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Brazilian designer Carlos Miele is branching into men’s wear under his diffusion label, Miele.
This story first appeared in the November 26, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The line will launch in January at the Carlos Miele flagship in South America’s largest luxury mall, the Shopping Cidade Jardim in São Paulo. The doors opened in June, but with the entire 8,600-square-foot space completed just two weeks ago, the flagship will soon become a springboard for new categories, including swimwear, bridal, fur, eyewear and other accessories, the designer .
First up is the men’s summer collection that will debut there in January, in step with the climate of southern Brazil, then roll out to locations in New York, Miami and Paris in March or April. The men’s range will include casual wovens, knitwear and crocheted pieces, T-shirts, jeans, canvas shoes, bags and swimwear — marking the designer’s first foray into swim. (Women’s swimwear is expected to follow shortly.)
“I’m starting men’s very casual,” Miele says. “I want to bring out the Brazilian lifestyle. Most of the people here — on weekends they want to relax. But also, more and more, people are casual, even to go to work. Next year I want to launch more eveningwear for men.”
Miele used cottons, linens, silks, bamboo fibers and organic denim. The jeans have a basic finish, resulting from a process that uses no water.
Environmental responsibility has always concerned Miele. In 1994, he helped develop a denim made with fibers from recycled soda bottles.
His women’s wear has consistently featured bold hues, artisanal techniques and other allusions to the sensuality, biodiversity and body consciousness for which Brazil is famous. But he has toned down the over-the-top femininity in recent seasons and even injected some men’s wear references into his last two collections shown in New York.
Despite the troubled global economy, Miele made some optimistic predictions.
“Brazil is going to be very good next year, and maybe America will be good in 2010,” he says. “So I think next year is the time to put new ideas out there.”
As for the new selling space in São Paulo, Miele designed the white, curvy interior himself.
“I did the same process I do for a dress,” he says. “I thought about the curves of the body.”