So, Andy, what do you wear to work?
Black jeans and a black tee. I literally have hundreds of new and vintage black tees and jeans that I rotate.
Describe Rolla’s in three words.
Young, wild, free.
What’s does your typical day look like?
Once the season is designed, I basically go over the whole range every day to make sure everything is looking as good as it can be. This includes going over the denim washes and different fits and creating the sketches and artwork for the apparel. We also have to do ‘fits’ on most days. I do have the odd day where nothing goes right and I want to smash things and kill a few people, but it’s all normally pretty cool and cruisy.
How did you get into the world of fashion?
I've been working in design for over 20 years. I started off as a graphic designer in my teens, then moved into textile design and painting for a while; then I followed my heart into denim and youth apparel. I have designed denim for companies both big and small. I'm a self-confessed vintage collector and hoarder. I started collecting vintage clothing as a teenager – I have hundreds or thousands of denim jeans and jackets, band tees, skate tees, skateboards – and I'm also a muscle car nut. I built my ’65 GT Fastback Mustang when I was 19 and still have the same beast today. It's my friend and lifelong steed.
We hear the Rolla’s office is a pretty cool space. Can you tell us a little about it?
Rolla's HQ is in a suburb called Fitzroy in Melbourne. Our office space is big with high ceilings, white-painted walls and floors and – as you can imagine – a ton of both vintage and new denim scattered throughout the place. The rest of the Rolla's team are quite legendary, especially my other half, Sarah, who is the co-founder and designer with me. We met on the job about 10 years ago at another big denim house and we now have a little legend child together, named Tabitha.
Your brand story evokes a heavy dose of rock’n’roll. What sort of tunes are on rotation at Rolla’s HQ?
We've been lucky enough to dress a ton of bands over the years which is definitely a perk of the job – and not just in terms of free tickets to gigs. At the moment, we’ve been listening to PJ Harvey. She’s touring Melbourne in a few weeks and we've managed to score some good seats to the gig. Nick Cave and Patti Smith also get a good go on the rotation, along with some younger Aussie bands like the Twerps and the Rolling Blackouts. But you can't beat our local radio station Triple R, who never fail on the good tunes front.
You’ve got three wishes. What would they be?
World peace, an original 1978 Firebird with the screaming chicken on the bonnet, and a time machine.
What’s your most prized piece of clothing?
That's a tough question. I have quite a few favourites I’ve thrashed over the years. If I had to narrow it down, the first thing would be my vintage Black Sabbath denim vest that I bought off the back of an old biker about 10 years ago at a flea market in Pasadena. He was one of the original roadies for Black Sabbath in the 70s. The other item would have to be my black velvet vintage blazer I found in New York a long time ago. I’ve worn it to many gigs and special occasions over the years and every time I put it on it feels like home.
Where was the last place you travelled to and why?
Amsterdam for a Rolla's brand party. I remember most of it...
Rolla’s has some pretty cool collabs under its belt. Got a favourite one?
All the collabs we’ve done with different bands and artists have been great. But more recently, we’ve done a slightly different kind of collab with Blundstone Boots. I'm looking forward to the boots coming out soon.
You once teamed up with Jethro Cave [Nick Cave’s son]. How did that come about?
I met Jethro in London a few years back. Nick Cave has been one of the biggest muses for myself and Rolla's – I've always liked his style, so shooting with his son Jethro was a perfect fit. He’s a funny cat who moves to the beat of his own drum.
Did Nick drop by the set for some moral support?
No, unfortunately not. He was actually on tour at the time. I would love to do a shoot with him some day.
Biggest celebrity style icon?
To be honest, I think that most celebrities have terrible style. But if I had to name a few good ones, I would say Nick Cave, River Phoenix and Heath Ledger in their heyday.
Biggest unintentional style icon?
Picasso. Ironically, he was no oil painting, but he had style.
And finally, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
KISS, or Keep It Simple Stupid. My Headmaster at high school used to always say this, and although I never liked the guy – and didn't love the 'stupid' part – he was definitely onto something. I believe good design is about keeping it simple.