Who is Victor Hugo?
Victor Hugo was widely known as the boyfriend of legendary fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick. Hugo, born in 1942, was an artist and window dresser. Initially from Venezuela, Hugo went on to make a career for himself in America.
He became one of Andy Warhol’s assistants at The Factory – his New York studio. Hugo was heavily influenced by the American artist and is believed to have been the first window dresser to have introduced Pop art – the artistic movement Warhol was renowned for – into his designs.
Hugo was known for his wild and reckless behavior which was often encouraged by Halston even to his own detriment.
How old was Victor Hugo?
Victor Hugo was 53 years old at the time of death, 1993.
Halston and Victor Hugo
Iconic designer Halston may have had a career that was full of flamboyance and glamor, but when it came to his personal life it was rather bleak for a long period. The designer had a purely sexual relationship with Ed Austin an assistant buyer in the men’s-wear department of Alexander’s department store for about five years. But Austin never became a part of Halston’s inner circle. As reported by Vanity Fair, Austin says about his relationship with Halston, “He kept me hidden away from his friends. He wouldn’t take me out to dinner publicly. I still don’t know the reason for that, unless he was trying to protect his image.”
After this largely physical relationship ended, Halston reportedly began to use call boys. But what was simply an outlet to satisfy his physical needs, ended up morphing into love when one of the call boys Victor Hugo turned up at his door.
Hugo, a handsome 24-year-old student from Caracas, captivated Halston from the start and many claimed that Halston loved Hugo more than he loved himself. The two reportedly didn’t have a sexual relationship for three months after they met, saying what they shared was more a grand love affair than it was sexual. It was a dangerous kind of love, however, in which Halston often teetered on the edge of propriety for Hugo’s sake.
The artist met Halston in 1972 and the two began an on-off relationship – lasting for around a decade – with Hugo living in the fashion designer’s home. According to Vanity Fair, Peruchio Valls – one of Halston’s assistants – once said: “The person that Halston loved, more than his own life, was Victor.”
It is believed Halston had an affair with fellow fashion designer and married man Luiz Estevez during that time.
Victor Hugo Halston
According to biographer Steven Gaines who wrote the 1991 book ‘Simply Halston:
“The Untold Story’ on which the upcoming Netflix series is based, while the two definitely shared love, it wasn’t a romantic or tender kind of love. Gaines in an interview with Michael Musto says, “Victor was stealing stuff out of the house when Halston was dying. They had to lock him out of the house. But Halston liked being humiliated and having the shock value of having Victor around. It was a whole other side to Halston.”
Victor Hugo Designer
Hugo certainly had shock value. He would apparently show up at the legendary Studio 54 wearing a hose over his penis. Victor who replaced Halston’s former lover Steve Austin as a window dresser, reportedly once masturbated on Halston’s salon windows, which was noticed by passersby.
But in spite of or perhaps because of Hugo’s wild side, Halston and Hugo were in an off-and-on relationship for about a decade.
Victor Hugo Cause of Death
Towards the end of Halston’s life, however, it was family that proved to be the most comforting for the designer.
After the designer was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, he sold his East Side Manhattan townhouse and moved to California to be near his family which included his sister, Sue Watkins, and two brothers, Donald Edward Frowick and Robert Holmes Frowick.
While Halston died in March 1990 from AIDS-related complications, Hugo died just three years later in 1993.
Roy Halston Frowick Cause of Death
After being kicked out of designing for JC Penney, Halston began partying heavily and resorted to heavy drug usage that had some serious repercussions on the designer’s life. Steven Gaines, the author of ‘Simply Halston’, described some of the extravagant parties that the designer threw at his party pad in his book.
He compared spending time with Halston to being licked by a cat “At first it feels good, but then it begins to scratch.” “It was one of the most reckless, anything-goes moments in history,” wrote Gaines, whose book chronicles Halston’s exploits — from sex with male prostitutes (whom he’d serve steak as foreplay) to watching a Moroccan sex show that featured bestiality. “Being trash was venerated.
The trashier you could be, the more you could get laid, the more drugs you could take.”
In 1988, Halston tested positive for AIDS. Halston moved to San Francisco to be closer with his family as his health began deteriorating. He kept his AIDS diagnosis a secret and reportedly told only to the ones closest to him. He died at Pacific Medical Center of AIDS-related lung cancer. His niece, Leslie, was by his side when he died in 1990, at the age of 57.
She said, “He didn’t want people to feel sorry for him; he wanted them to remember him as this vital, healthy person. He was trying to just fade away gracefully.”