Adriana Angelini; one you will undoubtedly be hearing about. I have had the pleasure to attend Academy of Art University with Adriana, a place full of creative minds and inventive aesthetics, but she stood out like a sore thumb (in the best way), not only because of her effortless style, but because of her presence; always with a genuine, happy smile on her face. I find it to be something of a rarity today when you are amongst an individual who is truly happy with who they are. As it is evident by the way that they speak, by what they speak about, and more importantly, how they make other people feel. I am quite the perfectionist and always aspiring to be my best, but what I appreciate most is that Adriana has been one of those classmates that make me try harder, desire to know more, and to be better at what I do. And for that, I am forever grateful. You need people in life who push you, sometimes unknowingly, but who remind you how much you love something, a dream, and to remember to breathe and be happy while chasing it. May you find people that make you want to be more than who you are and may you enjoy this interview that I find to be so beautiful and so inspiring. Thank you, Adriana!
Where are you from originally? And what brought you to San Francisco?
I am originally from Venezuela but left when I was about 3, and ever since I have travelled the world. My Mom works for Coca-Cola, so as a result, we have lived everywhere from Brazil to Costa Rica to Mexico. I guess I was raised a nomad. It’s interesting because before coming to San Francisco I was studying in Paris, where you would think I would never want to leave. It was beautiful but it was cold, and it was far away from my family, so I think moving to San Francisco just seemed like an organic step to take. It’s cold, but in the three years I’ve been here it’s rained 3 times, total (laughs) and I can visit my family more often. I came for the city more than the school, but being at the Academy of Art makes me never want to leave. I got really lucky to find such a great school in one of the most perfect cities.
What were your loves as a child, are some of your interests still the same today?
It’s funny because when looking at my life, what I am doing now is just a refined version of what I did when I was a child. I was obsessed with barbies, but more than just playing with them I loved making their houses. I had every piece of furniture and little plastic plant, and would spend hours searching for interesting nooks in my house to set-up their home. I am currently doing an internship at California Home+Design, which has nothing to do with fashion, but a part of me has always loved interior design. I think all areas of design feed off of each other, so I think it’s important not to compartmentalize the fields, or even confine yourself to one field only. I think the biggest interest that still remains is the interest to learn. I have always been curious about life, and I think I always will be.
Where do you think your love for fashion manifested?
As silly as it sounds it started from bloggers. I remember in my junior year of highschool, right when blogs were starting to gain recognition, I would look at blogs for hours on end and then after I got my inspiration I would run to my closet and just create outfits for my next day at school. By the end of junior year I won “Best Dressed” (super lame but validating) and it made me realize that I maybe might have a knack for it. I love aesthetics and beautiful things and the manipulation of fabrics to create something spectacular is what keeps my interest in fashion alive.
Were you raised in a family where they supported your creative dreams? Are they true proponents of your inventive aesthetic?
I owe my family a lot. Everything they do is for me, which makes me incredibly lucky. I remember when I was little my mother would always say “I don’t care if you want to be a garbage-can collector, what I care about is you being the best you can be doing that job”. It’s never been a matter of what I do, it’s always been how I do it, and the values my parents have engrained in me make me thankful because it has humbled me in an indescribable way. They will always have my back, and they will always have unconditional faith in me, which to be honest is what keeps me going when I don’t even have faith in myself. They aren’t the cause of my aesthetic because they have a pretty tacky taste (laughs). My aesthetic doesn’t come from my parents at all, it comes from different sources at random times. With that said, my parents and I are foodies at heart, and I think our constant visit to spectacular restaurants does fuel our appreciation as a family for well-designed spaces and objects.
What are your future goals, lets say..in the next 3-5 years?
To be honest, I am 21, I have no idea what I want out of life yet or where I want to go with my career, but I do know that I want my work to have meaning, and I can only learn about what matters to me through experience. I am very interested in marketing, so at the moment my goal is to participate in any activities or opportunities that will help me build the necessary skills to one day be a part of a marketing team. In the long long run though, I want my own business. Maybe it’s because I’m an only child, but it drives me crazy to work for someone else’s vision. I want to use my energy to make my own visions happen.
How do you set goals for yourself? Are you a go-getter or let life come to you kind-of-girl? Or maybe a little bit of both?
It’s interesting because the other day I was reading an article about two types of people in the world; the do-ers and the thinkers. The thinkers might ultimately end-up with a better thought-out plan, but they will never have the courage to make it happen because they have thought about all of the things that might and will go wrong. The do-er, on the other hand, although impulsive, makes things happen, and lives life. I think these types of questions are quite null for me to be answering because at 21, I am still discovering life. I am still discovering my ways and still seeing what works and what doesn’t work. I used to be a thinker, and to a certain extent I still am, but I want my future self to be a do-er. Goals, to me, are visions of what I want for my life in the future, which relates to the thinker in me, but now I have to start figuring out how to get there, which is why I need to start doing. But there isn’t a methodology to my life yet, I don’t think there ever will be. You can’t plan life.
What are a few core values you believe in and take with you as your adulthood unfolds?
I am a big fan of values because I think they are what guide our actions in everything we do. I think one of the biggest values my mom has passed-on to me is perseverance and hard work. It’s acknowledging that you are responsible for outcomes and that the more effort you put, the more it shows, and that even if you aren’t rewarded at the moment, those efforts will pay off. It’s having integrity in your work, and always being honest and gaining success through valid means. I also believe in treating others with respect, at always acknowledging that we all have feelings, we are all fighting our own battles, and to understand that just because someone might not think the same way, doesn’t mean they are bad people. I think it’s very easy to make excuses with all things in life, but the most important to me is to keep growing and to keep on improving. Life isn’t a competition between you and people better than you; life is a competition between you and one’s former self. If you respect others, focus on your own strengths, and never give-up on what you believe in, there will be little room left in one’s heart for negativity.
What is important to you when it comes to your dream career?
At the moment, meaning is what matters most. I’m not saying I have to be saving lives for a job to be meaningful, but I have to believe in my career. I have to know that what I am doing is affecting someone and preferably bettering his or her life. There also has to be a sense of innovation and creativity involved with what I will be doing. I think to move forward one must think forward, and exercising creativity on a daily basis will only lead to better ideas for a better future.
Could you describe your personal style in 3 words?
Feminine, Comfortable, French
If there is something you would want to be remembered for, what would that be?
I think I would want to be remembered for my values and happiness. I want to be remembered as a good person who was happy despite what life threw my way. I want to be remembered as someone who made happiness contagious, and someone who always believed that kindness was the path for humanities success.
Have you traveled a lot in your lifetime thus far? If so, what place is the most inspiring or impacted you on a greater level?
I LOVE to travel, in fact, I frown upon those who don’t (sorry! Laughs). What I love about traveling is how it humbles you. It can take you from feeling comfortable in your home to feeling like an ant that has no purpose in life, and I think that experience makes you appreciate life more. I think the only place that’s left for me to visit is Asia, which I am really excited about. I think the places that inspire me depend on what I am going through at the moment. This past summer I did an internship in New York and I hated it. Right after it ended, me and my best friend went to Costa Rica to a small town called Santa Teresa, where, as opposed to New York that was an overwhelming pot of everything, was a one-road town that was literally one hut, the jungle, and a beach. I have never felt so at peace yet, at the same time, at war with my life, because being there made me question a lot of what I was doing with my future. I never wanted to leave, and I might even go back once I graduate for 2 months to think.
Lastly, what is your life motto? What makes you Adriana?
There is no right or wrong answer to life. You need to live based on what matters to you and make decisions based on what’s right for YOU. You will never be happy if you keep on chasing other people’s dreams.