Brazilian Fashion Designer and Stylist Pamela Colpo is known for her work with many acclaimed brands: Coca Cola, Be Red, and others, but it’s her work with Mormaii that holds a special place for her. Her parents live in the city of Garopaba, where the brand is based so every time she went to visit them from Sao Paulo she would tell herself, “One day I will work for this brand.” The self-fulfilling prophecy brought her to be part of team, first in Garopaba working with the founder getting a sense of their style and values and then extending this and increasing her work with them through BE RED and AMC. As so often happens, this early experience with Mormaii introduced Colpo to the fashion industry on a major scale and in turn introduced the community and public to her. She considers her work with Mormaii among the most rewarding part of her career.
As Trend analysis coordinator for Mormaii, Pamela coordinated all trend research and led the creative team. She was also in charge of creating the Styleguide for all 44 licenses of Mormaii product collaborations. As a designer and stylist, she was there to bring and show the essence of what Mormaii wanted to expose. Her methodology was very clear and premediated. While her artistic vision is always evident, it was the business acumen behind the scenes which manifested the final results. Her research was done via websites, travels, magazines, books, etc. in order to discover and create links within the brand’s DNA, resulting in the theme which Pamela presented for the collection. She guided the creative team in terms of design, fabrics, trims, and colors, and approving the final results. Garment fittings and adjustments were made, followed by casting and styling for the sales runway show. The presentation was quite a different approach as Colpo recalls, “We had this new version of Mormaii to show to the public, but we couldn't change it drastically so we went to a classic spot for surfers, Nazare-Portugal and made the campaign there. Mormaii had traditionally used athletes to do the photoshoot but this time, to differentiate the new Mormaii, we decided to use models. We invited Marlon Teixeira, who surfs in real life and has been a part of the best runways and fashion campaigns around the world. We wanted to say, ‘Hey we’ve changed but don't be scared. We are evolving in quality and fashion. We didn’t want to lose loyal/early consumers of the brand, and at the same time we wanted to bring new audiences to our family.”
Pamela’s time at Mormaii encompassed three different lines which catered to the differing tastes and eras of their customers. Natural Soul is old school surf style with a vintage font and 70’s logo. The aesthetic is traditional wetsuits for surfing, colored and printed board shorts, and colored prints/patterns. The women’s section of this line might be described as a bit hippie chic. The On the Road line explored street wear/skateboard style, t shirts with cool hand drawing graphics, chino pants with an expanded, color palette that leaned a bit darker. Finally, Original brought the fashion athleisure aesthetic. It explored new tech fabrics & modern prints. Its look is characterized with a DNA of neoprene, neon colors, and reflective tapes.
While she enjoys the creations that are geared towards men, Pamela concedes that she finds the women’s line to hold greater interest potential for her to create personally. She tells, “I had to research in my work for both the men’s and women’s parts of the line and started to really enjoy the women’s [line]. There is more complexity to it. Women’s wear has more details, trims, different types of fabric, and the female consumer has a lot of different styles in only one woman. We have one look to go to yoga, another to go out, another to go dance, etc…. the range is bigger than for the men’s. There are simply more canvases on which to paint.”
Even though she was enlisted to bring new ideas and a contemporary perspective to Mormaii, Pamela reassures that it is the history and lineage of this great company and its look that inspired her and many of the brand’s customers. It was important to her that she hold onto and respect its achievements. The brand has been a part of the culture for more than three decades and many surfers have seen it evolve. The “small city surf culture” signature of Mormaii is an enviable asset which Colpo was careful not to distance her work from. This embedded attitude towards surf fashion is something that she recognizes in the US. She notes, “I think US is a big trend influencer. Specially California when we talk about Surf wear. I think US surf wear has an urban/surf style because of American behavior. Americans are more open to new trends and fashion more so than many places in Brazil. Americans understand that they can wear a cool board short, a shirt and still look really nice and modern. Mormaii has known this for decades and the rest of Brazil is beginning to catch up. It’s nice to know that the work I did with this great company placed me ahead of the curve.”