As a teenager in a sea of grunge and goth, William Anzevino struggled to fit into his western Pennsylvania high school, so he turned lemons into lemonade and at the age of 15 he began selling his handmade jewelry and art at local flea markets. By the end of high school, he was printing T-Shirts and designing CD covers for his friends’ bands. His early 20s brought his first designer collaboration, with The Andy Warhol Museum, and his first clothing label soon followed. Called Anzevino and Florence the label quickly gained recognition from Los Angeles influencers and in the Fall of 2010, the company launched a diffusion label, Laugh Cry Repeat.
We spoke to Anzevino about his unique contemporary brand, social media, lessons learned, and more.
The Fashion Spot: Where did the Laugh Cry Repeat brand name stem from?
William Anzevino: A few years ago, I painted the words Laugh Cry Repeat on a canvas while feeling a bit angsty. After seeing the way people connected with these three words, it became the name for a new collection. I’ve always believed that clothes are a great outlet for feelings.
tFS: What's your design philosophy?
WA: I think good design should be equal parts fantasy and practical. I aim to create garments that help people feel set apart and comfortable in their skin at the same time.
tFS: Is there one item from your line that you're particularly proud of?
WA: I probably feel most connected to my print pieces from Fall 2011. They were inspired by a recent trip I took to a frozen waterfall and a tartan blanket I bought last winter. Developing unique prints adds a new layer of interaction between garment and designer.
tFS: What's one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you started your label?
WA: I wish I was better at trusting my instinct back then, though I suppose that’s something that must be learned.
tFS: Do you have a particular woman in mind when you're designing?
WA: I think of the woman who strives to really know herself.
tFS: What's the biggest challenge that you face day-to-day working in the fashion industry?
WA: Balancing the mainstream demand for derivative design and a personal agenda to facilitate self-expression.
tFS: How important is social media to your business?
WA: LOL, hold on while I update my status.
tFS: Do you think about trends when conceiving your new collections?
WA: Sometimes. But typically I think of right now.
tFS: If you could pick one celebrity to wear one of your designs, who would it be and what would you want her to wear?
WA: A young, angsty Winona Ryder or Angela Chase from My So Called Life. I would insist on letting them choose their looks because that would be the best part to watch.
tFS: What can we expect in the seasons to come from Laugh Cry Repeat?
WA: Hopefully more laughing than crying and as little repeat as possible.