A call for change. That’s the essence and inspiration behind Zilver, the new forward thinking line from Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenço. With a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, the gender-fluid collection, which launched earlier this month at London Fashion Week, combines elements of streetwear and high-end fashion, offering today’s mindful consumer a range of easy to wear, consciously designed pieces.
Pedro Lourenço debuted his first ready-to-wear collection for his then namesake brand in Paris back in 2010. Critically acclaimed, the womenswear line was renowned for its clean, architectural style. But two years after shuttering the company, he admits that he found womenswear quite restricting. “I like the idea of equalising everyone,” the designer toldBusiness of Fashion’s Christopher Morency, referring to the genderless aspect of Zilver, although this new non-binary approach actually came very naturally. Coming from a “super open-minded” background, without any pressure to be defined by his sexuality, it wasn’t a direction he had specifically planned taking.
The son of two of Brazil’s best-known designers, Reinaldo Lourenço and Gloria Coelho, both familiar faces at Sao Paulo Fashion Week, Pedro was exposed to the industry and its creativity at an early age, accompanying his parents to shows in Paris and photography exhibitions. And at just 12-years old, he became the lead designer for his mother’s diffusion line. After a brief period studying at Studio Bercot in Paris in 2008, Lourenço took up positions at Lanvin and then Giambattista Valli before launching his own namesake brand.
Inspired by an eclectic mix of references, from rockabilliy to militaria, American workwear to motocross, his new Zilver collection balances maturity and freedom. “The difference this time is that I have a clear positioning and a consumer in mind when I am creating, as well as a very clear understanding of the brand values,” he explained to BoF’s Morency. Featuring sleek lines and sculptural cut-outs, key pieces include biker jackets, khaki parkas and denim, as well as a Helmet bag inspired by young Parisians whose biker helmets often double as carriers for their keys and wallets.
On the subject of sustainability, Lourenço believes that this is subjective so his focus is on transparency. “Knowledge is key,” he told i-D’s Bojana Kozarevi. “We want to tell the customer everything that we do. The customer can then research and decide for themselves if we are sustainable - it’s much more fair and honest that way”. For the record, the designer has spent time researching and working with Livia Firth’s sustainability consultancy Eco-Age, and uses organic cotton, recycled denim and recycled polyamide in his pieces, and one of the collection’s khaki jackets is crafted from yarn created from recycled, sea-reclaimed plastic bottles.
“We’re definitely in a time of change right now and it’s great,” said Lourenço, who hopes that through Zilver he can continue to push the conversation forward, empowering consumers to make conscious decisions and inspiring the industry to continue to find solutions.