Interviewing the youngest designer in the world, Andrea Brocca
How did you get the label 'youngest designer in the world'?
When I was 14 I started working for Alice Temperley. I designed this dress for her called The Andrea Dress and it sold out everywhere. That got me quite some attention in Dubai. I then started my own label at 15 and my own boutique in custom-made evening wear at 16. As there are a lot of soirees in Dubai, so theres a lot of opportunity for women to wear evening wear. The Guinness Book of World Records found out about me and named me the youngest couturier at the age of 16 (a title previously held by Jean Paul Gaultier at 21).
How did your life change after this?
After I was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records I got a lot of respect, approached a lot from the media and had PRs contacting me.
How did you get into fashion?
I did not grow up in a fashion surrounding. My family is not in fashion, they are in in the food industry. I did not go to a fashion high school. My mom taught and directed me towards what luxury in the fashion industry is, what style is. If you have the talent, the charisma, you can do what you want to do.
Who do you imagine wearing your pieces as you design them?
A woman with a broken elegance. She has a refined taste, but also with a rough edge. I reflect her to my mother a lot. It is a woman who understands innovation, a detachment of the norm. For example, I'll make evening wear and then detach it in the middle. Or I'll make a classic sleeve and cut it to make it my own.
Where would you say you get most of your inspiration for your designs?
I am always inspired by mathematics. I will incorporate the Fibonacci sequence or a logarithmic spiral into my designs. I am inspired by mathematics because I like to take an ethical approach to fashion and by using a single pattern, I do not end up wasting anything.
If you could use one word to describe your designs, what would it be?
I would use two words, reconstructive elegance.
What would you say is the biggest misconception people have of fashion designers?
There are many. The biggest one is that the idea of it being glamorous, when it is not. People have this idea that it is like out of a vitrine. They only see the glamour of it- the front but not the back.
What is the biggest obstacle about getting into fashion?
Socially. It can be quite a challenge to "get in". You have to sell yourself as a certain image to get in. So the social aspect can be a block because you really have to represent something within the industry. If you have no direction and you don't know who you are as a designer, it is very hard to be in the industry. In fashion it is all about a big network. If you don't have a direction or a point of view, you can't collaborate.
How do you define success in your career?
A meeting point between commercial success and integrity. That's success for me, because you're able to have your dignity but still support your career.
What is your favorite self designed piece and why?
The dress below is one of my favorite pieces because of the color, the fluidity and the very mechanical beading on the top. I like the contrast of having such a mechanical object with the fluidity of a dress. The idea of the dress was also effortless. I thought of it in a few minutes. It came natural. I wasn't forced.