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oNONO: Brazilian Effervescence

Ademar Ferrera talks to Dazed Digital about his latest oNONO collection, a joint effort with different Brazilian artists, and his plans for a Smart car covered in oNONO’s bold and bright graphics.

When Ademar Ferrera first started working on developing his fashion brand, he conceived it as a platform to showcase the results of the collaborative efforts between different artists and designers. After three collections, Ferrera’s dream has turned into reality. oNONO’s third collection, developed in collaboration with different Brazilian artists, was presented with an installation featuring sets by the Fogo Design Studio and music by experimental house band CMYK & Grayscale at Micasa, unanimously considered in São Paulo as the temple of contemporary design.

The collection, accompanied by accessories created by designer Walério Araújo, a sort of Brazilian Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, features dresses, tops and shirts characterised by bold and dynamic prints, a mixture of fabrics and textures, and a touch of Brazilian humour: one design is covered in logos of famous luxury brands while a dress is entirely made of plastic wristbands, a joke on getting an “access all areas” pass in the fashion industry. All the pieces were developed by Ferrera in collaboration with a creative group including artist, fashion designer and co-owner of a Brazilian contemporary art gallery Juliana Freire, artist Emma Thomas, fashion designer Gustavo Silvestre, artist and photographer Lucas Simões, Goiânia-based artist Pitágoras and Thelma Bonavita and Cristian Duarte’s contemporary dance group Desaba.  
Dazed Digital: What was the starting point for the new oNONO collection?
Ademar Ferrera: Visual language, conceived in this collection as a universal means of communication, since images, symbols and signs are very powerful media that connect us all. This is why all the garments in the collection are unisex and most of the pieces come in one size and can be adjusted according to the wearer’s body. All the pieces are numbered and will be sold in selected multi-brand stores and through our site. I invited artists to develop the designs with me because I found this collaboration between art and fashion more beneficial to the experimental character of this brand since art can influence and infuse poetry into something more commercial like fashion. Together we created various digital prints and one handmade print. In addition to all the main artists, there were dozens of young professionals involved in the project who helped with the presentation. At the moment we are in the process of giving a better structure to the oNONO project in partnership with two Brazilian studios, Eggs and Estúdio a Produções.

DD: Why did you decide to launch the new collection with an exhibition rather than a catwalk show?
Ademar Ferrera: oNONO is not a conventional fashion brand, but a visual art project and a fashion laboratory, a sort of workshop with changing collaborators, I wanted to highlight this aspect and allow people to really see the clothes closely. One of my main obsessions is finding the best format to showcase a collection. So our presentations will be different season after season. This was the third oNONO presentation, but I must admit that, to me, it was like the first proper one, because I finally managed to introduce the brand’s creations in the way I always imagined.

DD: Which were the best designers you saw during the latest Casa de Criadores/São Paulo Fashion Week event?
Ademar Ferrera: Gustavo Silvestre, Yoon Hee Lee, Der Metropol, Jadson Ranieri and Walério Araújo. The Casa de Criadores event is now the only major event aimed at young Brazilian designers. Events of this type are vital to allow new talents to enter the national and international fashion market.

DD: In which ways would you improve these events?
Ademar Ferrera: We need to become more professional: many talented designers are giving up their careers because they don’t have proper investments. A few years ago, the group that coordinates the São Paulo Fashion Week, Paulo Borges’s Luminosidade, had a new talents fashion week here in Brazil, called The Hot Spot, but that ceased to exist after a short while and that’s a shame. These events need support and sponsorship from large companies and getting funds is always hard.

DD: In which ways will oNONO transform in the next few months?
Ademar Ferrera: As I said, I’ve always conceived oNONO as a platform for creative projects mixing art, fashion, music and lifestyle. I want to take the project to other places, use it as a bridge to bring people together and create new possibilities and an innovative aesthetics. Ideally, I would like to work with talented young artists based all over the world. Once the site will be launched things will be easier since we will reach out to more people, establishing a channel and a global creative laboratory.

DD: You were recently elected “Best Revelation DJ of Brazil” by Brazilian DJ Mag: where can we listen to your sets online and do you have any special plans regarding your music career?
Ademar Ferrera: You can check out my sets on Deepbeep and SoundCloud. My sets usually mix different styles together. At the moment, I’m focusing on producing songs with some friends and Brazilian DJs and I’m collaborating with R.R.R. - Roots Rock Revolution, they are an incredible act with some great tunes. We are trying to mix dance music with Brazilian elements to give our tracks a sort of universal flavour. We are from Brazil, but we are also citizens of the world, that’s why we would like our tracks to work on dance floors all over the globe, reaching places as different as New York, Paris and Berlin.

Credits for photo shoots:
Photographs: Luciano Munhoz

Styling: Ademar Ferrera and Gustavo Silvestre

Hair and Make-up: André Veloso