The Fashion Show: T Lo Interviews Andrew
First of all, we went to your site yesterday and we saw the “Almost Naked Bikini” line and that is hot as hell, my friend.
[Laughs] It was based off of my “Almost Naked Underwear” line which is all made out of bamboo fiber, extremely comfortable, soft, and has that “hang free” design.
You’re obviously a very successful underwear designer. Why the show? Why participate in a fashion competition?
Unlike the other designers, I didn’t need to be on the show, I wanted to do it. I just wanted to change people’s perception about me and show that I can do much more than just men’s underwear. What better way to do it than on the show and on the realm of women’s wear.
Do you think the other designers underestimated you solely on the fact that you’re an underwear designer?
I think the other designers definitely did underestimate me being an underwear designer, they thought all I could do is this just one little thing. My design background is in fashion. I started out my company as a sportswear company, which was successful, then moved into swimwear and finally underwear; what really put me on the map and took off.
We were just about to say that. Your line isn’t just about underwear.
It’s definitely a complete lifestyle line of clothing for every aspect of your life. It’s moving even more so in that direction come fall. I’m launching my Black Line, which is all the stuff that I wore on The Fashion Show. It’s a little dressier than my normal sportswear line that I do, but it still has a funky little edge to it.
When did you start designing?
I started designing when I was in high school, when I was a teenager when I was sort of in the underground club scene. I started out making outfits for myself and friends of mine, and finally, one of the store buyers from one of the boutiques actually was at the club and liked my shirt. I mentioned that I had made it and he told me that I should sell them at his store. That’s how I started out, selling things when I was a teenager.
And now you’re one of the most successful underwear designers in the country.
My underwear company is definitely very established. I’m sold on every continent, except for Antarctica, but I’m coming out with a polar fleece collection for that.
Let’s move on to last night’s episode. Do you still stand by your design? Are you still proud of it?
I’m definitely proud of my design and I stand by it. I was glad that George [Malkemus] stuck to his guns and stuck by my design as well.
Do you think you played it too safe?
As George said, he has clients that would wear this type of dress.
How did it feel to go from best design to the chopping block in one week?
It was a huge change going from that. The show is a lot of ups and downs. In the first week, I was on the losing team, and in the second week I was on the winning team.
But people could attribute your previous success to that; the fact that you were on a winning team, and when you were on your own, you couldn’t produce the same results.
You know, I don’t really know why the judges made the decision they made. I thought that there were other dresses that were worse than mine, not that I think that mine is bad. I think that Lidia definitely should’ve been there in the bottom.
You said your design was better than Lidia’s. How so?
I don’t know anybody who would wear that dress. It was like Nightmare Before Christmas. And then, Merlin’s design was another costume, it was an exact interpretation of the shoe, just blown up.
Several designers accused you of copying them. What do you have to say about that?
I just think it’s childish and there’s no merit to it. How can I copy something if you’re the team leader? It’s impossible to copy a design if you’re a team leader. It just seems to me that she [Daniella] was just a poor sport because her design didn’t make it into the top two.
Did you enjoy the experience being part of the show?
Yeah, I definitely enjoyed the experience. I got to meet people that I might not have gotten to meet, like Tinsley Mortimer and Norma Kamali, she’s a fashion icon.
She was awesome. So far, our favorite judge.
I loved her. She’s amazing.
Now that you’re no longer in the competition, are you rooting for anyone? Who do you think should win?
There are designers there that I like their design aesthetic and hopefully they will go far in the competition. Angel is one of them. James-Paul is another.
What do you like about their designs?
Angel is highly inventive and creative. The dress she did last night from the two shirts was great and she just used plain white fabric and made it look great. I like James-Paul’s whole aesthetic, which is an aesthetic unto its own, it even carries over to his personal attire as well.
How did you feel about the judges, about their critiques?
Obviously I didn’t like what they had to say last night, but it’s their show and their decision. If you look on the Bravo website, the rest of America agrees with me. There’s a place to vote whether or not I should’ve been eliminated and everybody is sympathizing with me, that I should not have been eliminated.
Back to your line. Are you expanding your Andrew Christian line?
I’m expanding my “Almost Naked Line” of bamboo wear into sportswear, so I’m doing bamboo-fiber shirts, which are so comfortable. I can’t think of anything else that I would want to have against my skin, the bamboo fiber. The greatest selling point is that it’s eco-friendly, but for me the greatest selling point is that it’s soft. There’s the Black Line, and I’m working on a small women’s collection for Spring 2010.
Do you already know what you’re going to design?
It’s going to be all sportswear, similar stuff to what I did on the show, similar aesthetics, well, similar but different.
Thank you so much, Andrew, for your time.
Some of Andrew Christian‘s designs: