One designer who has enjoyed an unusual career path is Andreas Aresti, a Queens-born designer, who lives in the West Village, produces in Italy and showed his latest collection of his brand Lourdes in Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday.
The son of a Peruvian mother and Greek father, Aresti claims he almost stumbled into fashion, nabbing a job when just 16 with Nicola Formichetti. “I’m Queens born and raised, parents from Greece and Peru. It’s actually very common in Queens, to be a mix of Hispanic and Middle Eastern. I never wanted to be a designer. I wanted to sew clothing for myself. But when I was 16 my first job was working with Nicola and I realized that I could be lots of things from a stylist to art director,” said Aresti in a Zoom from Milan. A highly self-confident New Yorker, Aresti progressed to working with the likes of Kanye West, Stefano Pilati and Giorgio Armani, starting to do shoots with the Italian master in 2014, when he was developing his art space projects and had brought back his eyewear license from Luxottica, ending up creating e-commerce and content for Armani Jeans and Privé. “He gave me my first job,” recalls Aresti, 27, who launched his brand Lourdes just as the pandemic struck in early in 2020 in Paris. On Tuesday, Lourdes, named after Aresti’s mum, released an ambient video show video shot inside a Milanese apartment. Just a couple, looking forlorn initially, before connecting and dancing dreamily over parquet floors and spotless bed. The designer named the clip ‘Ascension,’ for “entering a period of optimism after this lockdown. The clothes kind of drape upwards and people can relate. It’s about kids dancing alone in houses, which is what we have all been doing.”
His duo both wearing lots of great clobber – from lean cotton pants with fins and blades to blue jeans with multiple pockets that extended up from the ankle. Topped with great angular versions of surgeon’s smocks, and techy fiber tops finished with painterly daubs. Lourdes is produced in Vincenzo, Italy and is currently stocked in over 20 sales points, including Farfetch and Essence, a perfectly respectable result given it was launched in lockdown.
Where does he hope to be in five years? “I want this to be more a platform than a brand, maybe I will make an album next, not a collection. The way things are going the creative industries will completely merge – fashion, movies, music – and in future will just be one. I don’t think we should embrace singularity,” said the Lourdes designer, attired in a Cat trucker hat.
Which came across in his best look – a fab puffer with a long diagonal zip from hip to opposing shoulder in a look anchored by a pair of hyper pointy winklepickers – which was street and chic. “Given my prior training, I can be a lot of things. There is something of any of my old bosses included in me,” said Aresti, who never attended any fashion college. Come to think of it, neither did Armani.