Shortly before his first atelier-boutique opening in the hyped Sao Paulo City district Pinheiros, we met Pedro Lourenço during the Fall 2013 edition of Sao Paulo Fashion Week – where both of his parents Gloria Coelho and Reinaldo Lourenço showcased their collections – and his jolly shop preparations, to talk about his take on fashion, Brazil's booming industry and his future plans for the sake of his eponymous brand.
Within less than three years, you have made a name for yourself in Paris. How come you decided to open your first shop in Sao Paulo and not in Europe, for example where your fan-base is growing from one season to another?
I really look up to Azzedine Alaïa, he’s a master for me, I just admire his way of working. Just like he does, I like to control my work and I don't want to be far away from it and not be able to directly supervise the evolution of my shop and handle eventual problems. As the first shop is something rather symbolic, it just had to be next to my atelier. It's not going to be anything fancy – I want to keep it simple. I plan to take some time out of Brazil next year, but before leaving, I want to make sure that I build strong headquarters in Sao Paulo, as everything started here.
You have a collection especially made for the Brazilian market, next to the mainline that you are showcasing in Paris and the Resort in New York... Are you trying to adapt yourself to each market or is one more important than the other?
I like to feel like a nomad, to be influenced by different places. Brazil has a very strong moment economically speaking, but it is not as strong as the international press claims. The Brazilian customer is different from the European one for example, it's a different reality. I wanted to have my headquarters in Sao Paulo, as I know that I always will be safe here. This said, I definitely want another structure in Europe. It's just challenging for a designer to adapt himself to various markets and I don't mean solely on a commercial level but also on a creative one. I have grown-up with my father and my mother's work and they were often doubting about how to create and sell images here in Brazil, so they were always very radical; the product was either very commercial and simple or it was clearly related to a conceptual image. I try to find a balance between both. My clothes have to be as much desirable as they are wearable. Of course, it is not easy for a young designer to produce on this level, but it's a challenge that I am up for.
Qualifying you as a young designer - matches your 22 years, this said, your work is already established on the Parisian runways since the Fall 2010 season...
Well, I've been working with fashion for 10 years already, I guess it's a family affaire! I really admired my father's work this season, his craftsmanship was really amazing. He has a notion of femininity that is very special, he mixes classical and common references that women usually like, with more contemporary elements. On her side, my mother has a very conceptual take on the future, an abstract aesthetic that I also appreciate a lot. Some people might think that it must be weird to compete in the same industry with your parents, but there is no pressure at all in my family. It's about each one's point of view and we question each other on our respective collections, which makes us evolve within our work. This is why, it always felt very natural for me to work in this industry.
You've evolved from constructed and conceptual shapes to a more casual and down-to-earth style. Was this due to a sudden change of mind or rather a natural evolution?
Architectural structures were a main starting point for my work. I still play with this style but in a more wearable way, as I wanted to bring my creative world into real life. This said, I also like to be radical in another way than just shapes: my last Spring/Summer 2013 season was all about this radical pink hue that mingled to uniform inspired cuts. The starting point was Richard Marsh's work: he took pictures through a pink colored filter of military areas in Congo for example - his military aesthetics were therefor really abstract. This inspired for my Resort collection and I went further for my Spring/Summer 2013 collection, where I played with the duality of military masculinity and pink femininity. Softness with structure: my base was crepe, but I also used a lot of Nylon, quilted lamé, organza with a jacquard lamé. All-in-all, I dealt with the color pink for about six months, so I really cannot see it anymore! For the upcoming season, I am working on something more homogeneous and yet graphic. We'll see.
- Elisabeta Tudor