ANDREA GROSSI – HW INTERVIEW
HW INTERVIEW BY VALENTINA MAZZOTTA FROM HW TEAM, WITH ANDREA GROSSI
HW: What did you want to be when you grew up?
AG: When I was a child I had a great passion for comics, cartoons, video games, I drew a lot and created my own characters. I liked to fantasize a world of imaginary and parallel realities. Especially as a child this creative space fascinated me a lot, in fact, not having brothers I was looking for a fun valve.
This passion of mine led me to attend the graphic design high school and then I realized what was the address for me: fashion design. And from here everything was born.
HW:Talk to us a little bit about your project and how you got started…
AG: Everything I did started during my schooling at Polimoda in Florence. One of the most important opportunities I had was to participate in the Hyères festival thanks to the winning of a scholarship provided by my university. My collections were born in this environment. Now I’m trying to carry on this project, which is called, Andrea Grossi, working on a new collection.
The garments I made when I was a student were very experimental, now I think it’s time to take the next step and understand how to bring these garments to the consumer, but above all to give importance to all the research on sustainability, which is one of the most important parts that I did, and how to have these solutions in clothing that is ready to wear.
Turning all these things to the reality of the facts I think is the most important part.
HW: How was for you to participate in the Hyères Festival and especially to be among the finalists?
AG: I have done other contests during my career, but this was the most important experience for me, a surreal experience, full of satisfaction. I was catapulted 2 weeks in this villa in the south of France, the atmosphere was fantastic, art, history, fashion, all enclosed in one place, a climate of artistic expression and sharing between people absolute.
It was something unique and unrepeatable, as well as a great opportunity for me to gain visibility.
It was a great honor to present my collection in front of so many important people in the industry and to be judged by a jury of such high level composed also by the English designer JW Anderso, Olivier Gabet and top model Kaia Gerber.
HW: What is your point of view on sustainable fashion? how do you approach your creations from this point of view?
AG: I think this is a really broad topic and difficult to address by giving a definitive answer. I think the first point is to figure out what sustainability represents to ourselves.
For me it may have a different value than for another designer.
My responsibility, when talking about sustainability, is to offer valid alternatives in terms of products.
For example, I have dealt a lot with leather, leather is a very difficult fabric to manage as it has a very strong environmental impact, I tried to understand how all the know-how of the small companies that we have and the materials could innovate by creating something that would maintain the know-how of tradition but at the same time be sustainable, not 100% because it is a utopian concept, but as sustainable as possible.
I worked with a company that produced this recycled leather and with German companies that make this leather from rhubarb and cactus tannins.I looked for the most innovative products through sponsors and tried to process them in the most artisanal way possible. I intend to continue this research on leathers, especially the one regarding processing waste because I think it is an important step in this field of sustainability.
The key is to educate the consumer while offering a better, sustainable but also quality product that is a good alternative.
I have also changed my daily habits, starting with the way I eat and live. I’ve realized how much value there can be in creating something that can sustain habits.
HW:Does it change the creative approach when you want to do sustainable fashion?
AG: Totally. When you don’t take into consideration the sustainable factor you focus mainly on the product and its storytelling, on how to give emotions and make something beautiful. But when it comes to sustainable fashion, in addition to these aspects, you have to consider something more. Your product must not only be beautiful, but it must find solutions to problems. In my opinion, this theme will become more and more consolidated over the years and the companies that will focus on sustainability are those that will be more successful.
HW: Which designer are you a fan of?
AG: A designer I hold in high esteem and who is an inspiration to me is Marine Serre, she brought the world of recycling into ready to wear, many were covering these topics in 2016-2017 but no one was bringing real solutions to the store. That’s what I would like to do, find an evolution in positive that everyone can and wants to access.
HW: What is your favorite part of being a designer?
AG: The idea of conveying what my message is to as many people as possible. Working towards something that is worthwhile. Being able to create something that as many people as possible can have access to.
Right now, when I’m working particularly on sustainability, I feel part of something bigger, part of a movement of an important trend and this gives me strength, confidence and charge.
HW: What are your plans for the future?
AG: Making the third season of my Welcome to Deusland collection. I really want to create something that can be worn, desired. Season three is my goal for now. I’m really figuring out how to structure this project of mine, but this is my goal and I hope you’ll see it realized soon.
HW: How fashion can stimulate humanity?
AG: I believe that fashion is something in which many people reflect themselves and at the same time it is something where everyone can express something of themselves.
Fashion has an incredible strength, it anticipates trends. Looking at fashion you can make considerations about what is happening in society. Fashion, having this privilege of being ahead of the curve on certain things, I think it can be the bearer of strong changes.
The strength of fashion that every designer must find the strength to exploit, I think, is to understand and dictate trends.