MAGAZINE February 22nd, 2021



What are the values and the aesthetic behind your brand

Joao Maraschin’s contemporary, responsible and innovation-seeking approach to traditional craftsmanship and community collaboration are the core values of the brand.  The brand also celebrates diversity proposing new ideas to create a more inclusive scenario to a mature demographic as well as to creative practitioners in underserved or vulnerable conditions. The aesthetics are a combination of his Brazilian references combined with the European experience.

What does sustainability mean to you?

The brand is founded on the principles of sustaining true connections and respect for the work developed by marginalised artisans, exploring the concept of social and environmental sustainability. My practice is a call for community action. I come across many artisans that are seeing their skills die out because of lack of demand which leads younger generations not to feel inspired of keeping those techniques alive. I have also seen older practitioners lose their space in the industry and mature people being left out of the system in many ways.
Overall, I treat our social and environmental impact as a primary measure of success for the business and prioritise it even in cases where it may not drive profitability. I believe the future of fashion relies on respect, to the planet and people, and sustainability is absolutely non-negotiable in the current times.

The social aspect is very important in your vision, can you tell me a little bit more about that?

My work is based on social design, where I try to embody the idea of community by working with older and underserved artisans in marginalised conditions. I work with them to give renewed value to their practices and build communities through collaboration. I also preserve craftsmanship, getting involved with educational projects in London and in Brazil, to pass down handmade skills to younger generations, fostering and nurturing collective empowerment and leadership.
My vision consists of long-term supportive partnerships with local artisans across the globe that hold handmade skills and bridge their practices with the global fashion landscape to create consistent positive social impact.

What was the inspiration for the current collection?

TRUTH FICTION is the second collection of a continued series drawing inspiration from the work of autobiographical Brazilian artist José Leonilson. Developed during the pandemic, it questions and provokes what is truth and what is fiction, in such peculiar times. Collaboration and togetherness proved to be the way forward, more than ever - in fashion and in any field. By borrowing from the artist practice, Maraschin applied a very intuitive creative process working with found or wasted materials only. The handmade surfaces were all developed as a co-creation between the designer and the artisans the brand collaborates with.

A recent goal you are proud of and the next goal you would like to reach.

I was recently shortlisted for the Drapers Sustainability Awards 2021 and also granted a residency at Thread Senegal alongside the Anni and Josef Albers Foundation, that will take place early next year. I am really looking forward to personally welcome personally in my studio the participants of a project I participate in East London called “Leaders in Community” - a project that seeks to promote change in underserved communities and also an opportunity to stimulate handmade skills knowledge share.

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