Katty Xiomara

"Looking to the future” is a preeminent necessity that is often invoked in the aesthetic sense what fashion represents.  But to truly look to the future, is it not essential to decipher the clues that the past has offered us? As progressive as our feelings may be, we must admit that today would be a void without yesterday and in this order of ideas, tomorrow would be a continuous line in space.

I was recently put to the challenge of making a capsule collection for Hello Kitty. Like me, she was born in 1974 which means that we both celebrate our 45 years in 2019. I realized that we share the year and the way our names are written, but I also found other similarities between Kitty's universe and mine. Kitty was born by Sanrio's hand in Japan, but with a background story where she is portrayed as an English girl. I was born in the heart of a Portuguese family, but in the temperate climate of South America. This made me remember and live memories of my childhood.

I remember playing more outside than in the house. Even in an urban context I was always surrounded by a lot of nature, maybe it is the natural result of belonging to an analogue generation, but also because I lived in a desirable climate.

Particularly, I remember a curious plant that when touched closed its leaves, to me it was a Sleeping Beauty, but today I know that the most common denomination is Mimosa Pudica. Associated with this plant there is a legend of Filipino origin, the story of an extremely shy girl named Mary. The legend tells of a tragic village invasion, forcing Mary's parents to hide her in the forest, passing the turmoil the parents seek for the girl but in her place, they only found a plant of small leaves and beautiful pink flowers that when touched closed all its leaves in a fast movement. They assumed the idea that such a timid plant could only be their Maria.
I let my clothes speak for me, daring on the garments letting it express what I couldn't with words and initiative. I had my shy side and my daring side without words, so this plant and this story tells me a lot.
Looking back on my teenage years and thinking about my reality as being a woman, I realize that at the same time the reality of women in Portugal was different. 

Even though I was within a culture of a macho nature, I was already benefiting from the claims of equality achieved by the feminist movements of liberation, which were germinating throughout the world, fundamentally between the 60s and 70s.

The attitudes that follow us in growth are installed in our subconscious and are moulding us as people.
Today in Portugal and in the world, women are seen with greater respect, more than 45 years ago but there are still many attitudes to re-educate to achieve true equality of opportunity.

I decided that I could somehow honour these women who have done so much for me in the past. This is a collection of reflection, of longing, of passion and gratitude. I do not have the capacity that these women had to raise their voices, but I would like to leave my testimony translated into a fashion formula.
On the other hand, by looking at the past in this more personal way I realised that many of the things that made me vibrate in fashion were disappearing - No longer do they "flirt" the pieces for months before they decide to buy, they do not last for 20 years intact, no longer pass from sister to sister. Today we consume far above our needs. 

Fashion must change its way of producing, seducing, selling, and buying. We stop caring about the durability, we want garments for today and not for tomorrow, we want 10 instead of one, we want latest fashion trends in the shortest possible time. I have argued that in fashion, applying the term sustainability is somewhat ambitious and to some extent utopian. This is because in addition to being one of the most polluting industries, we are also extremely dependent. It is difficult to follow the production trail from the start, its most basic elements, from fibre, yarn, weaving, dyeing, cutting, manufacturing / confectioning, packaging, distribution and so on … But I realise that in small things we can make a difference and I believe that the most important thing is to re-educate the consumer, to stop being a consumer and become a client. 
This is how our "Maria Reverberada” is born - a simple construction cape/cover with use of 100% of the fabric, which allows us multiple use, with 3 different positions.

In short, this collection is a great "Pot-purri" of memories - on one hand we have Kitty, the Mimosa Pudica, Mary and the strength of women, and the urge to look to the future recognising what the past has taught us. 
It is a collection with simple and feminine shapes with strong and explosive colours and a great mix of materials, brightness and textures, that reveal this profusion of memories and different ideas.

This year we want to show the winter collection 2019/2020 in a different formula that goes beyond fashion. Driven by Sanrio's invitation to create a mini commemorative collection for Hello Kitty's 45th anniversary, which by the way will also be mine, I awakened to a whole list of memories. Among them is the most obvious, the fact that I am a woman and that nowadays I'm able to be, and to do, with some freedom what many have suppressed for decades. This collection establishes a comparison with Kitty, speaks of my memories and worries and thanks women with courage, who have made this growth possible.

I'm not capable to raise my voice like Gloria Steinem or write like Simone Beauvoir, I don't even have the strength of so many other anonymous women, who represented us in the feminist movements of the 60's and 70's, but I can pay tribute and honors to them. They have done so much, yet I know that there is still much to be done, so I would like to invite several women from different areas and generations to leave a testimony. It could be an old story and a look towards the future. Talk about what's different and what might be different. Sharing experiences, small things, even if they may seem obvious, because in the eyes of a new generation, they may seem often incredible. I have a 15-year-old daughter who was born and raised in a completely different reality and yet feels a feminist appeal for a very strong general equality. This intrigues me, it is said that fights cannot be forgotten, there must be a recycling, at some point it becomes necessary to remember to re-educate, in order to not let the goal fade.