Sublime: How did the concept of producing fashion ceramic accessories came about?
Yojo: It all started out with a common goal: prove to ourselves and the world that sustainability is not just the next big word in the industry but something we all need to work on and be willing to embrace. We wanted to demonstrate that with the right amount of creativity and willingness, a more sustainable world is nothing but our choice. As we engaged in debating about the twisted dynamics still deployed within the fashion industry, we realised that it’s no longer time to ask why and how we got here, but rather, ask ourselves how it could be better and what we could do to make it better.
With this in mind we decided to combine our talents, skills and passions to bring to life a line of men and women accessories that could make people talk and think. Something completely out-of-the-box that could attract an audience of creative like-minded people willing to leave stereotypes and embrace the new. So we started brainstorming all those stylish things that never really changed for decades and decided to focus on classic accessories to create a re-interpratation for the 21st century. Eventually we found in ceramics an ethical but unexplored material that could potentially turn the concept of fashion accessories into wearable artworks which sounds and wants to sound a provocation and point of reflection for today's digital world.
S: What’s your mission?
Y: Our ultimate mission is to bring new sustainable materials into the fashion industry and create valuable alternatives for the next ethically aware generations.
S: Who’s behind the company and what are their backgrounds?
Y: We are a team of three trotters and a bunch of independent Italian artists and seamstresses supporting our cause. Joe – the founder – is a bootstrapped fashion designer whit a huge interest in photography and cultural diversity. Danilo – the art director – is an award winning designer with a track record of successful projects between London and Milan. Rossana – the manager – is the most productive and multi-disciplinary asset in our team and oversee everything from budgets to operations.
S: Tell us about your materials, manufacturing and sourcing processes.
Y: Ceramic is a totally eco-friendly material, it comes straight from the Earth and when its use is over it returns to it. Ceramics is beautiful, practical and incredibly resistant, it is one of the most durable materials available to humans and for millennia it has drawn the attention of designers and creative alike across a variety of industries but fashion.
With the OXYMORON collection we combined ceramics and silk to create a line of man and women accessories that could preserve the past whilst pushing forward. We worked very closely a number of independent ceramic artists located in Vietri and Capodimonte (Italy) which have a strong reputation for creating some of the most precious ceramic artworks in the world. We also collaborated with some of the best Italian silk suppliers to design minimalist patterns and colour pallets that could resamble the contemporary twist we wanted to give to the collection. Finally we selected stainless steel to finish off our lines of accessories with bespoke high quality closing mechanisms, tags and chains.
S: What do you most hate about the fashion industry and what are you doing to bring about change?
Y: We totally reject the idea that wearing a nice, good-looking outfit has to involve that awful guilt-trip for harassing innocent living being, exploiting helpless workers and polluting our already compromised environment. Nevertheless there’s nothing to really hate about it. There’s just to learn from mistakes and move on for the better. It is not a secret that the fashion industry has perhaps perpetuated these mistakes for a bit too long and for the wrong reasons. However, we feel that the most exciting thing of our times is the huge chance that we all have to actually change things and trigger countertrends. We are running a blog on our official website to share ideas and knowledge on the matter and create awareness for empowering people to make more conscious choices towards themselves and their environment.
S: What’s on the pipeline at Yojo
Y: Wooow... loads and loads of things. We just launched our kickstarter campaign to raise funds and start production of the OXYMORON collection. If we will be successful in getting people sharing and pledging our project we plan to start a European tour to attend fashion shows and events and further develop our distribution and brand image. We also plan to invest part of the funds in our workshops to get to a point where they completely run on renewable energies as electricity still has an impact on the ecosystem. Truth is that the pipeline is very overcrowded but much of what we plan to do is dependant on the successful completion of the kickstarter campaign.
VISIT THE YOJO KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
S: Give us a simple reason why we should visit your store this season.
Y: We believe that our eclectic design concept and multidisciplinary approach make the OXYMORON collection a ground-breaking innovation for the fashion industry. The man line – comprising of ceramic cufflinks, silk and ceramic ties and bow ties and ceramic bow ties – is the ultimate addition for men who want to express their creativity and diversity through the way they look and dress. With our line of silk and ceramic ties and bow ties we also embraced modularity and waste reduction to provide clients with effortless tailor-made accessories allowing the mix and match of silk and ceramic components.
The woman line – consisting of ceramic pendants, collars and silk and ceramic bows, headbands and turbans – the perfect finish for every outfit of the woman about town and wants to enhance the power of femininity through accessories sophisticated at the essence but minimalist at glance.
To get the most iconic bow tie ever, go to Yojo