Louis Vitton, Givenchy, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent. All great brands with a long history. They have amazing budgets, hierarchies and well-tried rigid routines.
Andrea Crews. Is much different. And even though many believe that fashion is not art, not even culture but advertising, Andrea Crews crosses the limits. Andrea Crews is a collective run by Maroussia Rebecq. They create. Everything. That you can come to think of.
One incident that one of their interns told me is about Andrea Crews social work. They go out to schools in the Parisian suburbs and have work shops with the kids, encouraging them to express themselves.
One boy redesigned a ‘I <3> London' t-shirt into a ‘I fuck London' one, with loads of drawings on it. Maroussia fell in love with the t-shirt and wanted to have it in a collection. The suburb boy was one step from becoming a designer. However, the teachers didn’t approve of the message conveyed and wanted to send the almost designer to have a talk with the Principal. The other kids protested – it was Maroussia who had drawn attention to the t-shirt, she should be held responsible. And so Maroussia had to go explain the t –shirt to the Principal.
What is special about this story the kid got positive feedback for something he created. It’s a way of showing that creativity is an alternative
Their models are not only beautiful, but first and foremost - alive. They are artists, dancers with personalities that shine through at the catwalk. All rules 90-60-90 cm are left miles behind when the models are stage diving at the end of the show, one after one.
(After the fashion show autumn 09 it was so easy to ask for cigarettes, everyone was just so so so so happy and filled with energy)
The reason for me writing this article is that Andrea Crews might get evicted from their current location. They have occupied the shop where they now run their business. It’s located at Place Pigalle, next to the bar "Dirty Dick" and opposite, according to rumours, Jean Paul Gaultier’s flat.
What Andrea Crews does is not charity and the general rule is rents are made to be paid. But at the end of the day, Pigalle would be a much more sad place without them. Countless artists have gained priceless experience Andrea Crews. They are an alternative way to art and fashion in a city that’s rather known for its conservatism and burdened by its traditions.
The world, Paris and especially Pigalle needs Andrea Crews. So please spread the word and show your support
Here is their facebook group for instance:
All the pictures are taken from their website: