NYC with pop icon Dianne Brill

Pop icon Dianne Brill
Dianne Brill, Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat


I would like to invite you to a short visualisation exercise.

It is 1979 and you are in NYC at Studio 54. You have the best table in the house which you share with your friends, the coolest and influencing crowd of that time. You dress to assert your freedom, sexuality and independence – androgynous or sexy, anything goes. (Feel free to borrow inspiration from one of the pictures below)

Can you Picture yourself?

You rebel against the status-quo and what society told you to look like, to act like for so many years. Partying hard, all night long, and sometimes around the clock is your thing. Free to Be – you let go of your inner voice and embrace the Irrepressible and Unstoppable You! It is your time to shine through self-expression.

You rub shoulders with names that you could only imagine in your wildest dreams – Madonna, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat. How does it feel to be with people who completely reshaped art’s old perceptions and pioneered Pop-Culture?

The “Golden Age”

Most of us only know of the “Golden Age” through books, movies or art exhibits. Some lucky ones may have a relative or family friend who experienced it first hand and shared their personal tales, but chances are not that many.

Every era is marked by its own iconic figures who left an indelible imprint, inspiring generations to come. Not one era is better than another, however it seems that some are more compelling, and the 80’s and 90’s prove it!

Those years encapsulated a time of total decadence and excess where artists and “marginals” could find refuge and safety in their self-expression. The means didn’t matter as much as the end.


Over two years ago, I got introduced, in Zürich of all places, to a lady described to me as “New York City’s Queen of the night” and “Andy Warhol’s Muse”, the most unlikely personality to ever expect to meet in Switzerland! Needless to say my curiosity was enticed, big time! To meet a person who was part of a movement, a time period and a group which I can only imagine, was a dream come true! Those years defined many of today’s cultural norms and global views on art, style and even self promotion (i.e. selfies) and I could get a glimpse into that world from an insider!

We decided to meet at La Terrasse, her Go-To restaurant (far cry from NYC of the 80’s!). I was there a little early. A few minutes into me being there, walks in a bigger-than-life woman, tall, curvaceous, sexy with big blonde hair. She exuded sex appeal and confidence in each step she made. All eyes were on her and she loved it! And I loved it even more because she was there to meet me! Right away she handed me a gift bag filled with Dianne Brill cosmetics. I was in heaven 🙂

From the first minute we met, we both felt extremely comfortable and discussed very personal subjects. Interestingly enough, each time I attempted to bring up the topic which I thought I was there for, her life in the 80’s, she changed the subject and talked about other things which were important in her life at that time. Finally, she admitted to not being interested in re-visiting her past and was more eager to live the present and discuss her exciting creative future. Although I respected her choice, I couldn’t understand it because her past is part who she is today and with it comes stories and encounters which will never be replicated again. Moreover most of the protagonists from back then are sadly gone and she can be the voice reenacting some of the chapters of that period.

Fast forward two years and here we are at Photo 18, Halle 622, celebrating Dianne Brill’s exhibit “To the Future Through the Past” in which she showcased her life in the 80’s and 90’s alongside iconic figures like Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Annie Leibovitz to name a few.

I am truly delighted that she changed her mind and decided to share that part of her life with us!


“Dianne Brill was known as the Pop icon and head cheerleader for The FAB 500, an authentic conglomerate of A-list, creative young artists, writers, and club stars who turned New York night life into a beacon of originality.”

If you were at a party and Dianne Brill was there, you knew you were at the right party! – Andy Warhol

The exhibit, her first one ever, was spectacular showcasing hundreds of pictures, some never seen before, from her private collection, of her living the Life alongside her famous buddies.


This Pop Icon was more than a social figure. She served as the Muse for iconic artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring but also for fashion figures Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. She wrote a best-selling self-help book, and her famous hourglass figure (named Shape of the Decade after the Twiggy 60’s and cocaine thin 70’s) was used by mannequin manufacturer Adel Rootstien as display in all major department store windows and lingerie boutiques like Agent Provocateur. Today, she helps ladies get in touch with their Sexy self by giving us really fun and tested tips! Her videos capture her true essence – they’re fun, naughty and raw! 

What a story and what a legacy!

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