EN / PT
ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN L’OFFICIEL BRASIL, JUNE 2016
In the year that the Olympic Games arrive to Rio de Janeiro, the fashion world’s most emblematic carioca – native of Rio de Janeiro – dives into the sport’s universe, reflects the country’s moment and his choices to Osklen.
Whomever was lucky enough to ever talk to Oskar Metsavaht about Rio de Janeiro, knows that the carioca’s businessman repertoire is endless. The artist, doctor and stylist is deeply in love with his little corner in the world and is capable of talking about it for hours, celebrating the beauty and the contrasts of the “Wonderful City”.
In the year that the Olympic Games will happen at home, Oskar took the lead. In the winter edition of São Paulo Fashion Week, which happened in November 2015, Osklen presented a collection that anticipated the Olympic Games, collection that will be in the windows of the brand while the sport’s big celebration happens.
In an honest and passionate talk, Oskar talks about his brand, his city and the transformation Brazil is going through.
What landmark the year of 2016 will print in the Osklen’s story?
Rio de Janeiro is receiving a universal event, getting all the spirit of glory of the Greek Gods of the Olympus. We will receive ethical and aesthetical blessings. The year of 2016 crowns Rio de Janeiro, capital of the Brazilian Soul where the concept of balance between nature and urban, favelas and cosmopolitan and simple and sophisticated meets the world. The crown symbolizes an imperial city that hosts since the universal sanctuary of Christ the Redeemer, to Candomblé in the hill, to the Museum of Tomorrow and a bicycle ride from the hill to the Maracanã stadium. A city that expresses a picture of the twenty-first century. At Osklen, I always try to bring concepts that synthetize and symbolize these concepts and values. There is a parallel between Rio and Osklen – in the building of a legitimate and contemporary image. Of changing the old perception of what we are and what we do.
How do you express and transform this image into fashion?
I try to express this universe in a universal way, minimalistic and sophisticated but without losing its magic. I express this at the Osklen collections and in my art projects. I do not see the Olympic Games as a sports’ event, I see it as an encounter of multiple cultures of the world where we will be the host. We have the chance to show what we do to the world.
You are internationally famous as one of the most celebrated Rio de Janeiro’s faces. How do you keep the charm and the carioca lifestyle in the midst of the big recession the country is going through?
I will continue doing what I have always proposed to Osklen: originality, the Brazilian cosmopolite essence, quality, universal aesthetical language and sustainability. I have reflected a lot about it now in this big recession that we are living. It is a big shame. Not only economically. Maybe there is a big chance we lose our nation essence. Even with all the contrasts, we were never as polarized as we are today. There is a chance of falling apart what I like to call the Brazilian Soul – the most beautiful gift that we have.
What is your formula to preserve the Brazilian Soul?
I always bring my point of view and my optimistic perception to Osklen, which is being hard at this time. Just like in the nineties when I perceived the movement that Brazil was about to get into and it was possible to express our creativity and lifestyle to the world. At those times, I created the expression “Cool & Brazilian”, a statement of our own, of self-steam. When everyone used to think that only what came from abroad was cool. I was one of the protagonists of this big turn we went through. Of this artistic and economic movement from the last 20 years. Until this day. The moment we are living in Brazil today – it always occurs to me that if I were to express what I feel or rather sense, just like what I did in the nineties with the “Cool & Brazilian”, today it would be “Bye-bye Brazil”. It is so sad to have this feeling, is it not? However, I think we should not and we cannot abandon Brazil. We should intensify what we have done before. Many artistic movements and new professions arrived to Brazil in the last 20 years and we cannot admit that they just disappear.
It is definitely a big challenge. How do you do your part?
I always made sure that we produced as much as we could inside Brazil, which is different of what most of the other brands are doing here. We still produce 90% in Brazil, generating jobs and taxes. Creating new materials. Helping to rise the quality of our product and manufactory. We helped creating a new Made in Brazil quality standard in the fashion industry. We have always believed in Brazil. I really hope that the Brazilian society recognizes that in Osklen. We do not miss any opportunity, we only improve and proudly produce using social and environmental sustainable sourced materials, purely genuine and without losing our essence.
The theme of your collection, Golden Spirit is a tribute to the athlete’s perfection when they reach the podium. How do you find this spirit fashion?
Golden Spirit is, for me, that spiritual moment of total abstraction when we shine within. Be the insight of a scientist, philosopher or an artist. In the Olympic Games, I perceive this very same moment when the athlete spent four, eight years training fully dedicated to the dream of conquering that medal. I imagine that at that moment, in those seconds on the top of the podium when he is receiving the medal, in that singular moment he is the number one person all over the world. The peak of his dream is the dedication achieved. He is definitely shining inside. A moment of pride and joy. For me, it is like the same illuminated moment of the creation of the Olympian Gods that, at that moment, glorifies that athlete in moments of a demigod.
How does this spirit translate the woman style in the winter of 2016 for Osklen?
She is a woman that seeks balance in her lifestyle. She knows both unique and avant-garde designs, she has art sensibility, she knows how to recognize sophistication in the well-made things, she tries to eat and use natural materials, preferably sustainable. Our woman follows the contemporary changes. I think that at Osklen we are managing to use these elements in a harmonic way throughout our collections and our client is starting to notice these elements, recognizing an Osklen piece or look only by its shapes, colors and texture. I try to bring a subtle but strong sensuality. She is a secure woman that does not intend to be in the spotlight. She surprisingly shines with an elegant, less obvious sensuality.
To what direction are you looking now for inspiration to the next collections? Is there any destination, era or artist that is influencing you right now?
I am looking at our 1990s and 2000s collections. From the 90s, our colors and shapes for man. From the 2000s, shapes and concepts we have tried back then. I have been noticing in the streets and at some parties here and in Europe a mix of the 90s with early 2000. I have noticed that we are going back to more elaborated pieces, in terms of design and material. I did not think it would happen. I thought normcore would be the trend. However, it does not look like. Lately, I have not been following fashion shows or trends. What is really fulfilling me now is being the advisor of a graduating FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York). Being able to see what 23 students of different countries see and propose.