ItsNotYouItsMe Blog: The Andrea Crews Momentum

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Andrea Crews Momentum




"In recent years, Andrea Crews has been known as one of the original Parisian streetwear brands of the past decade. Or at least that’s how it appeared to people who didn’t know the whole story. Andrea Crews was born from a monumental upcycling performance, in a pile of 5-ton tat. It started as an experimental and collective collection headed by Maroussia Rebecq, a critique of hyper-consumption and a powerful proposal for a social and ecological alternative.

Back in July, the label announced that it will return back to its roots of unique upcycled pieces with a refusal to over-produce. “Because our polyester dresses from the 2000s are still dying in the Pacific, because the animals of our childhood are disappearing one by one, because the future of Black Mirror is stuck in a quantum loop, because our robots are running out of steam stale air from overstretched recyclers.”

We caught up with Maroussia to discuss if sustainable fashion is a sustainable business and how we need to break the wheel completely.



Andrea Crews is one of those brands that French kids in “the know” love, yet when I travel to other countries and people want to “discover” the next brand, I’m shocked that many people don’t know Andrea Crews! So, let’s start off with the name because it is a collective headed by yourself, but how did you come up with the name? It sounds super Californian!
The idea behind the name, was to create a genderfluid and international character, an alter ego, in which anybody can feel close to. Andrea is a unisex name, and Crews means the “crew”.

Andrea Crews started out as a crazy troupe of creative forces using clothes as a medium with upcycling workshops more than a decade ago. For several years following, it transformed into a streetwear brand, and then with your SS20 collection, it returned to 100% upcycling with everything unique pieces. What are the difficulties in maintaining your brand in regards to the current context and confines to commercialization?

Nowadays, we take the risk of changing our own system, doing a back to the roots movement, quitting the big classic boring system, to try to build up a new business model. The old system doesn’t fit my true vision of the world, we’ve been absorbed by the classic wholesale commercialization: creation/ prototypage/ show/sell/ produce/deliver / cash in /cash out / getting bigger / faster / same loop, never stop/ like a hamster on a wheel…

I want to stay a free mind, souple and creative, and I think clothes, not just a product, but a medium with a soul, a history, values, and messages, and that’s what I want to strongly experiment with.

Andrea Crews is a fashion label, we are street and DIY, we do upcycling and collaborations, but we are also beyond this, in terms of art and innovation, culture and community, time and space…

Build up a project with our community, our partners, our retail network, and keep staying excited by all these new possibilities of collaboration.



How does the unique pieces change the pricing?

Unique pieces are not scalable, so you can’t do big quantities. My goal is to stay precious. We won’t change the prices, we will just change the system, but first, we will sale mostly direct, sell less, sell better and sell differently.



How do you stay financially stable?

Dematerialization is the most valuable, no production.


Should big luxury brands be scared?

Scared of a mini crew of extremely creative people? Why? No, they should be inspired and dive with us if they dare to go in a better future…


Who is the direct threat, fast-fashion or luxury brands?

Everybody has its own life, I don’t judge, I go my way, I hold another world, and I can take fast or luxury as clients if they want to know what is on the other side of the mirror.



With upcycling, while some of the origins of the piece could come from abroad, is it fair to say that everything is “Made in France”?

First, lets precise that a lot of “made in France” comes from “out of France”, by doing the last stitch in France, you can put the label “made in France”. So many brands do that. That the absurdity of our system.

Then, I don’t have to prove anything, I just do my work in my studio, which is in Paris, in France, so yes, I am and I make in France.

And what if I make a workshop in New York, it will be made in the USA! Same for Shanghai in China, but my practice and my message will stay the same.

Actually, in 2020 I’ll have workshops in Spain, Lebanon, and Ireland. The original materials can come from China or a luxury vintage French piece, the process will be the same.



We are now in the age of mega-groups, practically monopolies (holla Amazon!). Andrea Crews represents a certain form of freedom and independence. What is the benefit of being an independent designer?

Free mind, the joy of creation, feeling that we are acting sincerely and transforming shit in diamond.



Is it getting harder or easier to fight for this independence as the brand has grown over the years and has a strong presence during Paris Fashion Week?

Actually you can’t fight what you are, I don’t want to be a fashion victim, I want to make it for real, now and forever. Once you get in this state of mind, nothing can stop you, fake games are out. Of course, it’s hard, but what is not hard?



Outside of Japan, the Asian market (and in particular the Chinese) don’t have the culture of 2nd hand. They believe if something isn’t new, it isn’t good. With so many consumers and cheap products, how do you approach the Asian market?

Asia has loved us since the beginning. They are our best supporters, Japanese, corKans, Thai, Hong Kongese, Chinese, they are all different with different fashion visions, but they have always been there and supportive.


Let’s do a little virtual workshop! First of all, I used to find amazing things thrifting, now I just find clothes from Primark and Tesco. Where should we be on the hunt?

Sorry, I don’t know, I’m not a hunter, neither a consumer, I’m a maker, a transformer, anything you give me can make another story.

But it’s true that more and more of shitty materials in the second-hand market, Let’s appreciate the come back of the 2000’S J

Tips for us to upcycle our own wardrobe? What are some key pieces to transform?

Yes, big man sports pieces are the best for me, you can do anything it will look cool. If you want some tutorials we can talk about it!



“I Am Andrea Crews” is one of my favorite photography books on my shelf! With interesting photography and faces, we shouldn’t be confined to seasons. But as a magazine, how do you suggest we cover fashion without promoting consumerism?

The book relates the story of Andrea Crews experimenting with garments people, body, party, trance, it’s intense (and thank you, I’m glad you have it).

The actual model of a magazine is based on consumerism, the point would be to change the model, as everything is moving now, everything is possible. Let’s think in reverse.

What art forms beyond fashion, sparks your curiosity to explore?

I’ve always been into installations and performances, If showing clothes is the core, you don’t just have to walk straight to do it. But I have to say the defile is a very inspiring formal game.

Innovation in 3D construction and printing means less waste. Let’s look at technology, how do you see yourself evolving in the future and what role will technology play?

Techno is a revolution, and this is just the beginning. Andrea Crews is a very DIY and low tech project that loves to be enhanced by hyper sharp techno vision.

Building the bridge between non-techno and techno is a very exciting way to renew the essentials. I’m making this new 3D project, where I give a 3D artist a file with a naked self-portrait holding a protest placard. Nudity is a fashion statement, but a naked girl protesting is a feminist archetype that holds a strong voice, and gathers the people together, I give my naked avatar to people to build up a feminist activist community, find it on @maroussia_rebecq

Looking ahead, how do you see the function of garments in the future?

Garments as protection, style self-expression, and accessories a device holder.

What is your vision for Andreas Crews as we enter the new decade?

Purifying and blooming.


Baptiste in Andrea Crews unique one-off pieces created for Spring Summer 2020 shot by Louise Reinke." - Fuckingyoung.es

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