July 2013, Andrea Navajas Alandia and Jacopo Antoniolli presents for the first time ever their brand Andrea Ya’aqov during Milan Fashion Week. Starting with an intuition they have developed a 100% Made in Italy brand that has its roots in the streetwear world and then it widens towards a more essential and futuristic aesthetic. Despite their young age they have very clear ideas about their priorities and what they want to convey.
To try to know them better, we had a chat with this dynamic duo to understand the process behind their success.
Which study program have you attended?
I have started drawing in the middle school in particular comics and graffiti. After the middle school I began the art school but as soon as I had to choose the university I followed in the footsteps my dad and I joined the law faculty. Obviously, I dropped out after a semester, but I have never quit my passion for drawing.
I’ve always had a strong passion for writing and for this reason I thought that being a journalist would become my future career. I graduated in communication for journalism at the faculty of letters and philosophy and after that I attended a Master’s degree in Brand Management. Now I spend most of my free time drawing women collections .. I was clear, wasn’t I?
Not only functionality, also the eye wants its part and that’s where I unleash my passion for the military world and all the shades of green I found in every uniform.
- Jacopo Antoniolli
What is the process that brings to the creation of a collection. Where do you start?
The birth of each collection always happens in a different way, there isn’t a rule you must follow. In our office we have a huge board where we attach every inspiration we have, ideas come and go and they often result from things that hide in plain sight : cards, travel photos, drawings, quotes or fabrics. Everything that seems relevant is added to that board which represents a sort of logbook.
When we find a common line, and believe me is not easy at all, we get somewhere together and from that point we start our project. The most important part of our job is the research of fabrics and are often materials to drive our ideas ; it is not unusual that it’s a fabric to change our inspiration and for this reason we think that research is a critical part in the creation of our collections.
What inspires you? There is something particular that you bring in your items?
Personally, I’m really keen on military vintage and interior design. During the years I’ve been collecting many unique and particular pieces that I bought in several trips and markets all around the world. These are just some objects that inspire me: functionality, details as the zippers and the buttons, pockets and minimalist lines. Not only functionality, also the eye wants its part and that’s where I unleash my passion for the military world and all the shades of green I found in every uniform.
Are you trying to combine functionality and aesthetic or do you consider one of the two more important?
The starting point behind our collection was the reinterpretation of the “hoodie”, a garment that comes from the streetwear scene that we wanted to elevate on a major level of self construction and design. In this case aesthetic was fundamental but functionality was equally important. Today our collections are wider, we developed solutions as the “total look” and beside the hoodie continues to be our iconic star now we are doing much more and just for this variety aesthetic and functionality are obliged to dialogue among each other.
Which garment are you most proud of?
Every collection has his soul but personally I’m more attached to the first one. It was the first step in the creation of our brand. The first fashion week was an emotion and an experience difficult to forget.
We’re ready to invent and reinvent ourselves!
Which designer do you consider to be closer to your work? Do you estimate someone in a particular way?
This is a really hard question to answer. We’re great estimators of Yamamoto minimalism and Watanabe futurism. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’re close to our work but they stay great icons to be inspired by, especially in terms of research, innovation and quality of the fabrics.
What are you currently working on? What are you project for the future?
In this moment post Covid-19 we are drawing our collection SS 2021. We’re preparing it conscious of the fact that probably we won’t have the chance to meet buyers; everything must be smart and we have to use all the digital instruments that we have at our disposal. This period represent a hard challenge for a brand that focuses on the particularity and the quality of fabrics, but we’re ready to invent and reinvent ourselves!
We work with several craftsmen and small companies that have production time longer compared to their competitors from China or Turkey.
How do you think that the health situation we are living will effect the fashion future and consequently your brand?
This situation has literally stopped the entire world. In this context many big players have proposed to slow down the fashion industry. In the past years we have seen a “marathon of consumptions” and this phenomenon resulted in overloading the market with products and options for the consumer.
For us it is very hard to align with the timing dictated by the current fashion industry. Our brand is 100% Made in Italy, starting from the creative process, passing through the materials and ending with the production. We work with several craftsmen and small companies that have production time longer compared to their competitors from China or Turkey, we have a process with timing that must be respected but we want to keep on working in this way. I think and hope that the slow down asked will lead the designers to work smarter, the boutiques to have more organised sales time, and for the customers to choose the items with an increased awareness.
Less fast fashion, more designs and more quality.
You have to work with energy, desire, curiosity and willing!
It’s now time for us to say goodbye, so in conclusion I want to ask you if you have any tip for all the young people that want to approach the fashion world.
You have to work hard without forgetting to be humble. I entered in the fashion world because I worked as mannequin for a brand in a fair! Everything started there and from that moment onwards I played many roles that today are essential to my daily work. Every experience made is a huge heritage for me and for my company. You have to work with energy, desire, curiosity and willing! This job doesn’t have time or weekend but it is without any doubt the best job in the world!