There are fashion magazines, and then there is Vogue. A fashion bible, as it is often referred to, is not just an iconic magazine. It remains a holy grail for every self-respected fashionista. It does not offer mere fashion, per se. Vogue is about much more— contemporary culture, catwalk features, exclusive interviews, legendary editorials, current affairs, authoritative letters from the editors, and much, much more. Unrivalled as it is, it takes pride in its cult status. As a league of its own, established in the US in 1892, Vogue extends beyond superficial coverage of fashion. It has survived wars, hardships, recessions, inflations, even a transition into the new millennium. What is the secret of success behind the famed magazine, you may ask? I thought Mr. Vogue might have the answers I need. His name is Andrea and he’s a proud owner of an impressive Vogue library. An Italian by birth, but an international fashion force by nature, Andrea stands behind one of the most intriguing Instagram accounts @andreatakesvogue. Followed by many luminaries from the world of fashion (Tim Blanks, Eva Herzigova, Mary Greenwell, to name a few), Andrea’s Instagram account offers daily insight into his archives. There you can take a trip down memory lane and reminisce some of the greatest moments in fashion history. We spoke about fashion today, but mostly focused on the golden age of fashion— the supermodel era.
AHL: Who is Andrea?
Andrea: Long story short, a man of style. I live in central Italy with my beautiful mother. I am the youngest sibling in the family, having four elder sisters and a brother. When I think about my life, the first thing that comes to mind is “Mr. Fashion”, a nickname my friends came up with because of the way I dressed, and the way I thought. It was only appropriate (laughs!) Besides fashion, I am passionate about cooking, furniture, music, goodreads, written word. As irony would have it, I do not work in the fashion industry. I am employed in an international drug company.
AHL: Why Vogue?
Andrea: Vogue represents the highest peak of fashion expression. The magazine logo itself is great and remains unsurpassed with time. I just love when it transitions from black to red, green or pink. The first issue of Vogue I’ve been given was in fact a Christmas gift back in 1988. I was 15-years-old and that gift by my sister was everything. That was the first time I saw Linda Evangelista, and the moment I got addicted to Vogue. Today, own approximately 5000 issues of Vogue, and many issues of Elle, Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar. Most of the issues are US, Italian and French.
AHL: I get the sense that you love vintage fashion. Is there a future in fashion’s past?
Andrea: I have a predilection for vintage because, in the past, fashion gave us a serious feeling of happiness and beauty. There was accuracy, and a great sense of glamour; an idea of pure perfection that made women dream. I love the 1990’s. I mean, I can tell you the nineties were very important to me. I grew up surrounded by the unforgettable super women. I don’t think anyone will be able to replay that big dream in the future. Cindy, Claudia, Naomi and Christy are my favorite girls. But, Linda… She’s at the top.
AHL: Speaking about vintage and the supermodel era, what are the most vivid memories?
Andrea: I’m in love with Veruschka, Editha Dussler, Wilhelmina Cooper and the Vreeland ladies. I’m still dreaming of Suzy Parker and Dovima, and Lauren Hutton. I miss the 1980’s girls such as Kelly LeBrock, Anette Stai, Rosemary McGrotha, Terry Farrell and Gia Carangi. I still have a special fondness for the podium-girls such as Marpessa, Katoucha, Ann Fiona and Sonia Cole.
AHL: What about fashion photographers?
Andrea: I love Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, of course. But, I also love the work of Henry Clark and Karen Radkai. I consider Steven Meisel as my mentor and I go absolutely crazy for Francesco Scavullo’s and Bill King’s work.
AHL: Among many fashion royals, Linda Evangelista follows you on Instagram. Being your favorite supermodel, that must stand for something.
Andrea: Yes, Linda follows me. I cannot say I know her personally, but I believe she’s very quiet and an Italian at heart. I am saddened by the horrible speculations about her actual shape. I will just say this, Linda deserves respect because she wrote some of the most beautiful pages of the fashion history. Today, she is a real woman and I respect the fact that she is not eager to appear perfect at all costs. Real perfection lies in our soul, not in our bodies.
AHL: What are your thoughts about fashion today?
Andrea: I hate today’s fashion. Let me put it like this, I love to see hips and I love to see breasts. Do you see any shaking flesh on the catwalk? (laughs!)
AHL: If you could bring one thing from the fashion’s past, what would it be?
Andrea: Hmm, I’d probably bring back leather mini skirts, or veiled stockings. I’d definitely bring back thin stiletto shoes, red lipstick, white embroidered shirts. I also want Scavullo, King, Gia Carangi and Gianni Versace back, please.
AHL: What is the future of @andreatakesvogue?
Andrea: I really don’t know. At this moment, I am quite amused by Instagram. My followers are genuinely nice and loyal, and I adore all of them. However, there are times I’d let everything go because I hate the thought of my photos being stolen by dishonest people that do not credit my work. But, I’ll stick it all out if nothing than for my mother who is my biggest supporter and believes in me, deeply.
Photo credit: @andreatakesvogue