Label - Andrea pompilio
My style has its roots in tailoring and mixing with urban influences
Milan-based eponymous label by Andrea Pompilio is known for its classic style and elegant collection. The designer has collaborated with world-leading brands such as Prada in Milan, Calvin Klein in New York, and Yves Saint Laurent in Paris. He has also won the 2011 edition of Who’s on Next, the contest for emerging designers sponsored by Vogue Italia. In an Interview with Fibre2Fashion, the designer talks about the inspirations and aesthetics of his collection, sustainability, and upcoming biggest trends.
Fibre2Fashion: What attracted you towards the fashion industry and how would you narrate your journey?
I realised that I wanted to pursue a career as a designer at the age of eight. I grew up in a creative environment with a dad, architect and interior designer, and a mom with the hobby of painting and making ceramics. My grandma was the owner of two multi-brand stores, and I grew up inside them. I still remember when one of my grandmother’s customers asked me and my cousins “What do you want to do when you grow up?”, and I immediately replied that I wanted to be a fashion designer. Therefore, my family helped me to make this dream come true.
F2F: How would you illustrate the aesthetics of your collection?
My style has its roots in tailoring and mixing with urban influences, creating contrasts. Sometimes I start with everything that attracts me and is slightly repulsive, but through my personal reworking, I find a new personal aesthetic that fully reflects my vision. It is in fact a very precise aesthetic and reflects my feelings and emotions that change according to what I experience every day.
F2F: Where do you get your creative nutrition? What fashion do you follow?
When I create a collection, everything starts from my own feeling, based on what I am experiencing at that moment and on the political and social world situation. I usually imagine a character like that person who, walking down a crowded street, immediately catches your eye for his personality and is instinctively unaware of his own aesthetic identity.
F2F: Where is your clientele majorly from in terms of geography and has the same been affected because of the pandemic?
We have always been strong in the Asian market (China, Japan, Korea), but we are equally strong in Italian and American markets. Certainly, the pandemic has had its consequences as has happened in all sectors, but today we finally see a good general recovery.
F2F: Since you have collaborated with leading brands such as Prada, Calvin Klein, and Yves Saint Laurent, how would you elaborate on the experience and what lessons were learned?
Each of these certainly left me with strong emotions, memories and definitely an important cultural baggage. The fact of working for extremely different brands, if not opposed to each other, trained me, and this allowed me to understand the needs of different companies and to be versatile, which is very useful for me, since today I am also a consultant for different companies at the same time.
F2F: What does sustainability mean for you and how do you include the same in your fashion creations?
We decided to use a different policy than our competitors. We not only strive to choose sustainable materials but also to have global sustainability. We eliminated unnecessary samples, the use of showrooms and consequently the continuous shipments of large quantities of goods around the world and finally we decided to concentrate on more focused collections. This is why we have created our e-commerce that allows us to control our sales network from within. This means that I too have under control what the client appreciates the most of all my work.
F2F: With so many fashion brands coming into the picture, how do you ensure that your brand stands out?
So many brands come out, but so many brands shut down too; it’s easy to sell a new line, but it is extremely difficult and professional to keep it going.
F2F: How would you define the fashion industry in Milan and how has the same evolved over time?
Once, in my generation and in that of many of my colleagues, there was both an emotional and personal propensity for fashion from childhood. For this reason, from a very young age, people turned to art and fashion schools and then moved to the main symbolic cities such as Milan, London, Paris, and New York, where there was a very specific educational path marked by history of fashion, the study of colour, and the modelling and technical part as well as the possibility of a real introduction to the world of work where you could cultivate knowledge or practice in a fairly simple way. Now things have definitely changed. Fashion has reached a level that not only includes the artistic part but also all that is linked to communication and commercial logic. From here, we can see companies with creative directors, who also come from different worlds than fashion but with fresh and young ideas that have driven them to success.
F2F: According to you, what are the biggest fashion trends that can have the highest influence in the coming times?
There are currently two very distinct approaches. One is the relaxed and fashion sport attitude that will become stronger and stronger, and on the other hand, there is a more timeless fashion of well-made handcrafted garments created to last over time. I have always combined these two worlds within my collections.
F2F: What advice would you like to share with young designers trying to break into the fashion industry?