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ISABEL BRANCO: The future of fashion lies in change
ISABEL BRANCO: The future of fashion lies in change

- It's been 10 years of Bloom. Does the future of Portuguese fashion include what's yet to come?

Any future includes what's yet to come.... but to give you an idea of what's around the corner, it's good to know how to experience the here and now ... the present.

 You have to know what's done, why it's done and who it's done for. This idea is well reflected by BLOOM. It is a movement of young people who design and perform, who cut and execute and, by presenting their own collections, hope that, in the near future, something will happen that will help them to be what they want to be. And it is now, without a doubt, that such moment of exposure becomes important, where talent may or may not be recognised, and it is then that future exists, at Bloom...

- Should younger designers have even half the determination that Isabel has?

Younger designers have the determination of youth... which is unique and has an expiry date. They have the courage to try Being e wanting to Be. I see in the strength and desire that moves me...

- They always ask for advice, but that won't be the case. What difficulties do new designers face and why will they have them?

I don’t know how to give advice nor do I know if I agree with it... and it's not in my DNA either; however I do know that the major new challenge is being able to work in this Fashion Industry – known as the second most polluting industry, and having to promise the world that we'll have a future and a planet to live on. This will be a great challenge of the future.

- Isabel was married to a musician and is the mother of a writer. Will anybody in the next generation be a fashion designer, or will it be easier to be a scientist and discover a new theory of quantum mathematics?

The next generation will be fully dedicated to sustainability issues and working in fashion will be very hard. Future generations will have to pay for our mistakes.

- Portuguese designers always lack something and Isabel knows what it is. What is it?

 I admit they have talent, the strength to move forward; they're travelers who set out on the pathway in a conformist country at the edges of Europe. They are brave and determined... they lack nothing.

- Does Bloom, as a platform for taking risks, still have the romantic essence that fashion should have?

When a plant flourishes opens and blooms... that is the essence of BLOOM.

- What is the romantic essence of fashion?

I don't know...

- One day, 100 years from now, who will be able to replace Isabel as DDT?

You tell me.

- Are people who live in Lapa posh?

The people who live in Lapa are happy...

- When coordinating a fashion show, which is worse? Not seeing or not hearing?

The worst is not talking.

- What does the future have in store for Portuguese fashion? And for fashion in general?

The future of fashion lies in change. The planet demands it. Fashion will have to be sustainable and the message cannot be just a simple temporary marketing strategy. We will have to move from a throwaway society and start reusing. This, without a doubt, will affect the entire structure as we know it today. Nothing will be as it was. Different timings, new ways of living, of doing and of seeing. Behaviors, no matter how small they appear to be, will be counting on and quoting Vivienne Westwood in her climate revolution ‘buy less... you don't need to leave a big shopping center with a bag full of t-shirts. You're better off buying one dress, a more expensive one, by a good designer, that you can wear and wear again'.

Another major challenge is on the horizon

- How can you reinvent fashion in Portugal?

Fashion invents and reinvents itself... it's fashion after all. It's reinvented with talent, passion, culture and a revolutionary spirit.

- Much is said about the future of young designers. Isn't the future made of what's done in the present?

Somehow, I believe I've already answered this question, but the time has come for you to use your youth, your talent, and your passion for this incredible fashion industry to rethink, remake and recreate the future.

- How much of Isabel is in the character of Teresa in the book "Biografia involuntária dos amantes” by João Tordo?

I've read the book and I really like it, but I don't see myself in any of the characters.

- Do you still enjoy working in fashion? 

I love it. I can't see myself doing anything else. I really love it.