Powered by Core Design
Home arrow Blogs
Memoirs of a fashion journalist
Friday, 13 June 2008


Imagine youíre having fun being a fashion journalist. Travelling around the world, staying in amazing cities, seeing the latest in fashion. Maybe you sometimes get a bit bored, running around with your designer suitcase from hotel to hotel, from catwalk to catwalk, from party to party.

Then you should come to Rio for something different. Here we await you with a mini van without airco. Not at night but at ten oíclock in the morning on a Saturday. We take you from Hotel Gloria to Santa Cruz, one hour out of town. Youíre not travelling business class but are sitting on the lap of the French consul in Rio because of lack of space. The highway out of town shows you a part of the city without any glamour. Slums, open sewage, graffiti and lots of dirt are a welcome distraction from the glossy environments you know. A terrible smell accompanies you part of your journey.

Fan of Fibra
Wednesday, 11 June 2008

FIBRA.jpgFive guys in their twenties. Friends, surfers, skateboarders and passionate about sustainable design. They started their own incubator company two years ago and developed a great material called pupunha, made of a tree that grows here in Brazil. Since they like skate boarding, they designed an eco skateboard that won the IF Design award in 2005. Then they developed another material called bananaplac which they created with poor inland communities. They use the fibre that is normally wasted after the trees have born fruit and mix it with natural glue. This is an extra source of income for the farmers and their families. The placs are perfect for photo frames, lamps and notebooks that have already become my favourites.

Coca Cola wanted to work with them. Osklen wanted to work with them. And now they’re here during Rio Fashion Week. With a library lounge of amazing eco materials displayed on the walls. Each material with its own story and challenging possibilities to create super products. My guys are here, enjoying the free drinks in ‘their’ lounge, dancing to the samba house tunes and chatting with potential clients.

The name of this very cool company is Fibra . And I’m a big fan.

Hot and Cold in Asuncion
Tuesday, 03 June 2008

COTTON.jpgI’m in Asuncion and I’m cold.

For those of you who don’t know Asuncion, it’s the capital of Paraguay. Paraguay is a small country without all those things that make Brazil so attractive. Like beach. And samba. And the Amazon. But to be honest, Paraguay has other strengths.

Like the company I’m visiting here: they make organic cotton and have created a value chain from farmer to consumer in one country. The founder lobbied to change the laws in the country so she could start growing organic cotton. Lives of farmers changed and parts of the country became free of pesticides. The company started working with manufacturers to develop clothing. Now they sell in several shops as well as in their own store in Asuncion. A revolutionairy act of entrepreneurship and an example for others.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

frog_prince.jpgTen o'clock in the morning. Prince and me in his hybrid 4x4 driving through pulsating jungle. The Christ quase embraces us when we pass her. Further up high with a view of the city. The beaches as white stripes between the calm blue of the ocean and the chaos of city buildings. The lake as a shiny spot amongst traffic. ‘If the weather is clear, you can see Paradise Island', Prince says. We arrive at his castle, an old monastery that turned hotel. 'With five million stars, because you can see the sky through the roof'. Soon they will start renovation here. His idea is to make the village into an eco destination. With an international research center on sustainability. With fully self-servicing houses including solar energy and waste recycling systems. And with more high tech sustainability that needs to make this place an example in the world. I pinch myself in the cheek: Will it be here that I'll build my dreamhouse?'

Happy People
Wednesday, 09 April 2008

CONFERENCE.jpgA picture full of smiling people, taken at an Organic Exchange conference in Sâo Paulo. Organic Exchange is an international organization that pushes the growth and use of organic cotton in the world. This is not an easy job considering the many levels of production from farmer to consumer.

The conference in Sâo Paulo brought together regional actors who all play their part in building organic cotton value chains. Farmers from Nicaragua flew over to be informed about the chances of starting to grow organically. Manufacturers from Peru, Paraguay and Brazil shared their knowledge on how to clean up their factories. The Veja founders ran in on their funky eco sneakers to inspire us with their marketing methods. Representatives from Buenos Aires enlightened us on their strategies to warm up the Argentinian market. And of course ModaFusion was there showing off some sample pieces of the new collection.

Discussions were heated, stories were shared and new information brought up new questions. After the conference everyone went home to continue their work and create a healthier planet. See you next year in Buenos Aires.

Hippy Heart
Saturday, 29 March 2008

RIO.jpg It’s a hot day and I’m sweating on my bicycle. My beautiful black beach cruiser with a basket attached to the steering wheel on which I’ve fabricated a heart. A ‘hippy heart’ my friends call it, made of the colourful ‘Senhor do Bomfim’ ribbons. In this city of violence I felt I had to give a different signal. A signal of love and peace and hope. It gives my Harley Davidson look-a-like bicycle a strong feminine touch and makes people smile.

I smile as well, cycling over Avenida Atlantica towards Ipanema. After forty minutes of cycling and smiling, I arrive at my appointment. It’s only ten to twelve, I’m on time. My cell rings. It’s Andrea, president of ModaFusion.

'Where are you Kim?’

‘In Ipanema, why?’

‘We’re not coming. We cancelled the meeting.'

Bamboo Tapa-Sexo
Monday, 04 February 2008

TAPA-SEXO.jpgWhat to do when you loose your tiny-winy-bikini-cover-triangle while dancing samba? You stop and look shocked? You try to hide behind the big drum in Rio’s Carnival parade? Or you just keep on shaking your bootie like it’s your last day on earth?

As a true star, Viviane Castro didn’t loose her smile and sound. She danced even more sexily, finished the hundreds of meters in the Sambadrome with glitters on her nipples as the only cover to her voluptuous nudity and made front page news the next day with this visual expression of the party’s essence.

How much I would like to dress this beautiful woman in our bamboo lingerie! A collection inspired by the one word that’s written in the sky above this marvellous city. Not only during Carnival but year round: in the energy that vibrates in the air, in people’s eyes and in every second word they speak. The colourful pieces look seductive and playful from a distance. It’s only up close that you recognize the various kamasutra positions. Was it the love the designer found in her tattoo artist that made her choose this print? BAMBOO-LINGERIE.jpgWas it the ultra fast wedding of ModaFusion’s founder with her Brazilian man? Or did they get so inspired by this baby soft fabric, it made them think of nothing else?

It certainly keeps me dreaming. Of Viviane dancing in next year’s carnival with natural feathers, banana fibre high heels, jewellery out of Amazon seeds and a bamboo tapa-sexo to cover her femininity.

Will everyone be talking about that too?

No Stress
Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Imagine you own a factory that manufactures clothes. You produce a certain quantity every month and earn enough money to pay the bills and live your life. If new customers approach you, you stay weary. You’re happy as you are, why work harder than that? Can you imagine being a factory owner like that?

I can’t. But I’m not Brazilian. I’m not a factory owner either but that’s another story. ModaFusion produces their eco collections in several factories. Well, they are not really factories but more like ateliers or houses where groups of women sew clothes. At the beginning of this month we asked one of them if they could produce an order for us. They didn’t say YES nor NO. They shook their heads, waved their hands, talked a bit and said nothing. We asked again, very friendly. Because it’s summer holiday, because it will be Carnaval in two weeks, because people can only think of beach and samba right now, we asked it a third time. If they couldn’t do it, we had to find other producers.

Yesterday we called them and guess what?

They said NO.

One week before our deadline. They simply don’t want to produce our order. They said NO to an international order that can broaden their horizon and mean good money in the future when ModaFusion sells all over the world. They said NO to a chance to develop their business, to hire more women, to create new and innovative products. But that of course, is our humble opinion.

The factory owner put it like this: “In this busy time of year (beach, samba), we don’t have time to do this order. We prefer to stay with No stress.”

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next > End >>

Results 109 - 119 of 119
Write For Eco Fashion World  

subscribe to the efw newsletter



Green Hosting by MyGreenHosting.com