In a world currently living off countless shades of grey, it's becoming rare to find reliable bursts of color. Politics and pressures are bringing us down, and sources of positive energy are becoming vital for our general wellbeing. This is where fashion designer Prince Andru (@prince.andru) comes in.
Designer and muse for Del'Hacienda alongside his professional and life partner Omar Cisneros, Dru is a gorgeous beam of light making the fashion industry a better place. His positivity is infectious and feeds every part of his life. "I do see life as a constant celebration whether good or bad," he tells Konbini.
Going by Andru or just Dru, the designer explains the origins of his aristocratic pseudonym. "It subconsciously came from my childhood," he says. "Our family would call us 'The Royals' because we would always be polished from head to toe."
It was from this that the little prince was born. The focus and pride on appearance ties in with one of Dru's key life mantras:
"Always be front row ready for any occasion, even if you're just going to the grocery store!"
Handcrafted with a bit of magic, love & soul
Prince's persona feeds his work, as alongside Omar, the pair explains the influence of royalty on their identity as a brand on their website: "We are not princes by any stretch of the name," they say.
"We consider a royal to be someone who has a deep understanding of who they are, in a time when people are too preoccupied sorting out the good and evil in the world."
In a nutshell, Dru explains that Del'Hacienda is "handcrafted with a bit of magic, love, & most importantly soul." The brand sees Dru in ever creative and imaginative shots, a muse inspired by nature at all times.
"In the world we are currently living in, people don’t take time to stop and smell the roses as cliché as it maybe, but I do," he explains. An essential part of his identity is his love for insects, specifically butterflies.
Bringing poetry to a chance encounter, Dru cherishes every connection and its beautiful significance. A muse for a muse, he explains his fondness of the creatures:
"I was greeted by a giant swallowtail butterfly it was absolutely gorgeous with beautiful black & yellow wings.
I went up to it while it was sucking the nectar from a flower and it landed at the tip of my fingers and kissed me then flew away. In that moment I knew there was a connection."
His love for nature also stems from its versatile power, as Dru highlights the danger and excitement in its potential for both creation and destruction. As well as fashion, this influences his personal life too.
"When I met my love Omar, he told me to look less at my phone for inspiration and look at everyone and everything around me as inspiration," Dru remembers. Years on, it's clear to see this advice hasn't gone to waste.
Prince Andru has grown an incredibly influential circle across platforms because of his incredible looks - always imaginative and original, rarely restricted. On the importance of gender in the fashion industry, he is thankful for an increasing openness.
"It's incredible to see transgender models in major fashion campaigns. It's important to have role models you can relate to when you're a young kid trying to figure out who you are."
On his own opinion and mission around gender in fashion, Dru admits that inevitably it does play a role - but there's something bigger in his work. "My focus is to help give others the confidence I didn't have," he says.
Building a tiny kingdom of kindness
Prince Andru's focus on confidence feeds his work with heaps of imagination and a strong sense of fantasy throughout. He explains this mission as essential for all of us who may find adult life a bit much at times.
"We can get too caught up in the reality of things that I want to make you feel like a little kid again and bring some of that child-like imagination back to you," Dru says.
His relationship with the online community that shares Del'Hacienda is important. As well as creating his own designs and acting as a muse, he wishes to share the values that he lives by every day with everyone.
"My message is always to spread as much positivity and light into the butterflies who flutter around my platform.
I want my platform to be a tiny kingdom of kindness where if you are having a bad day it can lighten the mood and bring you back up on your feet."
From pastel desert hues to fairy tale forest settings, every photo of Prince Andru feels like a work of art. Flirting with a range of influences from make-up to photography, Dru loves fashion the most because of its universal connection with all creative mediums.
While Del'Hacienda as a fashion brand is the main focus for now, Dru isn't ruling anything out in the future. Directing a film? Maybe. Opening a gallery? Probably. Releasing an album or two? Don't rule that out either - "I believe you have one life to do as much as you can!" he explains.
From Lady Gaga to Los Angeles
While his love of fashion began brewing at school and pop culture figures including Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, and Lady Gaga influenced him personally and ultimately professionally, today his inspiration remains close to his heart.
"Omar, my love and creator of Del’Hacienda, inspires me on a daily basis professionally and personally since the first day we met across from a Juki Sewing Machine in Industry Sewing 101 at FIDM in downtown Los Angeles."
Ideals of royalty and opulence meet a love of nature and always butterflies in Del'Hacienda, but what stands out is the impact of all the inspirational women in Dru's life, including friends and mentors as well as his mother and grandmother.
Through natural beauty, talent and hard work, these women – Priscilla and Rosie but also Summer, Jessica, Gina and Nina – feed Dru's art every day. He makes sure to remind us that there are many more artists and friends who inspire him; ever positive, grateful and gracious.
Today, Del'Hacienda seems to be doing pretty well at building its kingdom of kindness - but like nature, it can always grow. Prince Andru predicts its future:
"10 years from now I hope to see the Del’Hacienda Label & family grow into what I dreamt it would be from day one with Omar, with an atelier in either Los Angeles, London, or Paris full of seamstresses putting even more love, soul, and passion into the work. I hope to be by their sides hand sewing and cheering them on."
His future is also a place of growth for his friends and butterflies, he says. Persistent in positivity, as he signs off his emails to Konbini through "with love + happiness", I can't help but believe that Prince Andru will always be looking out for every single one of us, too.