Call it a return to origins. A comeback to the reason why clothes were invented in the first place: helping human body to regulate its relationship with the environment. This was something Paulo Gomes believes to have been forgotten in the fashion world in which he worked for the past thirty years as producer and stylist.
“After woking for so long in this industry, I realized that fashion became a huge money-making machine where new and interesting ideas don’t seem to have place anymore. So I started to wonder what could be considered luxury today for a mature consumer. I realized that people are much more nomadic, being exposed to different whether conditions more often than before. Climate changes also affected the way people relate to the whether as you can have all four seasons in a 24 hour period of time. I started to nurture this idea that maybe the new luxury in clothing might the way you can face all these new challenges in an intelligent manner.” As ostentation becomes less important for the cultivated consumer, it became obvious to Paulo that the right path to a different notion of luxury couldn’t use the typical fashion language. Moving back to the relationship between body and the environment, textiles as the original interface between human body and what surrounds it, became the natural answer to the question posed. “That’s the reason I started working directly with textiles for the first time. They’ve always been part of clothing, of course, but I thought about them in terms of volumetry, texture, color. Never payed attention to its technical issues, it’s composition, it’s full potential in terms of usability.” The researches that followed led him to intelligent fabrics and high-tech materials that have known important scientific developments in recent years. Used until now only in construction, medicine and sports, they never got any relevant attention from fashion industry. Along with three other partners, Manifesto started developing connections with universities developing investigation in those areas. “These connections with universities and scientific centers is crucial for us. We’re working as a catalyst agent between scientific research, textile industry that is applying this knowledge coming out of academic circles in their products and also manufacturing companies like laser cutting for a better quality of the end product.” While all pieces are elegantly designed and cut, they work mainly as a showcase for the fabrics and technologies used. “Business comes from solving specific problems for communities, not from the design itself.” — VC
Though starting with a strong design component and an industry-driven approach in mind, it was while researching potential markets that Manifesto ended up discovering its higher purpose. “There are many communities to which the use of these high-tech materials can make a difference. Take for instance those fabrics that have mosquito repellent properties, and think about children in Congo or Mozambique with huge mortality rates form the byte of malaria mosquito. These technologies can have a huge impact on the daily prevention of the disease.” For the last three years, Manifesto has been developing projects in several countries, like Mozambique, Congo, and more recently with the masai tribes, working closely with local communities on order to help solving day-to-day problems with their products. More than a fashion statement, Manifesto is a way of expressing a whole new approach to life. Healthy food, ecology, recycling, are some examples of the way people try to follow better, healthier and sustainable life patterns.”You can see it in food, in architecture, in almost every field, there’s this approach where new technologies are used to provide solutions to make people closer to what is essential. Luxury, brands, and ostentation don’t have a place in a developed society. That’s the past. That’s not the new luxury behaviour.”
Photo: Vasco Colombo (assisted by Raquel Porto / Marta Rocha); Models: Daniela Hanganu and Nuno Ferreira (Central Models); Hair + Makeup: Alex Me; Production: Paulo Gomes ——— Daniela is wearing a beige jacket with waterproof and quick drying technology. Nuno is wearing a white anti-bacterial shirt with printed artwork by Paul Cook, by Manifesto Moda.
Check ou the whole project in Mente 01. Download it for free here: