Andrea Pompilio is ambitious—his goal is to redefine modern menswear. And with 13 years of design experience at houses like Calvin Klein, Yves Sant Laurent, and Alessandro Dell'Acqua, it's not surprising the up-and-comer from Pesaro, Italy has a streamlined vision and a taste for clean, menswear classics. But Andrea's new independent line, A, is far from typical: it's clean-cut, quirky, and knows how to cut loose.
Pompilio launched A in January 2010 and has already garnered serious attention. This past year, Pitti Immagine Uomo named Andrea a "Who's On Next?" designer for his prêt-a-porter, an award that made the designer's thickly bearded, spectacled presence known in menswear. Pompilio mixes blinding neon hues and standout patterns with classic cuts and fine details. He's been called "a masculine answer to an Isabel Marant" —meaning wearable luxury clothing for the truly contemporary man.
Pompilio's creative process is unique in that he designs, first and foremost, for himself. "I start by doing research, mostly in vintage and secondhand shops, and often end in my wardrobe, questioning myself about missing parts and essentials that need a twist," Andrea says. "I draw and try on the first toile. I have to like the cuts on me before I finalize a sample."
THREE LOOKS FROM ANDREA POMPILIO'S SPRING/SUMMER 2012 COLLECTION
This year, Pompilio showed a Spring/Summer 2012 collection full of versatile pieces fit for the international vagabond—with an impeccable tailor—just in from Tokyo, Manila, Milan, or Miami. A's Hawaiian printed Bermuda shorts, military-inspired blazers and bomber coats, and a denim suit in pieces set the scene at Pitti Uomo. After his success this past season, the designer is at work on his Autumn/Winter 2012 collection.
Pompilio thinks the key to modern menswear is a laid-back cosmopolitan approach—an element the designer seems to have already mastered. "Americans know what casual means. Italians are real tailors; timeless elegance is their chorus," he explains. "To me, what is truly modern is to mix these two approaches: A is the American lifestyle cut the Italian way."
THE A COLLECTION IS SOLD AT PARK AND BOND IN NEW YORK, AND WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT THE CORNER STARTING IN JANUARY.