IMAUVE: a brand made for the contemporary woman
“A designer label shaped for the contemporary woman”. Created by Inês de Oliveira, this is how IMAUVE is described, a Portuguese brand that joins minimalism, sophistication and a feminine appeal.
In 2016, her experience working with some Portuguese designer brands led her to create IMAUVE, something she dreamed about since she was younger. Looking at her work, the brand’s signature is easy to define: essential wardrobe pieces, made with Portuguese natural fabrics.
For Inês, a “made in Portugal” brand is the way to start growing, since Portugal is her home country and the one that gave her the first opportunities to enter the fashion world. That’s why she produces every piece in Portugal and values the Portuguese manufacturing tradition.
From all the materials she uses (cotton, linen, viscose or even the paperboard and hang tags), only the silk is imported. According to the designer, choosing the fabrics is one of the most important elements in her work and one of the most pleasuring parts of her job: “I follow all the manufacturing process. Choosing which colors and materials to use and understand how they will change when turned into clothes are things that take a big part of my time, and I take part in every process. I believe that’s my job as a designer and really it’s gratifying”.
It’s also in Portugal that Inês finds her inspiration. The traditional streets of Lisbon and the contemporary women are the main references for her creations. Although she believes that actresses, music stars or society icons are important, the modern, multi-tasking contemporary woman is the figure she designs for. “My pieces are designed for the contemporary woman, not for a mystic figure. And I try to fulfill her needs, that are mine too: on a busy day, I want to be elegant and attractive, but comfortable. IMAUVE is all about that”, explains the young designer.
Inês fits perfectly in that profile. Always running from one place to another, looking for the perfect materials, meeting with suppliers or with dressmakers, she has always a busy routine.
However, she loves calm and simplicity, feelings she also tries to convey with her pieces. The effortless style of Caroline de Maigret and Clémence Poésy is also something she appreciates and “slow fashion” is her main concept. Inês wants IMAUVE’s pieces to be comfortable, light and flowing, to balance the busy lifestyle we live today.
With 28 years old, the Portuguese designer already shows her collections at ModaLisboa - Lisbon Fashion Week. But today she’s also focusing on the international market, and online sales is a step towards that. Trough Minty Square and her online stores, Inês found a way to get closer not only to other European countries, like France or the United Kingdom, but also to the rest of the world.
“Minty Square is helping me getting further and contacting with other markets besides Portugal. It’s a great opportunity to value young designers’ work. Although I believe I must invest in my home country first, I’m working towards internationalization”, admits Inês.
This year, Inês is about to launch her third collection. IMAUVE’s Spring-Summer 2018 collection – just like the previous ones – unfolds a twist of art. If Debut (SS17) was inspired by the works of Frank Stella, an American painter, and the architecture of the Art Nouveau movement emerges at Lotus (FW17), Birds of Paradise (SS18) got its motto from Kusturica’s cinematographic work “On the Milky Road”, with earthy tones, whites and blues.
You can find in IMAUVE’s pieces the luxury of the simplicity, the flowless silhouettes, the purified design and the natural fabrics which, all together, result in wearable and functional clothes that represent the real women, who never loses sophistication.