Colombian born Cloclo Echavarría and Venezuelan born Isabella Behrens had spectacular resumes previous to launching Sí Collective. Echavarría was a co-founder of CREO Consulting, a New York-based PR consultancy targeted on Latin manufacturers. After almost a decade as the style editor at Vainness Honest, Behrens joined the crew at CREO, the place she was in a position to lend her encyclopedic information and expertise masking US and worldwide trend markets. Between the 2, the pair has the experience to assist Latin manufacturers in many alternative capacities. “[Our experience at CREO] allowed us to actually establish not solely the place we noticed a possible to really assist Latin expertise, but additionally what our strengths have been as a partnership and a crew,” says Behrens. “By our earlier work collectively, we have been higher in a position to perceive what precisely manufacturers wanted, what we needed to do and what we have been good at.” This impressed Echavarría and Behrens to launch Sí Collective, a artistic consultancy for LATAM manufacturers. The well-connected and extremely skilled duo operate as a bridge serving to to deliver Latin American design to the remainder of the world in a cohesive method. By guiding manufacturers in product creation, model advertising and marketing technique and positioning, PR and gross sales, the founders are in a position to assist flip an concept right into a profitable and globally acknowledged model with the assistance of their community of creatives. Beneath, we spoke to founders Cloclo Echavarría and Isabella Behrens on how Sí Collective has develop into a frontrunner and cultivator of LATAM trend.
MM: Discuss concerning the significance of Latin American design. What makes it so distinctive? Why are world shoppers so drawn to it proper now?
Though Latin American design is so various and distinctive to every model and designer, a continuing throughout all manufacturers is that our Latin origins, our tradition, our heritage and our values are embedded inside every of our creations. The tales of our shoppers and the folks we work with are the tales of Latin America, and vice versa. Moreover, we imagine there’s a frequent need inside our area to help each other and spark change. Our manufacturers and shoppers don’t merely wish to create stunning items, they wish to have a long-lasting and constructive impression on their communities. This will translate in a number of methods: many manufacturers have essential social duty packages, for instance, and so they all foster sturdy bonds with the artisans they accomplice with, who’re considered creatives in their very own proper. Nurturing the expertise of their artisan companions and giving them the instruments to work in a secure setting is paramount to our manufacturers. Moreover, the artisanal strategies that many Sí manufacturers use at this time have been handed down for generations, usually from pre-Columbian occasions, when indigenous societies lived in actual dialogue with nature; due to this fact, defending their area’s pure sources is inherent to the lifestyle of those communities. Except for their big cultural significance, these strategies are centered on the usage of pure supplies (like iraca and cumare palm leaves, or alpaca wool, to call just a few) and a deep respect for the setting. Subsequently, the dedication to creating in an moral and sustainable method can be one thing our shoppers have in frequent. Lots of our shoppers even have a lowered carbon footprint as all of their merchandise are produced regionally; from begin to end, every course of is carried out inside the identical nation. Simply as importantly, we’re dedicated to transparency in our manufacturers’ processes. We imagine that sharing with our shoppers the tales behind our product is essential not solely to the success of our labels, but additionally to our values. We wish to share greater than only a product with our closing buyer; we wish to deliver them in on the tales and customs of our area and the fantastic individuals who assist flip our designs into actuality.
MM: What was lacking within the trade that you simply felt Sí Collective may clear up for?
Prior to now 5 years or so, so many platforms specializing in Latin American expertise have emerged. After we launched Sí Collective, we already had expertise inside this area of interest and we have been very fortunate to have the ability to depend on our current shoppers. We additionally every had one foot in Latin America and one other overseas, which on reflection actually gave us an edge, as a result of though our information of Latin America’s expertise and tradition was key, it was essential to have the ability to mix this information with our worldwide expertise. Though these manufacturers are fairly various and all require customized and tailor-made companies, we do see frequent denominators amongst them. A few of these points embody one thing so simple as making a commercially viable product or a powerful, cohesive assortment or communication of their model and story, each visible and written. One other situation many manufacturers have is with creating their very own, distinctive technique– wanting outwards an excessive amount of to see what others are doing moderately than seeing that their power will come from wanting inwards and creating their very own path.
MM: How do you accomplice with the manufacturers? What’s your function?
As soon as a model reaches out to us for assist, we do a full evaluation – together with their product, their story, their manufacturing capability, and so forth. Our work is extraordinarily tailor-made and palms on, and due to this it is rather essential that we solely tackle manufacturers which we really feel can stand other than opponents, not solely inside a saturated worldwide trend market, however even amongst different Latin designers. Exhibiting the range of expertise coming from our area is so essential to us, so having designers, manufacturers and expertise providing a singular viewpoint is essential. As soon as we’re in a position to verify this facet of a model, we then supply them a menu of customized companies primarily based on the wants we establish. This contains something from branding, to gross sales to artistic. It’s fairly fascinating as a result of, on the one facet, we’re a consultancy for life-style, trend and design manufacturers, however on the opposite, we’re additionally a collective of creatives. We’re basically a community of Latin People with expertise in numerous areas of the trade, from photographers to copywriters, illustrators, fashions, and so forth. Subsequently, our work can embody just about any want a shopper may need, with the assure of a high-quality service because of a fastidiously constructed community of individuals we all know and belief.
MM: Business insiders know that Sí Collective is answerable for the worldwide success of manufacturers like Agua by Agua Bendita and Escvdo. Clarify how your partnership with each of those manufacturers got here to be and the way these collaborations have developed?
Previous to founding Sí Collective we had been experimenting with artistic companies in a extra informal method, [Colombian brand] Agua by Agua Bendita was our first official shopper for artistic. In 2018, just a few years after their preliminary strategy, they reached out for a second time desirous to work with us. They’d their most important line, Agua Bendita, and needed us to assist them enter the posh sector. Nonetheless, after a cautious model evaluation, we proposed launching a luxurious counterpart to their most important line. We got here up with the concept of Agua by Agua Bendita, and we have been employed to be the model’s Inventive Administrators. All through the previous two years, we have been answerable for every little thing from artistic, to branding, to gross sales to PR. We have been basically an extension of the model’s in-house crew and have been answerable for making each artistic choice – irrespective of how small!
Our relationship with [Pervuvian brand] Escvdo first started as gross sales representatives; nevertheless, we regularly discovered ourselves exploring methods through which we may tweak the product to make it extra business, thereby rising the model’s gross sales. Though we cherished the ethos behind the model, and their distinctive hand loomed materials, we felt that the crew wanted assist in the event of the ultimate product. After they noticed the work we had finished with Agua, they requested us to come back on board creatively because the model’s Inventive Administrators. On this function, we’re an integral a part of the design crew, and work carefully with their founder, Chiara Macchiavello, who’s a textile specialist, and their head of manufacturing, Blanca Diaz, to develop every assortment. We accompany them alongside each step of the way in which, from the creation of the moodboard to the ultimate particulars of every pattern.
MM: What’s the Trend Variety e-comm partnership?
The pandemic triggered many main retailers to cancel wholesale orders, a choice that devastated small and rising manufacturers, particularly these with out their very own e-commerce and whose brick and mortar places have been closed for months on finish as a result of our area’s extreme lockdown (Latin America had a number of the longest lockdowns on the earth). The partnership presents these Latin American designers a brand new digital residence on Fashionkind.com, making it attainable for them to honor their dedication to their artisans and different workers. Our intention is to supply designers an answer not just for at this time’s issues, but additionally for navigating future unknowns. Twenty one labels from everywhere in the area joined our initiative in July, and extra are nonetheless approaching board. Except for having sturdy Latin American roots, what unites these designers is a dedication to creating collections that honor nature and reinterpret historic crafts for the fashionable world, all whereas creating lasting social change. We most just lately expanded the initiative to incorporate homeware.
MM: What’s in the end your objective with Si Collective? What are you making an attempt to perform inside the trade?
2020 was a 12 months of surprising hurdles, a lot of which have compelled us to reevaluate who we’re, not solely as an organization however as people. We’ve got spent a number of time internalizing and making an attempt to finest establish our core mission and objectives. For the second, we wish to contribute to the event of our area in a roundabout way. Ideally, by inserting Latin America’s expertise on the worldwide forefront, but additionally through the use of this success to create alternatives regionally.