Brazil: Qair’s Olê Rendeiras project hits the catwalk at Milan fashion week
In 2019, Qair associated with Brazilian brand Catarina Mina to create the Olê Rendeiras project which is aimed at valuing the Bilro lace tradition in Trairi, in the state of Cearà, to strengthen the culture and move the economy of the region in a sustainable way. In 2021, the Olê Rendeiras project made its debut at the world’s first sustainable fashion event, Brazil Eco Fashion Week, in Milan, Italy. And this year, in 2022, it was invited to return with a new fashion show.
Earlier this year, Olê Rendeiras was at Dragao Fashion Brasil (DFB) Festival. For the occasion, Qair Brasil’s management team, several collaborators and some of the craftwomen taking part in the project were also present at the parade.
Bilro is a brazilian countryside tradition. It was brought to the northeast of the country by the Portuguese women during the colonial period and has been perpetuated over the years by the more than 5000 women from Ceará, who passed the knowledge on from generation to generation.
With the advancement of the textile industry, homemade productions lost their financial value but have recently returned to attract stylists from all over the world, and some businesswomen have decided to change the reality of thousands of artisans by opening cooperatives that regulate, encourage, and expand the range of contacts between them and the fashion industry.
In this context, Olê Rendeiras, which gathers more than 250 artisans spread across more than 20 communities in the region, consists of promoting workshops, conversation circles and exchange of experiences to enable the necessary knowledge and tools, such as financial resources, for the development of the lacemakers’ work, in periodic meetings.
The Bilro lacemakers have already launched two clothing collections and a collection of home decor items, both bestsellers, available for ordering through Catarina Mina’s website, with worldwide shipping.
“In recent years, we have managed to increase the price of pieces by five times, we partnered with the French brand Anne Fontaine and paraded with during Brazil Eco Fashion Week in Milan and at the DFB Festival ”, said Célina Hissa, designer and founder of Catarina Mina.
With this project Qair aims at encouraging the creation of an association, to give autonomy and self-sufficiency to artisans in the communities where it operates.