A super cool throwback to Paris Fashion Week and my interview with Barbara Silva of Marita Moreno
Paris Fashion Week was absolutely amazing and there were some brilliant designers who graced the runway, one of them being Marita Moreno. I got to sit down with Barbara Silva of Marita Moreno to ask a few questions about their experience in Paris and their collection.
Why have you chosen Oxford Fashion Studio to showcase your amazing designs?
For the brand and myself, it made sense to start in Europe, and why not in Paris, which is called the capital of fashion. I’ve been heard about OFS and the way they produce great runway shows, so it was very easy to choose them.
What was the inspiration behind this collection?
The main inspirations for the SS17 collection are the senses and details we can get with them:
Skin line – about the colour of the skin with surprising textures and forms.
Summer Clouds line – what we can see when we look up to the sky at different times of the day and with different weather changes.
Dali line – a surrealist way to see shoes.
Miramar line – the smell of the tide and sand texture in a mix of the beach striped cloths with cork, turns into a vegan line for long walks on the sidewalk.
Who’s the target audience for this collection?
I would say, not only for this specific collection but for all of them, our customer is someone who likes very distinctive pieces. The brand also believes in the power of customisation through different colour combinations, materials and models, where the customer has the power to develop their own products, making it unique and exclusive.
What is your brand ethos?
I love to celebrate what is from Portugal in a unique and ethical perspective way – use only Portuguese factories and handmade crafts to create my designs – with local natural materials: wool, linen, cotton, silk, cork, leather; using texture and colour as fundamental elements in a simple, geometric design.
What have you designed prior to this collection?
Fashion accessories like Ipad sleeves, backpacks, scarves in wool knitted by myself as well a lot of fashion clothes using Burel as the main material (which is a very traditional Portuguese fabric)
What made you into the designer that you are today?
My wonderful life! I really believe that we are what we live: What I studied -Fashion, Sculpture, Cultural Management and Marketing – What I worked in – teaching, training, artistic and cultural management, costume for theatre and ballet designing, fashion design, sculpting – make me more of a complete person and also teaches me that I’ve got so much more to learn and discover. The combination of all this information, different work environments and different people and my philosophy to work very hard was the right mix to make me who I am today as a designer.
What mistakes have you made and what have you learned from them?
When I started to develop the brand, years ago, I thought it would be a great thing to have a very wide product line. But my lack of focus and dispersion was the big problem. In the fashion industry, the best thing to do is to keep simple, especially when you have a brand that is just starting out and have to face a fierce competition.
What other designers do you aspire to be as successful as?
I have this passion about the Japanese designers/creatives as well the Belgium school – they have a concern about culture, design and art project in fashion that inspired me to start my own brand. Yohji Yamamoto is definitely the designer I love most.
If you could put your designs on any celebrity, which would you choose and why?
Someone with a great attitude! I think celebrities have to feel comfortable with pieces they wear, should be a person with interest in culture, art and heritage, and also like Portugal, of course! All my lines and collections always have a story behind them that explains the reason why I create and design this or that product, so it’s important that the celebrity also likes to wear a piece with a story to tell.
When you are asked, “What is Fashion?” What is the first thing that comes to mind?
Fashion is a term that we use for so many things. For me, fashion is the moment mood, that thing that is right to wear, listen, see, eat, use, buy at the right moment. My project has this “slow fashion” philosophy – I just produce 100 pieces per model and do customised pieces, so when people choose to by one of my pieces, they know there are few, special and not to use it only for one time.
What is your go-to outfit/ What is your signature style?
Pieces with the wow factor, quite sculptural and always with the eye on the design.
What is the motivation/inspiration behind your Fashion Career?
I have a passion to do everything that involves art, craft, design and fashion as well. I already work as a consultant and teaching/mentoring fashion designers, crafters and creatives, and as a sculptor, I always developed my author pieces and sculptures.
If you were to start your life over again, would you change anything?
Nothing at all, I would never be who I’m right now with the choices I made in my life if I’ve changed anything from the past.
What advice would you give to an up and coming designer?
Never give up, believe in yourself, always be humble and never stop learning from people and your surroundings.
What is next for you and your brand?
Despite working in fashion industry for several years, only last year I gave another path to my brand, I restricted my goals to do what I believe and love, so I’m investing in selling my products in Portugal, which is my country, and I believe in the power of our national market and as well as that I’m taking the brand abroad. We’re starting to work our FW16 collection in London, Berlin, Finland and Denmark and working on our online shop.
Is there anything you would like to say to Oxford Fashion Studio?
I would love to thank everyone who was involved in the process to organise Paris runway show. It was an amazing event and everyone work so hard with so much commitment, organisation, and professional behaviour and so kind and very nice people!