Briefly summarise your role and what you do
I am the founder and director of Showroom One, where we oversee the placement of twelve international accessory brands. I am also the designer of our own brand, Bandits – Faux Fur accessories and outerwear for women and girls.
What did you do prior to owning your company?
I was a Marketing Consultant in my native Brazil. Moving to London opened the door to several new opportunities and I became a self-employed fashion designer, before opening a Fur Boutique in Burlington Arcade.
What inspired the business?
I’ve been in the fur trade since the beginning, and Bandits is a way of further exploring it. Faux Fur enables me to reach a bigger audience, and although it’s a more commercial product, it still is as creative as working with authentic fur.
We launched two collections, (for adults and for children) – Bandits and Bandits Girl. Both incredibly successful so far, so the pressure is on. Our second instalment must move fashion!
We launched two collections, (for the adults and for children. ) Bandits and Bandits Girl
You collaborated with Chanel – tell us about this, what did you learn from it?
I did. It was 2003 and I was getting a lot of press with my jewellery collection at the time as I was mixing Brazilian Agates with fur to create striking neck pieces. I had eight consecutive Vogue editorials and with that and my portfolio I took the courage to knock at doors of Fashion Houses, hoping for a collaboration.
I saw the ‘Creatives’ at Dior, Galliano and Chanel. This was 3 weeks before the Ready-to-Wear SS03 – you can only imagine how stressed and verging on insane everyone is in the build up to the shows! They loved my work, and commissioned 90 pieces there and then! All of course, with Karl Largerfeld’s direction.
I had two weeks to put it all together, and after eight trips back and forth from Paris to London, I was finally seated at the fashion show, proudly watching the models wearing my pieces down the catwalk.
For those who do not agree with fur, you also do a faux fur line. Why did you decide to do this?
Faux Fur is the core of Bandits. It’s also completely hand made in England. It’s a question of offering affordable luxury that it’s extremely wearable and sits well with ethical fashionistas.
Who is your style icon?
Jacky O, for all time classic glamour, and Olivia Palermo for her take on contemporary fashion.
The one and only Karl Lagerfeld. Someone who can simultaneously design three completely distinctive collections without compromising its roots, deserves admiration.
Take me briefly through your average day?
Oh Gosh.. Breakfast is sacred.. I have to have my breakfast watching the news! I then spend my day in either our showroom in Notting Hill, or at the Bandits factory just outside town, and I rarely finish a day before 7pm.
London is all about work and fitness for me. I work out five times a week, so after work I will either head to the gym, Pilates or to a spinning class at Psycle. My social life revolves around Fridays when my husband and I take time off from our fitness craze! We try to go to the theatre or catch up on some culture once a month..otherwise it’ss drinks and dinner most Friday and Saturday nights. Sundays are gym, sauna and brunch. Reading what I’ve written here makes me feel I could run a Military boot camp with ease!!
What piece are you most proud of?
The very first ones in my career; semi-precious stones mixed with fox fur. They were designed and made out of raw creativity and sheer determination. There was no commercial approach or fitting a collection into a demanding market. The press wanted to shoot them simply because they were truly unique and appealing. I had them displayed as art at Harrods for over a month.
How do you switch off? Do you have any hobbies?
We have an apartment in Marbella and we spend a week of every month there. It’s a relaxed environment and the days are much longer, but I don’t think I ever switch off!
The Wolseley for breakfast, The Lobby at the Corinthia Hotel for tea (they also have an amazing piano bar for drinks), and Sticks’n’Sushi (the Wimbledon branch) for the most delicious sushi experience of your life.
Champagne – anywhere, any time!
What drives you and keeps you focused?
The self-imposed pressure to always succeed.
What has been the oddest moment in your career so far that you can remember?
My already described brief stint as a Chanel collaborator, I’m still hunting for something that will beat that for euphoria value.
If in doubt, which fur coat do you reach for?
Never in doubt! I’m afraid I have far too many to ever run out of options!
How would you describe your style?
Classic with a twist. I’m past the age where one can try all the new trends. I stick to what suits my body shape and accessorise according to my mood.
You also design jewellery, belts and handbags, do you think there’s a particular rule to accessorising outfits or are you a more-is-better sort of lady?
I’m a ‘less-is-better’ kind of a lady! Killer heels, a nice handbag and one statement piece of jewellery is all you need.