Embody: Andrea Crews

Ari Versluis meets the designer, her people and her alter ego.

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It’s already been over a decade since Maroussia Rebecq established the statement label Andrea Crews. The transcultural, trans-generational Parisian brand has been producing much-debated clothing ever since, always inspired by a wide range and clever mix of urban tribes. Struck by the importance of cultural codes that direct both the input and output of Andrea Crews, Glamcult and photographer Ari Versluis got together once more to explore the relationship between the designer, the people who influence the designer, and—in this special case—the alter ego.

“I do believe I really don’t like a tall, thin, blonde sort of girl,” an exhilarated Rebecq tells us minutes after her autumn/winter ’16 presentation in Paris—surrounded by a troop of good-looking boys in raw, shiny looks. “I look for something different, a kind of beauty that is unexpected. Can I say that? It’s very difficult to define what I love in a model, but it’s more of an attitude. Sometimes you like a guy, but you don’t know why. But then at some point he starts dancing on his head, and you’re like: ‘That’s why I chose you!’ It’s a kind of behaviour and culture that is fun, strong, free and full of life.”

With her latest collection being inspired by (the population of) the Parisian neighbourhood Barbès and its famed Boulevard in the 18th district, Rebecq intends to show a real picture of her city. That picture echoes a ’70s block party in the Bronx, but also the multiplicity of contemporary Paris. “We’re talking about Paris as a mixed city: a part of the French style that peo- ple don’t talk about so much.” Andrea Crews signifies a melting pot, according to Rebecq, but she insistently adds: “I always take a next step. Which is why things are complicated or disputed sometimes.” Adding, as just one example: “I’m making mini shorts from Persian rugs…”

Endlessly bringing art, fashion and personal activism together, Rebecq and her second self almost seem inseparable. Could it be that Andrea Crews is actually the designer’s muse, Glamcult wonders. “That’s a hard question!” she laughs. “I don’t know. The best part for me is actually when I can escape from Andrea Crews. And for Andrea Crews the best part is when I really give myself to her.”

It’s complicated definitely applies to the bond between Rebecq and her super-strong alter ego. “Sometimes she’s heavy,”the designer reveals. “She can be very heavy. It’s like a big bag, filled with a lot of things—and you always have to carry that back-pack with you.”

Photography Ari Versluis

Words by Leendert Sonnevelt

Crew: Elie Nakache, Kesse Donkor, Lauren Auder, Leo Hoyten_Egan, Mawen Moandal, Paul Samb and Saeio

Embody is an ongoing collaborative project by photographer Ari Versluis and Glamcult, exploring the relationship between influential contemporary fashion designers and those who influence their work. Stay tuned for more.

www.andreacrews.com

www.ariversluis.com

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