adwoa aboah pays homage to the supermodels of the 90s in a new the fan collection
As a way to explore their own going obsession with nostalgia, Elle Azhdari and Cristina Aranda-Garzon created The Fan with a collection of bomber jackets dedicated to Andy Warhol’s 'Interview Magazine' from the 70s. Now they’re celebrating the 90s...
Sometimes, the best way to wear your fandom is on your sleeve. Well, that's what the ladies behind The Fan think, anyway. The sportswear label — the brainchild of Elle Azhdari and Cristina Aranda-Garzon — launched earlier this year with a take on the MA1 bomber. The jacket was covered in patches pulled from the most iconic Interview magazine covers from the publication's heyday in the 70s.
The Fan's small run of jackets found its way onto the backs of Theophilus London, A$AP Rocky, and one Miss Adwoa Aboah. Adwoa became such a fan that she agreed to front the designer/stylist duo's second collection, which lovingly pays homage to the Super 6 — the stunning pack of Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, and Kate Moss, who ruled fashion in the 90s.
The five-piece collection of jackets, hoodies, and tees is a celebration of how these faces broke out of fashion and dominated all of pop culture. The Super 6 collection marks The Fan's second drop this year (a third is coming soon) dedicated to Elle and Cristina's obsession with popular culture — past and present. We caught up with them to find out more.
How did you both meet?
Elle: We met how I meet most of my mates — on the streets or in the club! It was before Facebook and Instagram, (we had Myspace) and my mates and I used to hang out on the streets of Soho, chatting for hours and just randomly bumping into people. You'd spent a whole day just hanging out and some of them became my best friends and still are to this day. But Crissy and I actually met in Plastic People on Curtain Road in Shoreditch, to be exact. If you were into music and a black hole where anything goes, you'd go there and dance until really late. The council decided they wanted to 'clean up' the area and Plastic People eventually got replaced with some pointless burger joint. Anyhow, Crissy and I lived on. We clicked immediately, I asked for her number, we met up and bonded over style and lots of drinks. That was back in 2008.
How and why did you set up The Fan?
Elle: I've been a collector of clothing for years and I finally decided to turn it all into something. I just wanted to do something light and fun. I have always been a huge fan of imagery and thought, 'why not create a brand around that?' I met up with Crissy one night and THE FAN brand was born. We wrote a business plan, got some funds together, and worked all summer to deliver a limited run of handmade MA1 jackets celebrating Andy Warhol's Interview magazine covers. We called the debut capsule Megastar. After all, these icons shaped the world as much as they shaped our ideas and experiences.
Crissy: We had an idea and we decided to make it happen; it had to be something we are both passionate about. We've always been into a very similar aesthetic and we're both collectors. All those times we spent ransacking vintage clothes shops together, talking endlessly about music, and checking out art exhibitions has led us to this moment.
What is it about 90s supermodels that inspired you to make the Super 6 jacket?
Elle: They were strong, powerful, beautiful, intelligent, and fun. How is that possible? It's quite an enigma, really. They simply kicked ass, and so does this jacket, ha! The 90s supermodels were a true reflection of the times, and they all make a real sexy patch!
Crissy: There's a reason why the world is still is obsessed with 90s supermodels. Brains, beauty, and personality, they were so sassy and ahead of their time. Muses to artists, musicians, and photographers, you can't deny they played a significant part in cementing that strong 90s aesthetic.
Who is your favorite 90s supermodel?
Elle: If I had to choose one it would be Cindy Crawford. But I also really adored Sibyl Buck because she had mad attitude and gave no fucks.
Crissy: For me it's Kate Moss. I've worked with her a couple of times, she says what she thinks, does what she wants, and she's still very much in demand today. I also love the nonconformist Sibyl Buck. When she started out in Paris they tried to make her the same as all the other girls, after awhile she said 'fuck this.' She was a bass-playing skateboarder so she dyed her hair bright red and her career took off. Goes to show you should always be yourself no matter what.
What draws you towards nostalgia?
Elle: I think it's a personal thing if I'm honest. Some people are not into nostalgia at all. I think it's the counterculture that I'm really fascinated by, there was so much going on. Today it's also really important to highlight that and make the younger generation aware of what existed before them.
Crissy: Some of the most groundbreaking moments in creativity happened in the past; people were so fearless. Internet culture has made everything accessible, so there's less of a defined tribe culture, everything kind of looks the same. On the other hand, it breeds creativity, it connects people and creates communities. This means we've seen a boom in independent fashion brands with a worldwide fan base without having to use conventional means of marketing.
Why was Adwoa the perfect person to bring your collection to life?
Elle: The Fan is about celebrating the past and the present and we like to put a modern twist on things. Adwoa has an old soul but she feels very modern. She possesses an inner strength that I really admire, you can just feel and see it by watching a video of her. That's pretty powerful. I also really like the fact that she is outspoken about her own personal experiences, I find that really inspiring.
Crissy: Adwoa's also got mad style! I call her the fearless crusader. She's on a mission and through her project Gurls Talk. She's created a platform where girls can talk about mental health, body image, substance, and sexuality, I admire anyone who puts themselves out there to help others.
What will you do with The Fan next?
Elle: Jackets are our thing, so we definitely want to continue making some more statement jackets and move into other product categories but still keep it to limited edition runs, because who wants to wear the same stuff as everyone else? Maybe we'll do a concept on current popular culture, like a capsule on how much I love Kanye — I love Kanye like Kanye loves Kanye! — but before that happens we are following up with a drop in February 2017 celebrating another timeless icon. It's gonna be wicked.
The Super 6 collection is available to pre-order via thefanof.com
Text Lynette Nylander
Photography Emanuele D'Angelo