Before she can legally drink a glass of wine, Andrea Cuomo, 20, has carved a path for herself in the fashion industry. The Colombian-born, Queens-raised artist–who was highlighted as one of the youngest fashion designers of the week on Women’s Wear Daily–combines her passion for graffiti art with casual wear to create a stylish line dubbed Cuz Love Killz.
After meeting Jacinto Onofre, a fellow colleague she befriended while interning for designer Camilla Staerk, the two joined forces to create CLK, which orginally emerged as just a t-shirt line. Onofre brought years of styling fashion editorials to the table while Cuomo’s artwork was used for the shirts’ prints.
A graduate of NY Military Academy and The Fashion Institute of Technology, Andrea adds street-style grafitti to comfortable garments, creating looks to fit both men and women’s lifestyles. An underlying theme throughout the collection is the condemned heart icon, which is just one of the graffiti elements included to support the line’s morbid love theme.
Cuomo, who holds a Krylon can near and dear to her heart, chops it up with LuxLadies.com to give some insight on her brand.
What goal do you give yourself a pat on the back for achieving?
I always had the dream of having my own fashion line, and for me to have accomplished it at a young age is more than i could ask for.
Who inspired you on your road to success as a designer?
Camilla Staerk took me into the fashion world and showed me what it took to be a designer. Andy Warhol for opening my eyes to art. Jacinto Onofre for showing me that anything and everything is possible if you have faith.
Your artistry as a graffiti artist is somewhat different compared to your laidback style of design. Any particular reason for that?
I feel that I live in two extreme opposite worlds–the fashion and graffiti world. I feel that with the art prints saying so much the clothes should be at a basic design.
What has been an adversity you have faced in your career as a graffiti artist and as a fashion designer?
As a graffiti artist, it has always been hard being a woman since the majority of its artists are male. As for fashion, I believe it’s the young age that sets me aside.
What is your best kept secret you’ve hidden until now?
Always improvise on your toes. Sometimes it tends to work better than preparation.
What keeps you awake at night?
I always think of what else is going to be next in fashion and art.
Words of wisdom to pass on to others?
Rise to the top yet never forget where you came from.
LINK // cuzlovekillz.com