Star on the Rise Andrea Cammarosano; Artist, Desinger and Breath of Fresh Air- Q & A

by Accidental Bear

Photo: Eric De Mildt

Artist, designer and man on the town, Andrea Cammarosano, has a lot of tricks up his sleeves. He has changed the way I see inanimate object. I see a large piece of plastic in the closet and my mind is triggered into, “How can I sculpt that into an outfit?” Andrea doesn’t just think outside of the box, but lives out side of the box. This is what gives his work its unique flare that will leave you in a puddle of amazement. I worked with Andrea and Walter Van Beirendonck last year and it is clear that he is Walter’s wing man and they will be teaming up in Paris next menswear season. I think some ones should make a cartoon strip of these two where the sky is the limit. Andrea will be residing in San Francisco over the summer. Be warned, if you bump into this talented fur ball this summer, let’s say at The Lone Star bar in south of Market, you will get a contact buzz of pure joy and a refreshing youthful love of life called Andrea Cammarosano. Cue, Cyndi Lauper’s ” Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

In the mean time Andrea is now working on the ss2012 collection, and will be shooting in 2 weeks!

Q & A:
Accidental Bear: Are you a natural talent or did you learn your craft from a design/ art school?

Andrea Cammarosano: I learned a lot in school. I studied fashion design first in Italy, just for one year, then decided to go somewhere more international and creative – I went to the Royal Academy in Antwerp and it was great! The thing that made me grow as a creative person was that I was being surrounded by creative people – I think this kind of environment is a very important thing for an artist, it creates a synergy of ideas.

A B: Do you think people can learn art in school?

Walter Store, Antwerp, "Bury Me Standing" installation, 2009, Photo: Ronald Stoops

Andrea: You definitely learn a lot of useful things. But also, in school they teach you the definitions of good and bad – so it’s still up to you to decide the truth of those assumptions. I think a school can teach you only those things that you are ready to question and to work out by yourself. So yes and no. It’s like, does good parenting create good people? He he. See? You don’t think I’m smart, but I really am!

A B: There doesn’t seem much a distinction between art work and clothing design. Is it all the same to you?

Bury Me Standing, 2010, Photos: Michael Smets

Andrea: They clearly are two different things, but I refuse to treat them distinctly. In my work I started quite early to use sculpture because it represents the truth of the body in a way that fashion alone cannot do. The way I see it, fashion deals with identity within people, and sculpture with identity within oneself. However, there is one thing that artists and designers share and it’s a strong responsibility towards individuals and towards society. Its their own job to acknowledge this responsibility and to move in the best direction to honor it – all the rest is labels, so they’re not very meaningful.

A B: Are your clothes going to make it across the pond here to the States?

Andrea: I definitely hope so – I would like to get to know the States better before starting to sell there, the mentality is very different but in some ways fascinating. It’s such a funny country because you have these two women, Sarah Jessica Parker and Sarah Jessica Palin, and they really polarize all the attention. Although probably they’re sitting on the same pole (no pun intended). I can only say that I still prefer lipsticks over rifles, but yes, I definitely want to travel around and get my work over there.

I Am A Monster, 2010, Photos: Ronald Stoops, Concept: Michael Dans

A B: Describe your new line for me.

Andrea: I’m trying to translate my message in more subtle ways, through a product that carries a meaning but that people won’t be

I Am A Monster, 2010, Photos: Ronald Stoops, Concept: Michael Dans

afraid to approach. Somehow, its like getting a straight man to buy a checkered shirt before he realizes it’s not actually checks, but tiny square flowers. I don’t know if that makes sense, another simile is giving a pill to your cat – you have to disguise it in his favorite food – I know you love cats so you sure know what I mean. I want my work to burn bright but also to be like a medicine or a chair. All with a good dose of fun. So yes, long story short – for SS2012 I’m designing a western collection.

Fred London Gallery, London, "I Am A Monster", Installation, London Fashion Week, february 2011

A B: What do you want to do next in your career?

Andrea: I’m thinking about ways to join art and fashion together. As I said before, it’s a matter of responsibility – designers are people who fill the world with products, it’s a big obligation towards society and the environment. And artists are very precious, because they represent a barometer of where society stands, and that’s why they’re often mistreated and made fun of. Artists are liable for telling the truth or not, more than designers. I think today these barometers are important because we are all pushed to lose control of things, and we must raise awareness on this – I still don’t know how exactly I can contribute with my work, but that will be my challenge.
I think its crucial to give people a chance to choose, and especially to make them understand that this puts them in better conditions.

A B: Are there any celebrities you would like to dress?

Andrea: This is always a very tricky question! Well I have several friends that are celebrities in the making – it would be nice to dress them. And yes I want to be a celebrity too.

Serenada Moleculare, 2008, Photo: Ronald Stoops

A B: So, tell me what you do with yourself on a typical day. I have had the pleasure of working with you at the Walter show and you were so funny that I had cracks in the corners of my mouth.

Andrea: People always think I’m this crazy party animal, but really I’m not. I wake up early in the morning, let’s say around 8, also in the weekends – I have very long breakfasts and I love to draw and to horse around. I enjoy having long talks with my friends and hearing all the fresh gossip from them – I really love my friends and I’m so sad that I’m always far from them. Also, I’m an attention freak, I really need so much attention so at some point I just get exhausted from being around people because it takes all my energies – I always have to be ready to interrupt who’s talking, its such a hard life! But really, I can’t let people talk if I’m there! My favourite drink is vodka cranberry and my favorite pizza is pizza margarita.

A B: Are you into interior design? I imagine everything around you being fun, colorful and somewhat extravagant.

Andrea: I just threw away most of my furniture – I have this love/hate relationship with things – I went to the trailer park and threw all this stuff in the dump, then some workers came out from the trailers and started laughing because my things were really crappy and weird – they were saying “Charlie Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin” – one of them took this bowler hat made of plaster, another got some platform shoes for his girlfriend – objects can make people really happy. Wherever I go I bring some little gifts from my family and friends, and some of my works.

A B: Would you like to reveal a shameful secret to me? You know just to get it off your chest?

Andrea: All my secrets are very public – everything is on the web, it’s my way of saying hi. But ok I have a little disgusting fetish with food – sometimes I like to eat frozen pizza, or my special disgusting recipe which is tuna porridge. I’m always embarrassed when people come upon me while I’m eating tuna porridge, but it’s stronger than me. I like good restaurants and good food, but I also need my frozen pizza and tuna porridge. I’m serious.

A B: Do you have any interest in having a ready to wear line?

Andrea: If I find good producers and good conditions to expand, why not. It’s just like bread and croissants – different levels are good, as long as they’re honest, otherwise it’s more like shit and champagne and that’s not so yummy.

A B: Tell me something completely exciting we can look forward to about you that will have us all checking back in with compulsively.

Serenada Por Neanderthal, 2007, Photo: Ronald Stoops

Andrea: First of all, I’m gonna spend the summer in your city – so watch out! Second, I will present my SS2012 collection in Paris next October – so watch out too. The collection is almost prototyped but I will keep it a secret for a while – I’m working on new exciting ways to show & commercialize it. People in Europe will be able to see a preview of it during the Arnhem Mode Biennale in the Netherlands, one of the main avant-garde fashion events in Europe, opening at the end of the month. My new website is also going online around mid July, and I will be showing some work newt September in Tallin which is this year’s European Capital of Culture.

A B: Tell me about the gays in Antwerp in 5 -10 words?

Andrea: They’re very flemish and homosexual.

A B: Inquiring minds want to know what type of men interests you and would get and perhaps would get some one on one time in a hot tub with you?

Andrea: The kind of men I like won’t fit a tub. Ok, no I’m kidding – I have a boyfriend and he’s not really fat – he is more on the slow side. I like slow people because they’re fun. He is also a bear in disguise, but only some nights of the week, the other nights I sleep with cats.

A B: Coming to SF soon to work on any projects?

Andrea: I’m applying to couple of residencies in the Bay Area – There are some good things for the arts, and I want to visit Los Angeles too which seems interesting for fashion.

A B: And finally for the Bears. Tell us about your relationship with the one and only, with the rock star beard, Walter Van Beirendonck.

Walter Van Beirendonck & Anrea Cammarosano / Photo: Ilde Bocci

Andrea: Walter is a great bear but first of all a great person and designer – I hear he’s now going to the gym so maybe won’t be a bear anymore soon! Maybe there is a big body transformation coming up! One of the main things to say about Walter is that for a person that has reached such heights in his career, he’s extremely kind and down-to-earth. I can relate very well to his world and his fantasy, and I appreciate how active he is in trying to influence society without losing hope in dreams and in his message, I think that deserves great respect. Also he’s truly a professional. I’m going to work again with him in Paris next menswear and I’m looking forward to see what he prepared for next season. In some way I feel I have borrowed my motto from him – “Dream and question your identity, but never forget who you are” .

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