The dichotomy created by the constant pull between dark and light, reality and the cerebral musings of a dreamlike space, remnants of the past and souvenirs of the future. These are the driving forces behind Andrea Cohn, the twenty-eight-year-old creative director/founder of Andrea Doria. Established in 2012, the New York City-based label focuses on quality over quantity, crafting small-scale collections that explore the liminal space between opposing energies. Named after the luxury liner that met its beautifully tragic demise in 1952, Andrea Doria is a line that lusts to maintain the intricate balance between destruction and creation.
I was first introduced to Ms. Cohn when a friend told me of a multifaceted young woman working on a fashion story inspired by Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain. Coming from an equally eclectic family, Cohn found the inspiration for her latest line from the stills her father created for the film, opening a realm of experimentation where relics from an era she never met coincidide with the insatiable thirst for an undiscovered wave of creativity. I was able to have a chat with Andrea and am excited to present you with this interview. Acquaint yourself with Ms. Cohn below and explore more from Andrea Doria here.
LF: Hi Andrea. Can you give Live FAST Mag an introduction to yourself and Andrea Doria?
AC: Let’s see, I was born in Santa Barbara, California, but I grew up in Ojai Valley, California and spent a lot of my springs and summers in Joshua Tree and New Mexico. My mom wanted to keep me out of trouble so I spent a large portion of my childhood riding Arabian horses, which led me to travel competitively around the United States and Canada until I was 18.
I spent a couple years fooling around in Los Angeles, and then I moved to San Francisco where I spent the next three years studying at Academy of Art University for Fashion Design. It was in San Francisco where I really discovered my love for knitwear, metal, and using fashion as an outlet for my creativity. Andrea Doria was founded in 2012 and we are currently working on our third collection.
LF: You grew up in the serene Ojai Valley and spent your springs in Joshua Tree – how did growing up in these magical places affect your creative eye?
AC: I spent a lot of time outside as a child. I took a good amount of trips with my mom to visit my wonderful family in New Mexico. When I wasn’t traveling with my mom to New Mexico I was in either Joshua Tree or Ojai. In Joshua Tree, my mom would take me on these long adventures on our property into huge rock formations and caves. Everywhere you turn there was a new boulder completely different from the next. I was just there two weeks ago shooting my campaign and all of the flowers and cacti were in bloom- it was incredibly magical and so inspiring! So, to answer your question, constantly traveling as a kid and being in nature really affected my creative eye which made me want to fully immerse myself in art.
LF: Tell us about your FALL 2014 Andrea Doria collection and the connection it has to Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain.
AC: We just shot the Fall Campaign in Joshua Tree with Chelsea Wolfe, and I am still coming down from it. It was one of the most incredible shoots/work-vacations I’ve ever been on. We had the best team! A couple years ago my boyfriend and I went on a trip to Joshua Tree and discovered photographs shot during the production of The Holy Mountain, which my father worked on. I was so inspired by the movie and finding out my fathers connection to the project that I decided to loosely base my fall collection around the photographs we found and the movie itself.
What better place to shoot it than on my fathers property in Joshua Tree? I always like placing things back in their own habitat and natural state, it only seemed like the right thing to do. So, this was sort of an ode and commemoration to my father’s work as well as Jodorowsky’s.
LF: How did you discover your love for fashion design? Do you dabble in any other mediums of art?
AC: My mom was always really crafty around the house and my grandmother had a personal tailor, so at a very young age I was exposed to tailors and Hollywood fashion. While riding horses I was designing my own suits and western outfits. I would use beading intertwined in braided horsehair on top of the finest suedes and silks. Around this time, I took some summer classes at Otis where my ingenuity really came into fruition. However, it was while studying in San Francisco that I became fascinated with metal, oxidizing it, and molding it. Now I am also doing jewelry design as another outlet for Andrea Doria.
LF: What’s your creative process? In what ways have you seen your creative approach grow?
AC: I often stumble upon inspiration and become obsessed with it. I live, breathe, and smell it 24 hours a day. The reassurance in accomplishing something is so important in life. It could be working through something emotional in my personal life, or an obsession with a certain piece of music or art or something in nature. I’ve found over thinking it never works so I usually just go with my gut.
LF: If you could collaborate with one person, who would it be?
AC: That’s a really difficult question. Music is my life and it runs through my veins through and through. I designed an outfit for Lizzy of MSMR that she wore at Coachella the last two weekends. I would really love to design more one-of-a-kind outfits for performers and artists. As for one person in particular, I’ve been obsessed with both the music and performance of FKA Twigs and would love to work with her in the future.
LF: What can we expect from you and Andrea Doria in 2014?
AC: We’re hoping to get off the ground this year, we’ll be launching our webstore in the next couple weeks and we’ll start taking pre-orders on our fall collection soon.
LF: How fast do you live?
AC: ” Know your body’s made to move, feel it in your guts
Rock ‘n’ roll ain’t worth the name if it don’t make you strut,
Don’t sweat it, get it back to you,
Overkill, Overkill” – Motorhead