Tell us a little bit more about yourself. We are really curious about your name, Andrea (Normally, the name Andrea is common for ladies and Andre for men).
I’m 23, and I come from Milan, North Italy. My nickname comes from the band Slipknot. I work for A&F, I used to model for them for two campaigns in California, and this helped me to meet good people and grow to be more open with them and new experiences. My passion for photography started 3 years ago, when I bought my first and my current DSLR camera for my trip to Thailand in 2012. It was an amazing experience, and since then I bring my camera and my passion in every single trip I go.
Well, my name is actually used for girls in Germany or in north of Europe, but here in Italy it’s very common for guys too. I really thank my parents for choosing this name, I love it. Andrea comes from “andréia” that means strength and courage, a valiant warrior. I think is a cool name, simple, short and understandable in every country.
What makes you love Slipknot so much that you decided to use it as your username for both YouTube and Instagram?
When I was around fifteen, Slipknot was my favorite band. I was a skater boy at that age and I used to listen to heavy metal or any heavy music, you know it’s the mood when you’re a kid. Anyway I just mixed my name with the band and there you have it. Then I never changed, I think out of laziness. My favourite songs are Duality and Wait and Bleed.
What makes you special?
Answering this question is not easy. I think I’m humble, I always try to do my best in what I like and I appreciate every little thing. I don’t need big things to be happy.
Why do you love Milan, Italy?
I actually don't like Milan. I used to be there so much that I’m almost going to hate it. It’s too chaotic, too busy and in summer it’s definitely too hot. But I think it’s a great city for tourists, full of history and things to do. Sometimes I wish to see it like a visitor, like I’ve never seen it before. For visitors, I suggest taking a 24 hours ticket of the metro and checking out every single little corner to find patterns or cool spots to shoot.
Where are you currently studying in and what do you study?
I’m studying Architecture at Politecnico of Milano, hopefully graduating this summer.
What and how has majoring in architecture and design has impacted your perspective of the world?
Studying “environmental architecture” made me love nature more, and also gave me a different way to see everyday things compared to the world and the environment. It also gave me the ability to compose images in my mind; images of everything: a building, a room, a photograph… I learned also how to use photographic memory. For example, a funny thing is when I study, I hardly remember what I wrote, but I remember perfectly the layout and the disposition of the photos.
How important is the innovative mind when it comes to being an architect student?
It’s the most important thing, but you need also to be able to take ideas from others’ project, mix them with your idea to recreate something new. Everyone needs a starting point.
What’s a building in Milan that captures you?
Since I love modern buildings and nature, I like the new “Bosco Verticale”, a perfect example of nature mixed with a social house.
What challenges do you face in your life?
My main challenge now is to stand out from the crowd in the field of photography.
We see that you are a very active person; playing basketball, skateboarding and snowboarding. Which is your favourite?
I played basketball for 10 years, since I was a kid. I quit in 2012 because I was too busy with my university, so I’ve started to work out to keep myself fit. Honestly I really like skateboarding but here in Italy it’s not easy to do it, so I prefer spending days on mountains during the winter season, shredding the slopes. I hate soccer.
Any hippie locations that you love to shoot in?
Skate park in Lambro park, you have graffiti but also nature, nice for blurry (bokeh) backgrounds.
How did purchasing your first and current DSLR, for a trip to Thailand in 2012, stir your passion for photography?
Buying my first camera was a big step for me; it brought me to where I am now, having hard disks full of photos taken by me, pretty insane. I was a noob actually in Thailand, I knew few things about my camera but that trip was really important because I learned how to better use my camera in different situations.
Did you encounter any awkward/funny situations in Thailand?
A funny moment? Well there was once I was swimming in the ocean with my camera in a plastic bag to get to an island. In that moment I thought I was losing my baby haha.
What do you love about photography?
The photographs remain forever and you’re the God that decides what to include in your little world (photo). I want to make photography my main job, not just a hobby.
What would you consider your style of photography to be?
My style is my style. Lately, I’m really loving street photography, but I also like lifestyle and minimal shots and mixing landscapes.
Why not stick to a single style/theme?
I guess changing from style to style makes you more interesting and able to shot in different situations. It makes you versatile. But I try to keep colors and edit almost the same.
Which model is the DSLR you’re currently using?
Currently I shoot with a Canon 6D, but I have also a Canon 600D. I’m always on Manual mode, but I like AV too.
Do you use your iPhone to shoot too?
Mmm not really, like never.
Tell us about a moment that you wished you captured on camera, but missed the opportunity to.
After my graduation I was having late barbecue on a lake with friends, and there was a sky full of stars above me. Unfortunately, I left my camera at home.
How do you think dabbling in this form of art (photography) has influenced you as a person?
Photography and art in general made me a better person. It helps to have feelings and emotions in front of everything, it helps me not to be superficial.
Do you have any favourite Instagrammers you follow? We love a good feed.
How did you get casted to be an A&F model?
I was actually hanging in the store, buying few clothes, when a manager approached me asking if I would take part in the family, and I said yes, why not? I never thought I’d become so “important” for them.
What was the experience like?
Well, being an Abercrombie model is pretty different from being a real model, they are two different worlds. I honestly don’t like the fashion industry, but A&F has been like a big family for me. Being an A&F model includes the opportunity to travel the world for opening stores and doing campaigns, and the best thing is that you get to always meet amazing people.
What do you love about modeling with A&F?
Well, modeling for A&F just in the store is pretty boring, but I’d always worked with the idea of travelling or a doing campaign, and fortunately I got 2 campaigns in Santa Barbara for their Back To School collection in 2011 and 2014, and 3 overseas trips on top of that. This is the main reason why I love to work in that store. Now things are changing - they removed the greeters so it’s becoming like a normal store, with no more big openings like few years ago.
What one article of clothing from A&F that you have worn the most?
Jeans, without a doubt.
You are the brand representative when Abercrombie decides to open new stores across the world. What are some of the cities you have visited?
I did two big openings in Asia, one in Seoul (October 2013) and the second one in Shanghai (April 2014). Both of them were amazing, big crew, lot of fun and great memories.
Do you think we will ever see you walking for the International Men's Fashion Week?
No, I don’t think so.
When you are travelling, are there any locations you look out for when you photograph?
I always look for the most breathtaking landscape.
We saw the film you did while you were in Shanghai. What makes you love Shanghai so much? Do you always bring your penny board with you when you travel?
I love big cities, not to live in, but to travel and explore with my skateboard. Shanghai was definitely very big haha, lot of lights, people, big buildings, a city full of cool spots. Also I love to shoot and live the nightlife in big cities, and the experience I had cruising during night in Shanghai was one of the best in my life. I still feel the vibes when I watch my video.
I actually bought the Penny in Shanghai, and I left it there cause I hadn't enough space in my luggage...dang. But I have a small board now, so I can always bring it with me.
What other items do you bring with you when you travel?
My GoPro, DSLR camera, hat and Vans. I’m never without them. ;)
Why did you decide to film your experiences in Shanghai?
I decided with a friend, Douglas Parker, a guy from England that I met in Seoul. My passion for filming grew after that trip. He’s a filmmaker, so we were both down to do an “aftermovie” trip, and we did it out of the same passion for skateboards.
Do you plan on exploring more of China or would you prefer to travel to other parts of the Asia-Pacific?
Of course, I love Asia. I’m planning to visit Bali in September!
What can we expect from you in the near future?
More amazing and cool photography. :)