“I never go to the artisan with a tech-pack and tell them: do this,” the London College of Fashion graduate explains, holding a red suit jacket from his third and latest collection, recently presented at London Fashion Week. The piece was entirely embroidered by hand, rendering the material delicately textured. “I consider the artisans my co-designers,” he says. “The embroidery is more than a decorative detail. It creates the surface, giving the artisan full control, so it feels like they leave a trace of their persona in the textile.”
In fashion, the trendy term commonly refers to an informal club of brand representatives, VIP’s and influencers, but for Joao, community refers to a brand model where artisans are valued and their work is recognized as a creative contribution.
In the world of Joao Maraschin, the crafts humans have developed over centuries are our most precious valuable – and need to be preserved. This means that artisans and their skills are more than a means to assure quality. Joao aims to build a “community”. In fashion, the trendy term commonly refers to an informal club of brand representatives, VIP’s and influencers, but for Joao, it refers to a brand model where artisans are valued and their work is recognized as a creative contribution.
This definition of a creative community instinctively clashes with our contemporary (Western) conception of fashion, where a single creative director imagines the collection and working hands merely execute, or at most, consult on, that vision – they don’t contribute their own. That is not the case for Joao: “The creative direction might come from me, but there is always a dialogue.”