METAL MAGAZIN INTERVIEW | "BEIRA: CONNECTING THE DOTS"
Usually, the purpose of conceiving collections is to explore different themes to build new worlds in which people can lose themselves in. Yet, Beira’s creative director, Livia Campos, doesn’t see it that way. To her, every new collection is a way of expanding her already-established universe. Just as the name of the brand suggests (as it means ‘in between’, in Portuguese), each time, they are uncovering piece by piece the puzzle that reveals the bigger picture of what Beira is all about.
— Hi Livia, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in Rio de Janeiro, I am twenty-nine years old and work in clothes. I would go to my grandmother’s house and look at her many fashion magazines during my childhood. She was a seamstress and a pattern-maker teacher. That is probably when I started to pay attention to clothes. Then I studied industrial design at university (PUC-RIO - Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro), and during my design studies, I was involved in many fashion projects.
— What made you turn to fashion design, having a background in industrial design?
Some of my teachers were from different mediums, so I was able to take some fashion-related classes. At the same time, I did believe that most design projects have the same process: research. In the end, I also liked the idea of doing what you are not supposed to do.
— I’ve seen that architecture is highly featured in your lookbooks. What connections do you find in both disciplines?
In both disciplines, I enjoy the idea of getting in contact with the motive behind the design. For example, to see the electric pipe. But also the opposite: the nonsense of things.
— How would you describe the typical Beira customer?
We generally see interest in the brand coming from different age groups. Usually, they are people connected to welfare and are aware of what they consume.
— Brazil is a very multicultural place. Are you representing the diversity of your country through your choice of models? I believe there is a huge movement in Brazil that champions these issues, as well as gender inclusiveness. Is your brand a reflection of that?
Yes! I am doing this naturally, but probably because of the effort of lots of people discussing diversity. There is no question about the beauty of being particular.
— Would you use the word unisex to describe your brand, or do you find that it’s outdated? How about genderless, genderfluid, or agender?
I prefer not to use any terms because I think they are difficult to understand, and instead of including them, they exclude them. The pieces are meant to be used by men and women, moving beyond this definition in a way to take advantage of the pieces’ versatility.
— In which ways do you believe Beira to be sustainable?
I see sustainability as a path to be always aware of. We currently use software that reduces fabric waste, does not produce stock, and has recurring prospects for more eco-friendly suppliers. In the last collections, we used fabrics produced from silkworm cocoons rejected by the industry, recycled PET, and artisanal dyeing made from native plant extracts. Also, when discussing sustainability, only the environmental issue is usually talked about, and, in fact, there is also the social factor. Therefore, respecting people and fair remuneration should not go unnoticed.
— The fashion industry is controlled by seasons and, therefore, seasonal collections. However, you do not adhere to that notion, given that in Brazil, there is not much of a difference between seasons. Also, this system is getting antiquated as more and more brands dismiss this type of schedule. So, would you say you are against the general fashion calendar?
I am not against the fashion calendar. I think the seasonal collections exist to guide the market, and I don’t see that as a problem. We can see the calendar as a timing machine, where the products will be driven by language development in a global connection. Just as Jan-Jan Van Essche says, it is a matter of wearing more or fewer garments.
— What is the inspiration behind Beira’s latest collection?
My main inspiration is the clothes’ construction and how to begin from there. Then, I like the idea of seeing the clothes very close and distant as a group. There is no mood board for any collection. It is a matter of language development.
— Where do you see the brand in the next five years?
I want to be working with Beira until that time! We are looking for ways to increase production capacity, which is almost a hundred percent done in-house, and launch our e-commerce. We hope to have these topics well-resolved in less than five years. By this time, maybe an accessory line and our store?
Styling: Lívia Cunha Campos @liviacunhacampos