Last year, the world of fashion saw Curated (C.R.T.D) born, a portuguese clothing brand that doesn’t follow trends and puts creativity in the first place. We sat down with Miguel Marques da Costa, the C.R.T.D fashion curator, to talk about the brand concept and “The Kenya Collection”.

How does fashion appeared in your life?

I think fashion has always been present in my life. I didn’t study anything related to fashion, I studied Hospitality management in Switzerland. I always remember having a dream of having my own brand, but I honestly thought that it would be almost unachievable.

What’s the meaning of fashion for you?

Fashion is a way of giving a first impression, it’s a way of expressing ourselves. I always say I’m pretty good at reading people and one way is through clothes. Clothes are not everything, but it’s something!

“I remember since I started shopping by myself that I wanted really specific things but many times couldn’t find them. That was a reason why I always wanted to start my brand.”

When did you decide to create your own brand?

I remember since I started shopping by myself that I wanted really specific things. Many times couldn’t find them, and that was a reason why I always wanted to start my brand – but was always too scared to say it out loud. I used to write a lot of ideas on paper, but never really showed to anyone. I still have those papers and memories, and looking at them now makes me proud of what I have done. Curated started a bit by accident and luck in the beginning of 2017. Oh, and a lot of push from my mother and stepdad (thanks for that!).

Why the name Curated?

The name was something very important for me. It’s the brand identity and the first impression. I thought about it everyday for about a month. One day, I was reading an online article about art curators, and that was more what I felt I was, a fashion curator not a fashion designer. So, the same day I talked with a lawyer and started the company.  

How do you describe the brand?

I describe Curated has a virtual gallery that exhibits one of a kind creations and collections, just like an art gallery.

“I started wearing the shirts I made in Kenya and everyday I would have people asking me where did I got them and how could they get them, they were a huge success.”

Can you tell us a little bit more about the story behind “The Kenya Collection”?

As I said before, everything happened a bit by accident and luck. I went to Kenya to my friends family house for what I thought would be a two week vacation, but the moment I arrived in Kenya, I received an email saying that the project I was working on (a big event in Lisbon) was canceled.

So, I was in Kenya with no job to come back to. I ended up staying almost for four weeks and I was able to do some traveling inside the country. In a little town, I found a really nice Kikoy towels (traditional Kenyan towels, that I sell at my brand too) factory with amazing fabrics and great artisans. There, I decided to ask them to make a few shirts to take home with me.

I made the pattern and I choose everything else. Back in Lisbon, I started wearing the shirts I made in Kenya and everyday I would have people asking me where did I got them and how could they get them, they were a huge success! With a big push of my mother and stepdad I started Curated, with the first collection made in Kenya.

The ideal of a no genre collection was always part of the working process?

To be honest, I never thought about the genre of the brand. I only thought about making clothes for people. Nowadays, people have the freedom to wear whatever they want. Sometimes, I buy women shirts and pants. I don’t think about it as women’s clothes, I think about it as clothes that I like.

“Being online and having a good e-commerce website is mandatory nowadays.”

What do you think about fashion houses closing down?

I think everything has a time and space, nothing is forever. It’s important for fashion houses to keep their identity, but at the same time to evolve and invent themselves throughout time. Being online and having a good e-commerce website is mandatory nowadays.

For your next collections, are you thinking about creating only shirts or do you want to expand your work?

Expand! I don’t like to be obvious… Doing new things is fun. My goal is to have a bit of everything in our brand, even home decor. But we want to go slowly as well.

“When I shop I always like to ask myself the same question “will you wear this more than 15 times?” if the answer is yes I get it, if it’s a no I just leave it.”

In your view, what’s next for the fashion industry?

People are more and more concerned about the sustainability in fashion. So I think, – and hope – that fashion houses will change their policies for a more sustainable way. I hope that the costumers behavior towards fast fashion changes too. People are buying things that they don’t wear more than three times. The planet earth can’t continue at this pace. When I shop, I always like to ask myself the same question: “Will you wear this more than 15 times?” If the answer is “yes”, I get it, if it’s a “no” I just leave it.  

You can find the “Kenya Collection” in www.crtdworld.com, and soon in a more online stores. Physically, you can shop some of the shirts in Loja do Museu do Arroz, in Comporta, Portugal.

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