Known for her strong voice and bravery, Frida’s activism and feminism pushed boundaries and pioneered new forms of art through her authentic depictions of Mexican culture and the female experience.
At the age of six, Kahlo contracted polio and quickly became familiar with the awkwardness of a weakened, growing body. But, following a near fatal bus accident at 18, she sustained a range of further injuries – including a broken spinal column, collarbone, ribs and pelvis. A metal rail also pierced her abdomen, which caused her to be infertile, something that was well documented in her paintings. Her physical condition profoundly shaped her life, yet, it was something that she used to continually empower her work, making her a phenomenal figure within the disabled community.
Her ideas surrounding sexuality also wove themselves into her art in various ways and led her to explore themes of sexual pleasure and her tumultuous relationship with her husband, Diego Rivera. Despite having two husbands, she identified as queer, and her modern attitudes towards sexuality and her ability to explore them within her life and work solidified her status as an icon in the LGBTQ+ community.
Her extraordinary exploration in self-portraiture is testament to the fact that Kahlo considered her image on precisely her own terms – celebrating her own style and features: her Mexican identity of which she was immensely proud of, her upper lip hair, and that striking unibrow.
A flamboyant and politically motivated dresser, she championed Mexican dress (notably the embroidered, floral headpiece) and rejected European beauty standards.
The image she curated and created of herself has become so ubiquitous – printed on everything from fridge magnets and badges to shoes and T-shirts – that it’s easy to lose sight of just how radical she was.
But, despite having died 66 years ago (on 15 July 1954) her legacy lives on, and her work continues to inspire from beyond the grave thanks to her surrealist art and activism.
And with the 6 July 2020 marking what would have been her 113th birthday, we’ve rounded up our favourite Frida-inspired gifts that any fan would love.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Laurence King Publishing the world of Frida Kahlo jigsaw puzzle: £14.99, John Lewis & Partners
This 1000 piece puzzle is the perfect present for any Frida fan, it tells the story of her life, art, and career, as well as including family, famous friends, and a bustling Mexican theme. Once completed, put it in a frame and display in on a blank wall at home.
Rocket & Rose fierce like Frida embroideredT-shirt: £24.99, Not On The High Street
We absolutely love this fierce like Frida T-shirt. Coming in either black or white, and a full range of sizes, it’s the perfect piece for an off-duty look. Plus, it’s made from 100 per cent cotton, so it will be kind to your skin.
Redcandy Frida body shaped vase: £17, Redcandy
With houseplants proven to boost your mood, as well as improve your indoor space, display your greenery in this bold and colourful vase. Complete your collection with the matching hanging planter (Redcandy, £10) and mug (Redcandy, £12).
UKPosters bag Frida Kahlo: £14.99, UKPosters
For the reusable bag lovers among us, this tote inspired by Frida’s US Vogue cover in October 1937 is the one for you. Score extra eco points by buying the matching reusable coffee cup (UKPosters, £12.99).
Ded Pop Frida Kahlo homage phone case: £25, YIWI
Carry a little bit of Frida with you wherever you go with this eye catching phone case. Produced from 100 per cent recycled materials and featuring an impact resistant outer shell, it not only provides a statement, it’s totally protective too.
Passionately Curiouss Frida Kahlo necklace: £6, Etsy
This necklace features a quirky Frida Kahlo design and is a great way to boost your accessories game. The perfect affordable item to gift to a loved one or buy for yourself. Layer with other necklaces for an on trend look.
Desenio Frida floral 1: From £8.95, Desenio
Give your blank walls an update with this bold and colourful floral graphic; perfect when displayed alone, or mix and match with other prints to create an Instagram-worthy gallery wall.
Niaski Frida catlo cat artist enamel pin: £7.50, Etsy
Inspired by the work of Kahlo, this pin badge would make the ideal gift for cat and art lover alike. A colourful edition to a T-shirt, coat or bag, it’s a subtle way to show your love for Frida.
‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’ by Claire Wilcox and Circe Henestrosa, published by Harry N. Abrams: £35, V&A
This book offers a fresh perspective on the life story of this extraordinary artist, whose charisma and powerful sense of style continues to captivate today. Never before seen, specially commissioned photography, shows her distinctive Mexican outfits and self-portraits. Included within the books is size inset booklets, containing photographs of Kahlo’s intimate belongings, a 16-page section showcasing Kahlo’s wardrobe, and so much more. Well worth a read if you’re fascinated by Kahlo’s recently rediscovered personal possessions.
PrezzyBox Frida Kahlo cushion: £19.99, PrezzyBox
Add a splash of colour to your home with this boho chic cushion. The pom pom edge is a great touch too – safe to say, we’re obsessed.
The Zero Wate Maker reusable cotton pads: From £6.02, Etsy
There’s no better way to replace single-use make-up wipes and cotton pads than with these reusable alternatives. Made from 100 per cent cotton, make these the next addition to your beauty cupboard.