Drew Villani

I guess my biggest sacrifice in coming in New York is comfortability. How can one expect to impact the world by being comfortable? I left behind everything I ever knew to pursue a vision I didn’t understand. It’s trusting yourself and the one who instilled the vision within you, and knowing that it’s not about you. The world needs your vision and the process it takes for it to evolve into existence. It’s selfish and unfair to the world to not pursue your vision relentlessly. It’s like never giving someone the gift that they’ve always wanted.

A native Australian, Drew Villani moved to New York City in order to pursue a life dedicated to fashion. Only three years into his journey, Drew has created his own line, DREU, and isn’t showing any signs of letting up in the future.

Drew got his motivation from a friend that posed a hard question asking him if he wasn’t going to pursue fashion, what was he going to do with his life? “When I came to the realization that fashion was the industry that I wanted to be in, I figured I needed to be where it all happens."

After saving for a year and going through the process of obtaining his work visa, Drew moved to New York City. A place he’s never visited, full of people he’s never met. Three days after setting foot in his new home, Drew found a job with Ralph Lauren at their flagship store on Madison Avenue.

This opportunity gave Drew his first real exposure to the industry of his dreams. “[I saw] the whole corporate world, their showrooms, the design team, the archives, the references."

It was also in this role where Drew would meet fashion consultant, Nick Wooster who took on Drew as his assistant and would give Drew invaluable experience having him work on fashion trade shows in New York and Las Vegas.

Drew had to couple this unpaid internship with his job at Ralph Lauren, often working seven days a week. It’s this work ethic and drive that have gotten him where he is today. Drew sacrificed his nights sketching and his days off with Wooster in order to gain the proficiency in his trade he knows is necessary.

When his work visa expired, Drew had to leave Ralph Lauren and his apprenticeship. “Not being American is the most difficult thing. They don’t make it easy for you to stay here. You’re always jumping through hoops and it never leaves the back of your head."

Now, without any income, Drew focused on designing his own full collection. Putting all of his time and money into this endeavor, Drew debuted his collection at Fashion Week “blowing away” his former mentor and receiving the attention of prospective investors. “You throw yourself in the deep end and you really surprise yourself what you can do and what you’re capable of."

Funding continues to prove to be a challenge but Drew will endure, as he has, and will continue to follow his passion. See more of Drew's talent and exquisitely designed brand at www.dreunewyork.com

Photographed by John Castillo

Photographed by John Castillo