He's been dubbed the "ringleader" of the Snap Pack, "broke," and "the worst" — at the same time, he’s been called "super talented," "sassy," and "fabulous as fuck." But Andrew Warren is best known as the guy who’s always photographed next to Tiffany Trump, the President’s only daughter with Marla Maples. The association makes him both a pariah and a curiosity within the fashion industry, a paradox among Warren’s many contradictions that he is attempting to shake.
It's no secret the 24-year-old social media prince lives a charmed life — part of what makes Warren and the other members of his squad so impossible to unfollow is that bragging about their accolades on and off the internet is half of the fun. But behind the gratuitous selfies and humble-brags, the socialite is hard at work on his own clothing brand. Without any formal training or a design background, Warren seemingly relied on family connections — most likely his grandfather, David Warren, a clothing manufacturer and designer — to finance and create his line (a route very many in the industry, from Alexander Wang to Stella McCartney, have taken).
After being approached by family friend Jeffrey Goldstein, the founder of Blue & Cream (a mid-priced boutique you'd only be familiar with if you consider yourselves a Hamptons regular), Warren and pal Samantha Zaitz began their joint brand, Sam & Drew. What started as a collection of upscale hoodies evolved into a full-fledged apparel company, renamed Just | Drew after splitting with his initial partner.
"It was just easier to do by myself," Warren tells Refinery29. His first show, inspired by whom he calls "It girls" — his own squad of gal pals, which includes Trump, Kyra Kennedy, and Gaia Matisse — felt more like a side project than a promising business venture. With his latest collection, however, the offering expanded to consist of slip dresses, blazers, floor-length gowns, and chokers — clothing that his friends like to wear (for spring 2017, Tiffany might have been left off of his vision board, as she seems to dress more and more like Ivanka these days). His fan base has even grown beyond the Upper East Side; the line has been spotted on young, social media-minded celebrities like Bella Thorne, Sofia Richie, and Justine Skye.
"I have a lot of inspiration images. I’ll be like, Oh, I loved this dress from here, but I would want this changed and this changed. I do pretty terrible sketches, so I have them made for me," he says of his process. "It’s obviously a hard industry right now, especially selling to stores. And even with the right connections, they aren’t easy on you. They want to see, like, five seasons, and they want to know you’re serious about it." Still, he describes the The Just | Drew woman as “fun, fresh, and flirtatious; exuding confidence while knowing all eyes are on her. Camera-ready at any time, in any place, and putting her best face forward no matter where she goes or whom [sic] she’s with." Even if that person is Donald Trump.
Though Tiffany’s relationship with the fashion industry has been tenuous, Warren seems to have double-downed on her celebrity, calling her a muse for his brand, posting photos of them together on his Instagram, and discussing their friendship with ease during interviews. "Tiffany is, honestly, out of all of my friends, probably one of the nicest people ever,” he says. “She is so genuine. We’ve been friends since we were three.”
Warren also insists that politics hasn't put a strain on their friendship in the slightest. "Imagine if one of your best friends was in that position. Regardless of how you felt about her family, or anything like that, you’re not going to change your views on your best friend as a person." But putting her front and center of your brand is a different story. “It’s not my political views,” Warren claims, implying that his personal beliefs differ from President Trump's policies. Even though top designers reach out to dress Trump for important events, she goes to him first.
"She would do anything for me, so I’m gonna have her back and do anything for her. When I stand up for her or I’m there for her, it’s to be there for her as a person. It’s just based on our friendship — it has nothing to do with anything political," he clarifies. "I know it has affected my brand. I’ve seen people’s comments and I know people are judgmental, but I’m not going to throw away my friendship and not be a loyal friend to someone who’s been so loyal to me my entire life over that."
Unsurprisingly, Warren looks to Philipp Plein as a role model. Plein, also a designer (of sorts) who came from money and puts celebrities first, has received the same criticism for his aesthetic and seems to think there’s no such thing as bad press. "I love that Plein did his own thing and didn’t care what anyone else thought; he didn’t let anyone change him or change who he was as a brand, and he just ignored what the fashion world wanted. Now he’s making so much money. I thought that was very cool to not change who he was for the industry," he says.
Like Plein, Warren also finds himself caught up in the drama of it all. Recently, a feature in DuJour magazine (owned by Jason Binn, another Warren family friend), cast him and his squad as merely spoiled kids. “It was supposed to be on my brand, and my girls — like, Henri Matisse’s great granddaughter and the Kennedy’s daughter (who is, like, my actual best friend). The five of us shot for, like, nine hours in my clothes, and they told us it was an editorial piece on my clothing line. And they asked if a writer could come to the Hamptons and follow us for the weekend, and I was like 'Yeah, of course. It’s great for my brand, my first spread,' and then the article comes out, and it’s 'The Rich Kids of Instagram.'"
“I got screwed and everyone was pissed,” he adds. “The girls only did it for me because they thought it was for my brand. It sucks. I learned over time how to handle interviews, but I was really trusting in that one because I was really close with the editor of the magazine, and I just really didn’t think it was going to happen." And that's not the only fire he's had to put out.
That Instagram account actually exists, and skewers the antics of the scions of wealthy moguls — Warren himself has been featured a handful of times by the site. According to Warren, his friends spent "a lot of money" to get it taken down, but with over 400k followers and counting, it's still up and running today.
Most recently, Warren signed with Next Model Management as an influencer, and hopes to eventually grow his line into a lifestyle brand, with sunglasses and fragrances. But first thing’s first: #sponcon. "Until recently, I've never taken money to post anything. But with, like, Fun Boy Floats, they send me their floats. It fits my aesthetic. I want their floats, so I’ll post them because it’s something I want to do," he explains. "I’ve gotten tons of offers, like, ‘Hey, we’ll pay you.’ But I’m not going to post Flat Tummy Tea. It’s not happening."
Though the prospects that Warren will become a serious designer don’t seem to be very good, he still tempers his future. And, like anyone strategically crafting their personal brand, he has a backup plan. "I’m probably going to end up being more of a celebrity [than a designer]," he admits.
You might ask, then, why he's putting time, energy, and resources into a clothing line, if he openly admits it may amount to nothing. But when you consider that Warren seems to have adopted the Oscar Wilde way of life, it all kind-of makes sense. "Yeah, I would feel pretty stupid coming in and doing this interview if I didn’t have a brand or something to promote." Whatever works, right?