Welcome to Shanahan Studio Session fashion designer Mayara Reis! Here we speak all things fashion, growing up in Brazil, opening her own fashion label, fashion and career advice. Let's get into it!
Welcome to Shanahan Studio Session Mayara Reis, when did you move to Ireland? Was it to pursue a career in fashion?
I moved to Ireland on October 12th 2021. But my first time here was on October 12th 2019, so exactly 2 years ago. I came on holiday for 1 month and I fell in love with this place. Now I came back to stay for a longer time.
Tell us about growing up in Brazil, how different it is to Ireland besides the weather
Living in Brazil is like living in a wishing machine of desires the climate is super favourable for those who like the beach, but also your cold sizers in some regions of the country, the culture, the cuisine is very diverse I confess that I like the winter even though I suffer a lot from the cold here in Ireland. But I think it’s so chic to wear real winter clothes.
Is there anyone in your family working in the fashion or creative industry?
No one in my family works in the fashion industry or in the artistic area. But my grandmother sewed and painted pictures, so I believe I was born with this strong artistic vein, because of her and believe that of my ancestors, and my mother influenced me too.
I see that you have studied at Central Saint Martins? Some of the greatest fashion designers in the world have studied there from Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney just to name a few. How was that experience?
In 2018 she had a great experience of taking a small course (Fashion Folio) lasting one month, taught by Renata Estafen, representative of Central Saint Martins in Brazil 2018. This course was of great importance for my career and based on an interview I did to enter the master's course at the university, at the time I did the interview at the insistence of a friend to Jess, and I was surprised because I was evaluated by the director of the fashion design course, who gave me some tips about my portfolio, but that I was on the right path but I noticed that I needed to do an exchange to immerse myself in the English language, and here I am in the exchange program.
I have seen your work and it is amazing, tell us how you started your own brand?
I always had the desire to have my own brand. So at the end of my graduation I opened my brand in Brazil, an ecommerce store where the first collections were inspired by shapes and nature. At the brand I did everything from inspiration work to feeding the website, promoting it on social media.
Where do you get inspiration from when it comes to designing your pieces?
I have a very strong connection with the feelings that nature, colours and music drive me, so all my inspiration to create my pieces comes from these three points.
What according to you is your favourite part of being a fashion designer?
I really don't see myself working in any area other than the fashion industry. What motivates me the most, what I have fun with is the creation part, when I gather all the research elements and see that finished piece of clothing. It's a unique feeling and without explanations, only a fashion designer will understand what I'm talking about.
Are you literate regarding computers and technology for designing? Or what kind of software you use while designing. If no, then also be frank?
When carrying out my projects I like to make quick drawings on my sketchbook, I am a fan of pencils and erasers, but I use photoshop and illustrator a lot
What skills according to you are necessary for a successful fashion designer?
In my opinion, for you to be a good fashion designer there is no rule, when it comes to style, each one is unique and will be successful for that very reason. But it is essential to be connected to what is happening in the world, to investigate the situations and the human desires and their needs.
The designs you created are no doubt good enough, but who and which things were your inspiration while creating such designs?
As I've been talking about, I'm inspired a lot by the feelings that nature, music and colours bring me. So you can be sure that one of these elements will always be linked in some way in my past and future collections... (laughs)
What do you think about work ethics and what kind of ethics you believe in following while working with fashion?
So this subject is very important and indispensable in whatever type of work. I carry with me two professional ethical points, which are respect and punctuality in the delivery of work.
How do you stay up to date regarding fashion trends?
I like to follow the main fashion weeks in Paris and New York. What the famous, especially iconic singers are wearing, because I believe a lot of them create their own style.
You have been working in the industry for the past 6 years, what changes have you seen?
But the changes from six years ago to today are quite significant. For lay people, fashion has always been seen as something super phallus and that is not something very necessary, but at the beginning of the history of fashion, the pieces were created in a way that met the needs of human beings. The colours, the details were once a symbol of social representation and among other languages that the clothes brought. Over time, fashion continued to reinvent itself but in a way without many meanings, which is only commercialised for the beautiful. I notice that in the last six years a lot has changed and is changing, before consumers bought everything that designers created, which has been changing.
The big brands nowadays are already able to clearly understand the customer's preferences, what they consume the most and their needs through data. What makes it easier for designers to create and brings many benefits to the industry in terms of demand for the right products, and the reduction of waste from them with little time of use. I also note that six years ago there was very little talk about sustainability in fashion and I am very happy with the number of big brands have approached and I have seen the change in their policies, consumers have been more interested in conscious consumption, we have there is still much to go forward, the starting point has already been launched and we can see it.
What were your business goals for 2021 and has COVID-19 impacted your ability to achieve them over the past few years?
In 2021 I had plans to continue my production in a slower way and with a more sustainable look, the pandemic impacted the whole world in all ways. But my first plan would be to focus on my English and restart my career in another country.
What advice would you give anyone pursuing a career in fashion?
My first tip would be, don't be afraid and always remember that you are capable of anything in this life if you have your feet on the ground but your imagination in "space". Always seek to be informed and connected with everything around you. Because a fashion designer consists of their own experience with what they consume the most in terms of information, with their hobbies, with their lifestyle in general, with what drives them, their feelings, desires and experiences. There is no rule, no formula for becoming a successful fashion designer, as each one is unique. Is this what you love? So follow, you're on the right path.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This is a question that I have been asked since I was 13 years old and I always have the same answer, I usually say that I don't plan my life, I have my dreams and desires and I am driven by them, and it is very interesting that even though I that I don't plan my professional life, it goes the way I've been working to reach my goal, that maybe 5 years from now I'll be with my own brand producing the pieces I've always dreamed of creating, and satisfied with the whole journey and purpose that I believed so much in the well-being of nature and human beings.
Where can people find you online?
You can find me on instagram @mayaradereis. In the future I will be announcing my new page there too!
Thank you Mayara for your time, I wish you the best with your future. Hannah x