Mix bold prints, vibrant colors, distinct cultural influences, and social impact together and you're looking at FARM Rio. It's a happy fashion label founded in Rio De Janeiro by Katia Barros and Marcello Bastos — a duo with a dream of channeling the energetic essence of the city and its natives (the Cariocas) into clothing. Since its humble beginnings as a 40-square-foot booth at the Babylonia Hype Fair of 1997, the brand has expanded into store locations across Brazil as well as the U.S. with retail shops in New York City and Miami plus pop-ups in Montauk and Los Angeles. The reason it's on our radar? After featuring its sitewide promo in our sale coverage over July 4th weekend, the brand became an overnight sensation with Refinery29 readers; outperforming every category from fashion to beauty and home as the top-shopped summer event. And, upon closer inspection, it made total sense: FARM Rio's fashion awash in lively nature-centric scenes (featuring such main characters as tropical fruits and rainforest creatures) is exactly the joyful style energy we've been craving after the past pent-up year. So, we decided to dig even deeper by reaching out to the brand for a full rundown on this new reader-favorite destination. Below, discover all the juicy FARM Rio details — including its bestsellers, charitable partnerships, and future expansion plans (from size inclusivity to Europe and beyond!).
"In Rio, it’s typical for us to go from work to the beach to the bar, so our pieces are specially designed to take you through the day with their versatile silhouettes and materials,' co-founder Katia Barros explained; it's an idea that materializes throughout FARM Rio's collections in the form of flowing dresses (its bestselling and R29-reader-favorite styles!), tasseled wrap skirts, breezy jumpsuits, pull-on pants, puff-sleeved tops, cheeky graphic tees, and whimsical swimwear. Each of FARM Rio's pieces (ranging in price from $30 to $595) is covered in variations of what we'd describe as the brand's signature "chaotic-good" prints. Picture this: neon-banana minis, crocheted-flower blouses, beaded-Macaw midi dresses, and a lot of other tropical-fruity happiness.
The brand doesn't just draw stylistic inspiration from Brazil, but it also strives to give back to it. "Since 2017, we’ve had a beautiful partnership with the Yawanawa people of the Gregório river in the Amazon, an important indigenous nation led by women," said Barros. Through this initiative, the brand has helped plant trees, provide internet to villages, and given over $380,000 in direct income to the Yawanawa people. Sustainability and the impact of the brand on the planet is always top of mind to its founders; "Nature has always been our home, and we’re passionate about taking impactful steps to ensure it will keep inspiring new generations with all its beauty and diversity," Barros shared.
To that end, the company is working to incorporate the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals in all areas of its production, with an eye to the UN's 2030 Carbon Agenda to decrease carbon emissions used in manufacturing. Whenever possible, FARM Rio is striving to have a lighter impact on the planet while still providing fun, fresh clothing to consumers.
As for the future of the brand, it still has some growing to do. Although FARM Rio has an exclusive collaboration to create plus-size clothing with Anthropologie, most of the garments on FARM Rio's main site only go up to a size XL. After inquiring about potential improvement plans for size-inclusivity throughout the core business, Barros expressed: "We want everyone to feel comfortable to express themselves through our styles and prints, and are working towards releasing extended sizing in our upcoming collections."
As the physical shopping experience is crucial to the ethos of the company, FARM Rio is always looking for opportunities to expand its brick-and-mortar presence: “It’s our magic portal because it’s so unique, and it helps give customers a complete understanding of the brand and the Carioca lifestyle,” Barros says. With two pop-ups held in L.A. earlier this month and plans to keep the Venice location open through November, it's already been a big year of firsts for FARM Rio — and, more milestones are on the way as stores continue to debut around the U.S. and plans for European expansion in 2022 percolate. We (along with R29 readers) will be watching, waiting, and drinking up every new drop of whatever the joyful Brazilian label has in store for us next.
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