Interview with the accessories designer Andreas Eberharter

The designer Andreas Eberharter. Photo Credit: Felix Vratny

Andreas Eberharter, the Vienna based jewelry and accessories designer, received training as a goldsmith and sculptor, and began his career as an assistant to the renowned artists Anna Heindl, Manfred Wakolbinger and Eva Schlegel. After working as a freelance artist, Andreas Eberharter established his own label AND_i in 2001.

Not only did the brand receive numerous awards in Austria, but it also attracted international attention with its participation in the Thierry Mugler Men Show in 2009. 

The eyepatch that Lady Gaga used in her video „Paparazzi“ has become a cult object. Stars like Milla Jovovich, Kiera Chaplin, Kesha, Kat Graham, Tarkan, Beyonce and Lindsay Lohan are among the fans of AND_i’s jewelry.

Today we talk to Andreas Eberharter about his artistic background, his route to fashion industry and his eye-catching creations.

Andreas, tell us about the philosophy behind your brand? What is your signature style?

I drive a very high design/art level, so it is very important for me to transport that into my products. I am trying to keep my design language without getting boring. I work a lot with aluminum, which gives my designs a special style. My pieces are mostly a “bit bigger”, I love to create eye patches and masks, which brought AND_i to a level of awareness.

Who do you create your pieces for? Who are your clients?

As my slogan says: “authentic jewelry for real individualists”. AND_i jewelry is not for everyone. It is for people who value design, uniqueness and also well produced jewelry and accessories. Now the first time after launching my web shop, I have the direct connection to my worldwide clients, which shows me their demands.

What is your background, where did you study?

I did a goldsmith´s school, HTL Steyr, which was a very traditional manual education. After that I did another HTL in Graz for sculpturing, which opened my mind a lot. We learned how to work with stones, wood, clay, concrete, plaster,… and many many techniques.

Photo Credit: Felix Vratny

Could you tell more about your experiences as an artist and as a sculptor?

When I was at school I painted really a lot, I also did sculptures in all different kind of materials. After school I decided to stop painting to avoid getting crazy (smiling) and after school I did not really have the space to create huge sculptures, so I started doing sculptural jewelry first in my apartment, then very quick I had my first studio together with some other people. After that I always had my own studio. Now I share it for one year with the costume designer Nora Rieser. But I also worked as an assistant for the goldsmith artist ANNA Heindl, and also for the sculptor Manfred Wakolbinger for many years. I did huge bronze sculptures for him, his exhibitions and also for special orders.

«I drive a very high design/art level, so it is very important for me to transport that into my products»

How would you describe your brand in three words?

sexy, futuristic, wild

Where do you find inspiration for your creations?

The best ideas come to me when I am having a shower)), but also when travelling, or when the time is very late and I have to create something great… (laughing)

Photo Credit: Felix Vratny

Could you, please, describe the process of creating your jewelry? What materials do you prefer to work with?

For example, I make the casted aluminum masks by modeling by hand with a special clay. Mostly I have a rough idea where I want to go, and then, during the work, there come interesting moments when I have to make really lots of decisions….

Or another way — my eye patches, for example, — I draw them first, then those files get digitalized and then we produce them.

My most favorite material is anodized aluminum, which gives me most opportunities, but also gold plated or rhodanized bronze, leather, organic plastic,…..

What is the best part of your work? And what is the most challenging part of it?

designing, modelling, creating, prototyping, bringing the vision to the form…. are definitely the best parts.

The most challenging part is to satisfy myself, so that I am really happy with the results. And until I am happy I do not stop (laughing).

«Designing, modelling, creating, prototyping, bringing the vision to the form…. are definitely the best parts»

Are there any other jewelry designers who you admire?

Admire, hmmmm…. Yes, I am really a huge fan of Paco Rabanne. I avoid watching his shows, because the stuff was so good and high end, that I do not want to get influenced.

Photo Credit: Irina Gavrich

What is your idea of beauty?

Nature. All we designers can do is try to get as close or as far away from nature. A good designer looks around, beauty is everywhere you look, if you can see it.

What are you currently working at? What is the story behind your latest collection? What was it inspired by?

At the moment I am working on my newest Collection, which will be a brand extension AND_i+ which allows me to launch my first denim collection this September at WHO`S NEXT in Paris. The USB`s are the 7 different laser prints, which are illustrations from my previous Campaign pics and also some free ideas.

And I work a lot on branded products, where I design and produce unique branded products for international companies like Thierry Mugler, Swarovski, Absolut Vodka, Red Bull and many others. Here is a link to the page: http://www.and-i4u.com

 

Photo Credit: Irina Gavrich

Do you enjoy traveling? How does traveling inspire you and what are your favourite places/cities?

Yes, I love traveling to warmer destinations in wintertime, which is very cold in Austria. Traveling through Asia or Mexico, for example, always gives many inspirations, as you have time to see all the little things when having holidays. You don’t have to think about what to do next, the only challenges are where to get the best food, a quiet beach, the best coconut shake…(smiling)

Thailand is still one of my favourite places to go, I love the area, the nature, the people, it is clean everywhere. I have also been to Cambodia and Vietnam, I had never sen such a lot of garbage everywhere. But I love to go everywhere, each new city or country is exciting and inspiring. My favourite cities to travel are still NYC, LA, Paris and London.

«The most challenging part is to satisfy myself, so that I am really happy with the results»

What are the most exciting places in Vienna that you would advise our international readers to visit?

There are some really nice areas in the 7th district, the “Spittelberg” area, but I also love the Augarten, and also the Prater area, which brings the alluvial forest with its quiet sides very close to the city — there is a lot to discover. Also, outside Vienna, there is a very beautiful National park, called Donau Auen, an awesome place to relax. There are some nice areas to eat and drink, like Naschmarkt or Brunnenmarkt, which is another alternative.

Photo Credit: Irina Gavrich

Where can our readers buy your jewelry pieces?

https://www.and-i.com/shop/

Very comfortably from their laptops and smartphones. We have just launched the online shop with a really huge range of jewelry and accessories from many different collections. Many pieces are on sale, we offer free shipping with Fedex on purchases starting from €150.

Thank you very much for the great and inspiring interview! We wish you a lot of success!