By Chere Di Boscio
Andrea Skye Brocca is more than just a fashion designer: he’s a World Record holder.
In 2012 he officially became the youngest haute-couturier ever, usurping the title from a certain Frenchman you may have heard of–Yves Saint Laurent. Not only has Brocca taken this title five years younger than the age at which YSL did, he’s also done it from being based in his very own studio– Saint Laurent only gained the record after he had taken the helm at Christian Dior at the age of 21.
Despite tender age, Brocca speaks three languages, has already managed to work for Alice Temperley (creating a line of Kaftans) and will soon move his business to the fashion capital of the world, Paris, where he was invited by the Ecole de la Chambre Syndical de la Couture Parisienne to study on a scholarship. Apart from his couture creations, Andrea is something of a style icon himself, as his exotic, almost androgynous looks and attention-grabbing personal dress sense have been featured in various Street Style blogs and glossy magazines.
Born in Milan and currently residing in Dubai, where he has lived for most of his life, this fashion prodigy cites 1950s glamour, his beautiful mother and the elegant designs of (now eco-friendly!) Valentino as just a few of his influences.
Here, Andrea Skye Brocca tells Eluxe how he plans to be more eco-friendly, which models mix beauty and brains, and why he’s great in the bathroom.
What’s your earliest memory of being in nature?
My earliest memories of being in nature would have to be my summers, winters and Easters in a small town called Les Deux Alpes, in France. It has stunning landscapes and is famous for its skiing activities. My family and I would hike through the mountains, which I totally hated, but you can’t get more in synch with nature than that. All in all, it made me fairly healthy. Which brings us to the point that the more natural your environment is, the healthier you are, too!
Where’s your favourite natural getaway?
This is difficult because I live in Dubai, so surrealistically, I’d say: in my mind! But on a serious note I would say Provence, France. The sun kissing the vineyards is stunning and the nature, the temperatures and the whole landscape all put together are so inspiring and rich. Life is quite simple and you rely on local crops mostly to eat. I think it’s beautiful, plus I have childhood memories linked to that area.
How do you aim to make your work more eco-friendly?
Fabrics. The textile industry is huge, and it for sure doesn’t do the environment any favours. And there has been a rise in eco-friendly organic fabrics recently, so that is great, and gives young designers like me a way to develop onto it.
What’s the biggest change you’ve made in your own behaviour for the environment?
Bathroom use. I shower quickly and always turn the tap off when I brush my teeth. As generic as that sounds, small things can make the biggest difference. I read somewhere that whilst your brushing your teeth another 98,000 people in the world have their taps open and if everyone closed them, we would save 2.3 million litres of water – imagine how that would benefit our society, and others too!
What’s your greatest eco sin?
Tissues. I am the tissue king. You know I’ve been somewhere because there’s a trail of tissues everywhere. It’s because I’m always borderline sick. It’s not very chic, but I know how to segregate the different aspects of my lifestyle.
Which Eco celebrities do you admire the most and why?
There are some models doing some amazing work out there: Summer Rayne Oakes has an eco sunglasses range, and only models for eco-fashion brands. I also love the short film she made about the changing planet. Miranda Kerr and Gisele have organic skincare ranges, and are spokeswomen for a number of important environmental causes, showing that beauties can have brains, too!
Do you use any Eco friendly products regularly?
Yes, skin creams. Typically, naturally extracted Aloe Vera cream. I bought them from some farm stand at a festival in France, and the extraction is very Eco friendly. It’s very trendy at the moment, and people are buying it.
What do you think governments need to do to save the planet?
Our conscience does not tell us to be Eco friendly. That’s because the society we’ve grown in didn’t hold it in high regard. At the moment it’s still the minority against the majority. Things like this interview are what will make (eco-friendly behaviour) more permanent.
Recently, in my opinion, it’s become more apparent that without a form of conscious moral towards pollution we will not have the world we have today in the future. So what can governments do to stop that?
It could be by introducing the subjects to elementary school students, who are still in their formative years–according to psychologists such as Bowlby, our sense of ethics is created in our early childhood.
The government could also introduce environmental messages in commercial breaks – imagine if the Superbowl break ads were purely focused on being eco friendly?! I know it’s not the most thrilling thing ever, but metaphorically how we are acting now is like never sharpening our pencil, and continuously using it till it breaks.
How do you envision the future of the next generation?
At the rate we are going now, I feel we are putting a lot of pressure on the future generation. It’s almost like cutting off your child at age 18 with no savings. If a large mass takes action now, the eco-friendly habits will increase and the snowball effect will continue, and it will be trendy to be eco friendly.