You are on page 1of 4

ANDREA BROCCA

A Fashion Dream Born in Milan, Made in Dubai


WORDS: STEPHANIE BROWNLEE

Even as a 5-year-old I remember loving the aura and the feel fashion had. It was an exciting world with a million options and possibilities - Andrea Brocca he last time I saw the tall, striking and impeccably dressed Andrea Brocca was in line at the counter of the worlds largest candy store, Candyland opposite the aquarium at the Dubai Mall in 2010. We became acquainted at our British school, Jumeirah College. He was in the year below me and I had always admired his flair for fashion. Two years have passed, Ive left Dubai and Andrea has been very busy. With one of the biggest days of his burgeoning fashion career only days away, he One of Andreas daily somehow found the time to looks from his LOOKBOOK.nu page. tell me about his plans through a series of Facebook conversations and emails. The concrete city may seem to be constantly blanketed in gritty dust but nothing can take the shine off Andreas eccentric style and prospering future. Worldly, and full of spirit he is now 16-years-old and still a student but wouldnt look a smidgen out of

Andrea in Paris

place in a boutique on the Champslyses. Andreas home of Milan is indisputably associated with fashion and with Dubai sitting just behind London as the biggest high fashion shopping destination in the world, its no surprise that hes been eagerly absorbing the Industry. In fact, listening, learning and developing knowledge is only the very beginning of Andreas successful affiliation. Ive only ever seen myself growing up to be a designer, Andrea told me, from having an online LOOKBOOK.nu account documenting his quirky daily attire of fused vintage pieces and modes du jour, to frequenting fashion events such store openings and shoots and featuring in the style pages of magazines like Harpers Bazaar Arabia, Grazia and Ahlan (Dubais own society magazine), theres definitely something special about him. Alice Temperley who dressed Pippa Middleton for the Royal

Andrea with Christian Louboutin at the 2012 Grazia Style Awards.

Andrea modeling in a Michael Cinco wedding couture shoot he helped style for VIVA magazine.

Wedding certainly thinks so. "I met Andrea when he was only 13 at a glamorous fashion party around a pool in Dubai a few years ago, said Alice in The Gulf News Tabloid in 2011. I was touched by his enthusiasm for fashion. He had a sketchbook with him that he wanted to show me. We looked at it together and talked through some of his sketchesI could see his focus and love of fashion so I naturally obliged when he asked for an internship." Whilst many an expatriate student passed the summer days of 2010 and 2011 returning home or promenading beaches abroad, Andrea enthusiastically spent two fruitful Julys in London, interning for The House of Temperley. It was a tremendous experience, he said. During his first Internship: "One day, I was told to design around 30 kaftans, and frankly I hardly even knew what that was. So first, I got down to researching everything about a kaftan which I thought was a bit random and after that I decided I didn't want to do the classic kaftan. You can't always go by the rules."

One of Andreas daily looks wearing the scarf gifted to him by Alice Temperley from December 2011

Alice was impressed with what she would later name The Andrea Dress which became part of the Temperley collection to hit stores in the December of that year. By the end of May, 90 pieces in red and emerald had been sold predominantly in stores in London and the Temperley boutique in Dubai. Andreas return to Temperley in 2011 was an equally productive and invaluable learning curve. My mentors insisted I practice my sewing skills and also encouraged my draping skills and independence, wrote Andrea in an article for his school website. I came to Temperley not so confident about my sewing and left feeling better than ever, a near professional maybe. I completed a couple of outfits during my time there, of which I was very proud. Alice agreed to Andreas request to help out at London Fashion Week. He wrote, it was incredible as the clothes looked even more remarkable and glowing on the catwalkI left shocked by the contrast of the glamorous aspect of fashion and the hardworking backstage staffI got a glimpse into what I could only pray might be my future. A year, and a few more wonderful achievements later, Andreas parents could clearly see his potential. 2012 would be the crescendo of his work

Another one of Andreas daily looks from LOOKBOOK.nu

in fashion to date. The chance to open a boutique and start his own brand arose after a Scandinavian label interested in his designs decided to relocate from their shop in Dubais Wafi Mall, leaving it to Andreas father who already had a business interest. It came as a shock of course and I was hesitant because I wanted to master my craft before startingbut my parents always say why start tomorrow when you can start today, wrote Andrea in an email. Out of the experience of building his brand so far Andrea noted that his favorite part was learning about himself. I understood and learnt so much about my character and how I coped with situations. Initially when I started working on my collection I was designing for business; I was creating pieces I thought the market would likethen when I went to Italy

The front (left) and back (right) of The Andrea Dress in Red.

I had a complete change of mind. I went to look for materials and I got so inspired, I clearly saw who I wanted to be and what I wanted to represent as a designer. To me fashion is about being wearable, and seeing fashion as art doesnt mean I have to go all Lady Gaga on everyone. My mission is to make other people feel confident and special in my designs. When answering my questions about his boutique and inaugural autumn/winter collection Andrea wrote: I have to include the element of luxuryIm neighbors with Chanel and Valentino, its crazy! Including the use of pure fabrics such as satins, chiffons, georgettes and silks. Andreas designs sound stunning; very edgy and dark but with a lament of romance. Think Alexander Wang meets, Rad Hourani meets Stella Mccartney, he said. Continuing the explanation: my collection is somewhat geometrical with a soft touch of draperyit challenges a modern take on style
One of Andreas drawings.

contrasting with a soft fragile sophistication You will be seeing a lot of neutral colours. I dont have a colourful and eccentric aesthetic, I am simple and my tones are black, beige, cream and grays. With the official launch of his brand and boutique, Andrea Brocca just around the corner on the 9th of May, and hopes to sell on popular high fashion sites such as NET-APORTERas well as branching out into Europe and America, Andrea is well and truly one to watch.

Andrea standing in his boutique before it was renovated.