Andrea Cocco is a young fashion designer from Genova. He fell in love with fashion as a kid and never gave up.
Andrea Cocco’s research is oriented towards ethical design and innovative materials, but never loses the touch of freshness of somebody who keeps learning. This is his story.
How did you start doing what you do? What is your artistic path?
I have the classic storyline: as a kid, polly pockets and their plastic dresses, always intrigued by the antique elegance of my seamstress grandmother.
Growing up, pencil in hand, I spent my time drawing little figures with weird outfits, half avant-garde half funny.
During high school, I was more interested in my wardrobe and fashion shows than my studies, so I decided to move to Milan and enroll in a fashion school.
After graduation, I took up a lot of freelance projects and worked hard in a studio.
A year later, I naively decided to continue my career independently.
What are the difficulties and satisfactions of being an independent brand?
Having a solitary activity and self-financing is tough: it’s really easy falling prey to breakdowns and negative thoughts.
Also, being my own workman, without a sartorial background, leaves me with no time to give in to boredom or to lose my inspiration.
Sometimes I even feel a sort of alienation, like an assembly line.
The real satisfaction comes when you know how to stem these problems and you focus on saving materials from their destiny of waste or being proud of yourself for not selling off your creative equity to some multinational fashion company (let’s see how long I’ll resist).
I see you are really interested in the concepts of transparency and lightness. What inspires you in your creations?
Inspiration is within the material.
I found this two-way stretch tulle that is so popular in stock funds to be very interesting.
Patterns and craftsmanship are what I care about; after many attempts, I obtained this checkered patchwork that initially allowed me to reduce the modeling part into simple figures.
In the beginning, I saw my creativity coming to life within the limits of my technical knowledge, but today I explore unknown territories, I study and experiment with new fixtures.
Do you have any new projects or collaborations in mind? Or simply new ideas for future collections?
I am developing a small collection of accessories for an exciting project called “Ginestre”, a platform that will be launched soon with the aim of creating a community of designers and artists who work ethically, without using plastic materials.
Until now I had never ruled out plastic, but, for my accessories, I have worked with the one coming from construction waste; I found myself looking for new materials – like cork – and seeking new solutions for varnish and glue with the smallest number of solvents and the best biocompatibility grade (a challenge in a world of aggressive chemistry).
What message would you send to your future self? Imagine reading it in 10 years, what would you say?
Dear me, remember the times with the overlocker in the kitchen, the dinner plate between fabric scraps. Remember the fast and exasperated drama and the ephemeral joy between a wide feeling of instability. Remember the fear of failure every time your parents were hopeful and supportive (was I worth it or was it because I am their only child?).
In short, remember the mess, be grateful, be better and have a laugh.
Click here to find out more about Andrea Cocco.