Toronto is overly filled and bursting at the seams with talent in design, art, and music. We come across many talented young people who are focused on achieving greatness and making their mark. One man in particular is Andy Jones, a young designer who is now on the journey of his career. He is working on a collection to debut at Toronto’s Alternative Fashion Week, Fashion Art Toronto (FAT). This collection is his major focus, as he wants to slowly build a fashion business that comes across as fresh and modern.
Born and raised in Alberta, Andy grew up in a very fashionable home of entrepreneurs who inspired him to follow his designer dreams at the age of 14.”I started to learn to sew at 14 and I wasn’t very good in my home economics course. I moved to Edmonton, got a job in retail, and I was working on singing, dancing, but I figured I wanted to go to Fashion School for college,” Andy said. He continued to hone his skills with internships with LINE Knit Wear and countless others.
Like many before him, Andy found the drive to design from iconic fashion figures, such as Tom Ford. “I think my love of fashion started with when Tom Ford was with Gucci. I saw what he did for Gucci and he was my favorite and he’s still my favorite. I saw him designing for Gucci and that was it, I wanted to be a designer,” he said. When asked about his collection, Andy thought and pondered on his answer.
“To sum up my collection in three words, it would be modernism, because of the clean lines, like minimalism. The second would be Bo-ho Gypsy drapery, and then I would say futurism, with the metallic pieces on the clothes,” he said. “I embrace different demographics as a designer. I’m half Trinidadian and half Norwegian so I’m pulling from both sides. I also look at the future of design, not what’s in the stores, but what on WGSN. I think it’s important for designers to stay on top of that website and Style.com. They are letting you know where things are going. It’s good to experiment and change up the pallet.”
Andy’s mind set towards fashion is an interesting one. He is young and passionate about the art of it all, but he understands that Fashion lives through business, thanks to his experience with retail brands such as DELISH where he’s a stylist and his conversations with his entrepreneurial parents. He mentioned the designers who have the freshness in design, but have reached international standards in branding.
“When I think of the freshness on an international scale, I think of Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang and I still think Marc Jacobs is still good to look at. He kind of gives you a fantasy. In a Canadian demographic, I think VAWK. I always enjoy the girls from LABEL. I also really enjoy David Dixon because he’s really fresh. I think they have a good perspective of where fashion is going with minimalism.”
We asked Andy how he handles the feeling of uncertainty in his designs being accepted as a new designer. “I’ve always felt like the underdog. Being from a small town in Alberta I’ve always felt that way. People on the outside would look in and not believe that but its true. When you look at the reality of it I don’t have an investor, I have resources, but I have to be wise with them. I know I have to do the best job I can. If someone doesn’t like my product, they are not my customer, or they are someone I don’t want to work with. Everyone is going to have a different point of view. We are in an industry where you will eventually bump into or work with someone you might have a past with.”
Embarking on his on Fashion Business journey, we had to ask Andy about his thoughts on the idea of everyone wanting to be a fashion designer or musician and the idea that well made art is not getting the respect it should. “You see it in Fashion and in music and it’s this line a credibility. On my playlist that are many Indie singers, Bands, and Djs. I didn’t realize this line of credibility until I was introduced to it. We are in an interesting time. You can choose to visit a department store and buy there, or make something yourself. The Big Box stores offer what seems to be art, but it’s business, it’s commercial. This is why its important to go out of your way for your customer. It surprises customers when you go out of your way for them and they appreciate that.”
Andy Jones will be submitting his collection to FAT officials in December later this year.