Life with GucciGhost: We chat with the on-fire Canadian artist
You don't need an art history degree to know that GucciGhost has become one to watch. Four years ago, the Canadian-born artist, AKA Trevor 'Trouble' Andrew, started the project that would make him famous with a singular mission: "I was going to keep going until Gucci sues me or hires me," he says.
It started when the ex-Olympic snowboarder needed a last minute Halloween costume. Andrew cut two holes in his Gucci sheets, and thus, the GucciGhost was born. As he walked the streets of New York, he was amazed to see people call out to him, "yo, Gucci Ghost!" He got hooked.
Feeling good about the response, Andrew began spray-painting the Gucci logo on everything around him, from the streets to his clothes. "The idea was to transform trash into treasure," he says. From day one, his intention was to get noticed by the brand. "A lot of people didn't understand what I was doing, but I just kept pushing," says Andrew. "Part of the idea for the GucciGhost project was to make something real out of nothing; just believing in an idea so much it became real."
It became 100% real when Gucci actually came calling. "I kept saying to myself and to other people who kept saying I was crazy for doing what I was doing, 'it would just take the right person to understand it,'" he says. As it turned out, Gucci's newly appointed creative director, Alessandro Michele, was that right person. "That was a big move for him, after just having been appointed creative director and then all of a sudden grabbing somebody like me, and really just letting me run loose in Gucci and do whatever I wanted to do," Andrew explains.
When Andrew met Michele, the collaboration worked right away. "There was no don't do this, don't mess this up. We just encouraged each other and had fun," says Andrew. "There was no right or wrong way to do something, we just did it how we did it."
Now, Andrew's double G's bags are available worldwide at Gucci stores and retailers. The collaboration has become a hit with celebrities like Rihanna and Elton John, both of whom have been spotted wearing Andrew's designs. "Obviously, the celebrity factor is amazing, but I also just trip about seeing people on Instagram posting and hashtagging GucciGhost, and celebrating that moment of getting a piece or seeing the store," he says.
Earlier this month, Andrew travelled to Toronto for a new collaboration with Saks Fifth Avenue, for which he spray-painted his famous works in the luxury store's windows in honour of Canada's 150th. "I'm just in the process of doing my first solo show, and so it was a nice time to dip out, and get back home and eat Canadian candy," says Andrew.
The partnership is another career highlight for Andrew. "It's been interesting to me that I could say "life is Gucci," he says. "To me, what I was saying is "'life is good.'" Well then, life is Gucci indeed.
For even more from GucciGhost, check out our rapid fire round with the artist below.
Life with GucciGhost
Favourite thing you did or saw in Toronto? When I let off a fire extinguisher full of paint on the 9th floor of Saks...
STYLE & HOME
What's your desert island beauty product? Sunscreen
Describe your look in one word: Scumbag chic
What's your favourite possession in your home? VHS TV set
LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Favourite place to snowboard in Canada? Whistler backcountry
CULTURE AND ACTIVITIES
The one book you'd recommend to everyone? Art history
Where is your favourite place on earth? Home
What is your favourite restaurant in the world? Bed-Stuy Fish Fry
SPIRIT AND SELF
What's your poison (fave drink)? Sugar
What's your spirit animal? Emo cat
Secret Internet obsession: Worldstarhiphop
What makes you nervous? Airplanes
Favourite word or expression right now: "Life is Gucci."
What's most "Gucci" to you right now? Creating