London, June 2015. Diego Vanassibara, a Brazilian designer based in England for ten years, launches a new shoe collection in London Collections Men (LCM), London’s men’s fashion week, by raising a serious alert against the deforestation of the Amazon jungle, which not only threatens the balance of the global climate, but also the life of native cultures that depend on the rainforest for survival.
The protest comes to life in his art. Vanassibara created an installation, called The Crying Forest, together with model maker William Murray. It is made of sustainable Birch trees sourced from a Scottish charity, and insertions of hundreds of transparent acrylic spears. The idea is to represent a forest dramatically lacerated, with the acrylic forming the tears of the trees that are crying following the destruction of their forest. His collection of shoes, in turn, has been inspired by the art and the customs of the Native peoples of Brazil, whom often are ignored in their country for lack of public interest, discrimination and ignorance by many, despite being the true guardians of the forests and embody in their very existence the priceless living culture and history of Brazil.
With a poetic tone, using the languages of art and design, Vanassibara is about to showcase his message to the VIP’s of international media and fashion industry on schedule of this major event of men’s fashion calendar. The opening reception will happen on the first day of LCM, on Friday 12th June, when the designer will host a reception with the whisky HAIG CLUB™, partly owned by David Beckham, to celebrate the launch of Vanassibara’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection. The showcase is being sponsored by British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN MEN programme, where Vanassibara is the first and only shoe designer to have received this coveted prize.
The elements – especially the extreme ones – were very much on Diego Vanassibara’s mind for autumn winter 2015. Looking to the skies he imagined his collection of hand-made beautifully crafted yet robust shoes and boots had been exposed to a tumultuous storm. Struck by lightning – flashes of silver on buckles and zips – or damaged by hail as seen on pebbled leathers. Raindrops are translated into hand embroidered details on a lace up oxford. At the same time, parts of this AW collection are entirely fit for wintery wet conditions – waterproof zips, rain resistant leathers, chunky heels and rubber soles are seen throughout. The colour palette was also inspired by stormy weather and forboding clouds. Black and dark greys pervade the collection while navy blue enhances a brushed leather boot with a moulded sole. A softer sand colour appears on loafers while a weekender shoe catches the eye in brilliant white. Signature Diego Vanassibara details such as lacquered wood accessories (worked by a veteran Rolls Royce lacquer specialist), platform heel and exquisitely finished lightweight soles feature throughout the collection and the more rugged, hard wearing brogues sit next to a super elegant, formal style oxford made from a glossy brushed leather. Edges are raw while leathers are precision cut, angles acute. Detail with stylish functionality is paramount.