Ana Strumpf

I can hear an accent in your voice. Where are you from?
It’s a very heavy accent.  [Laughs] I’m from Brazil and I’ve lived in New York since 2010. My husband is a horror movie film maker so he got a Fulbright scholarship to get his Masters at Columbia, so here we are.

Do you like New York?
It’s a city where I’ve lived before and used to love to visit every year, so I was very excited to move. If you told me, “Let’s go to North Carolina”, I don’t think I would have felt the same way. [Laughs] 

Where did you study?
At Parsons for FIT for a couple of classes. I’m going back to Brazil in April [2014] for good though because by then,  my husband’s courses will have ended. My work has always been between San Paulo and New York.

What did you study at Parsons and FIT?
Fashion.

Then how did you get into interior design?
I’ve in the interior design business since I was born, because my parents had their own interior design and fabrics stores for many years. I eventually started my own shop, which recycled vintage fabrics to turn into one-of-a-kind projects, using not only my designs but also up-and-coming designers in San Paulo. I’d essentially collaborate with these designers who’d use antique materials to make capsule collections.

And what about your personal style? Even if you can’t afford them, who are some designers that you love?
My style is not that colorful, but my house has a lot of prints. My work is maximista, as I say, but I personally wear a lot of black. I’m not that crazy with what I wear. I really like Acne, Alexander Wang, and accessories by Charlotte Olympia and Isabel Marant. SUNO is beautiful too.

We have the same style!
[Laughs] That’s always nice to hear!

Do you like Philip Lim?
I just went to his sample sale but didn’t get anything, which I regret.

What about Rick Owens?
I do, but for me it’s too minimal. I really enjoy the leather jackets and his last show with the dancing girls.

What was your first experience going to a fashion show?
With my work, another thing I do is work with magazines. In Brazil, I write a design column for Vogue Brasil called “Olho Mágico”, so I go to fashion shows, Back in the day, I worked for a teen magazine and had to do this backstage interview with a really famous model.

Really? Would I know her?
Her name was Giselle Bundchen[Laughs]

No way. That’s insane!
I did the interview and photoshoot with her, so that’s my first fashion memory. When I was younger, I also used to model for a baby and kids brand called Giovanna Baby. She used to come to New York and sell at Bergdorf Goodman.

Have you always been artistic?
Fashion was always in my mind. I remember doing fashion drawings or crochets forever. I love to draw. I don’t draw fashion or people or mannequins, but rather prints.  I did a lot of designs to draw the outfit, but being a fahsion designer was never my thing. I was always on the marketing side.

Tell us about Re:Cover.
It’s my side business that is slowly becoming my main. I’m doing illustrations for magazines but a lot has happened because of these covers.

Like what?
Last year I did an exhibition in Sao Paulo. It started pretty organically. I love doodling and love magazines. Since I Skype a lot with colleagues in Brazil, I was always doing things on paper. Then, I realized that my doodles on magazines were starting to become something that I enjoyed. I posted images on my Instagram and people liked it. It’s something that is a real pleasure because it calms me when I’m anxious. . I try to put what I like on the covers, which is colors and prints. There’s no elaborate drawings. It’s just me decorating the covers.

Are those the magazines you read? I really love some of the covers you chose like The Gentlewoman, which I collect.
I didn’t used to buy the magazines much, but I have a Vogue subscription and drew on the covers. Then I tried Bazaar, Gentlewoman, i-D, Fat Magazine. Now I just go to magazine stores for covers that I like. In the beginning, it was a way for me to recycle. I was constantly throwing books out but keeping the covers. People actually now asking me to do commission works on their favorite collected magazines from the 90s or 80s

What are some of your favorite covers that you’ve drawn on?
Another with the Michelle Williams on the coverW with Tilda Swinton. Fat Magazine with Daria. I just did the Kate Moss one of Playboy.

That’s amazing. You have really great taste.
Thanks! The i-D with Karlie Kloss and the other covers with Kate Moss and Natalia with the stars are favorites.  Also, Giselle from Vogue Brasil

Do you only work with covers featuring girl models?
The guys covers are not as playful. My husband always says I have to do a guy cover sometime, so I’ll try.

Shifting away from Re:Cover for a moment, you also worked on a project involving Hello Kitty. Was it a big part of your childhood?
Yes! I used to come to New York and the first place I wanted to go to was Sanrio in Times Square. I used to collect stickers and pens, so that was a nice project, I was flattered to be asked.

Did you know you wanted to do a chair?
Furniture design, especially on this Louis XV chair, was something I did a lot. In my own store, I used to buy old furniture and reupholster it with vintage fabrics, but always work with that chair style. I thought, “How cool would it be to put the Hello Kitty face where you put your back?” 

Now I want to ask some more random questions. What’s your favorite movie?
The one from my childhood that is dear to me is Mary Poppins.

Favorite month?
My birthday month: September.

Where do you want to travel to?
Tokyo, Istanbul, and Berlin. I have a German passport but I haven’t been to Berlin yet; such a shame, but I will go! If I had to choose one though, Tokyo because I feel like it’s the oriental version of New York.

What’s one concert you want to go to?
OutKast.

Favorite color?
Black is always good, but red.  I have red wallpaper and nail polish always.

What’s on your bucket list at the moment?
I always wanted to have children, which I can now check off because I just had twins. Max and Noah – they’re my two greatest creations. [Laughs] Now, my bucket list revolves around New York because I only have two more months here before I go back to Brazil. I want to see the Donald Judd Foundation studio or the Walter de Maria Earth Room. It’s about more immediate stuff than the future for me at the moment.

 

For more of Ana’s work, check out her website. Interviewed by Alicia Chon.