Raleigh Fash­ion De­signer An­dre Todd Thorn­ton

Luxe Beat Magazine - - Contents - By Jes­sica O’he­hir Fash­ion

An­dre Todd Thorn­ton is a fash­ion de­signer and founder of cloth­ing lines Street Mode and Twenty2. Born and raised in Newark, New Jer­sey, An­dre’s en­tre­pre­neur­ial mind­set cat­a­pulted him into the po­si­tion of CEO within a ma­jor cloth­ing line. An­dre con­sid­ers him­self sim­ple and direct, and it shows in his de­signs. An­dre’s goal is to give the fash­ion world some­thing it’s miss­ing!

Tell us about your new­est col­lec­tion My new­est col­lec­tion is also my first sig­na­ture col­lec­tion, ti­tled An­dre Todd. It shows show my range as a de­signer, whereas the pre­vi­ous col­lec­tions were thought to be more ur­ban. The col­lec­tion hasn’t been seen in its en­tirety as of yet, but I will be show­ing more of it in the next few months through­out the East Coast fash­ion weeks and shows.

What does fash­ion mean to you? To me, fash­ion is di­ver­sity. For the per­son who is all about Street/ur­ban wear, their look is just as im­por­tant (and as scru­ti­nized) by their peers as Ri­hanna walk­ing the red car­pet. Fash­ion is about a pro­gres­sion – just be­cause you start some­where doesn’t mean that’s where you’ll fin­ish. It’s also about self-dis­cov­ery and life. Fash­ion is the Streets – don’t let any­one tell you any­thing dif­fer­ent!

How would you de­fine your per­sonal style? In a few words, my per­sonal style is very broad, all en­com­pass­ing, but still clas­sic. In a world full of trends, I re­main clas­sic!

You’re from Raleigh, North Carolina. What’s fash­ion like in ‘The City of Oaks’? In Raleigh, fash­ion is so be­hind the times. The sad­dest part about that is that they’re com­fort­able be­ing right where they are!

When did you re­al­ize you wanted to be­come a fash­ion de­signer?

My mother mod­eled in my younger years, and at that time I wanted to pursue pho­tog­ra­phy. Dur­ing my teen years I fan­ta­sized about fash­ion, and in my twen­ties I started making that fan­tasy my re­al­ity!

What was the first ar­ti­cle of cloth­ing you ever de­signed?

The first gar­ments I ever de­signed were men’s and women’s fleece sweats. The ladies gar­ments were made as a mid-drift, and were multi col­ored. Oddly enough, I ac­tu­ally still have a few of them!

Tell us about your de­sign process. I like to sketch de­signs and

Learn more about An­dre Todd Thorn­ton, and his col­lec­tions, at www.street­mode22.com/.

con­struct them. Nor­mally de­sign­ing and con­struct­ing can take a few days, or some­times less. One of my strengths in de­sign is that I’m able to be very de­ci­sive, and still stay open to the process.

What’s one of your ac­com­plish­ments as a de­signer? I was nom­i­nated, and won, an award out of At­lanta (or­ga­nized by Nakita Barnes) for best new de­signer in 2015.

Do you draw in­spi­ra­tion from any de­sign­ers in par­tic­u­lar? John Gal­liano, Stephanie Rol­land, Sean Jean, Jean Paul Gualtier, Tom Ford, Donna Karan – they have all in­spired me in one way or an­other. They’ve el­e­vated the in­dus­try and keep me up at night try­ing to get to the next level.

Where do you buy your fab­rics? Lo­cally, I pur­chase fab­ric at Joanne Fab­rics and Mood. I of­ten shop on­line for other ma­te­ri­als.

What do you be­lieve makes a qual­ity ar­ti­cle of cloth­ing? The ba­sics. First of all, ma­te­rial is ev­ery­thing. Con­struc­tion comes next, and lastly (yet equally as im­por­tant) is the fit!

How do you pre­pare for a fash­ion shoot or show? I pre­pare by go­ing over ev­ery sin­gle de­tail, un­til I can’t get any­thing wrong. Chance fa­vors the pre­pared mind!

What type of model best rep­re­sents your brand?

It all de­pends on what I’m shoot­ing or send­ing down the runway. If I’m send­ing a gown down the runway, the model has to be able to han­dle the gar­ment and be age ap­pro­pri­ate. The right model can take any de­sign and make it a mas­ter­piece!

Do you have any words of wis­dom for as­pir­ing fash­ion de­sign­ers? My ad­vice would be to learn from those who came be­fore you, and understand that the busi­ness of fash­ion is more im­por­tant than fash­ion it­self!

What are some of your fash­ion goals? To be the best me that I can be, and when I’ve done that to take it to the next level. Also, I’d love to win a CFDA Award some­day!

What mat­ters to you most as a fash­ion de­signer? I’m artist on so many lev­els. Like any artist, I’m al­ways as­pir­ing to be bet­ter and to strive for per­fec­tion. I’m con­tin­u­ing to grow and learn, and it’s im­por­tant to just get it right!

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