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SS24 TRANSFORMIISTAS

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY FERNANDA LIBERTI

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Our Spring Summer 2024 collection is the second instalment of our design research into the underground glamour aesthetics of queer performers in Latin America between the 70s and 80s. The emotions they awoke in their audiences through music and theatre, while living under stifling censorship, were a point of reflection.

Every Miista collection is rooted in the story of one remarkable individual. For our SS24 line, that starting point was the courageous spirit of photographer Madalena Schwartz.

ABOUT MADALENA SCHWARTZ

The middle-aged mother-of-two had spent most of her adult life running a laundromat in the centre of São Paulo – not exactly the traditional path to becoming a generation-defining counterculture photographer. But as she approached her 50th birthday, Madalena picked up a camera and began her second act, transforming her life and legacy in the process.

The photographer started by focusing her lens on local cabaret acts and the cross dressers she’d meet during her walk to work. Later, she shot members of the Dzi Croquettes, the radically progressive theatre troupe who represented everything Brazil’s conservative government was trying so hard to repress.

To delve deeper into the influences that shaped this collection, we journeyed into the heart of Brazil. Our friend, the artist Fernanda Liberti, took Miista on an immersive tour of Rio De Janeiro. We felt when we first met, Fernanda may well be Madalena’s spiritual successor, unafraid to step out of her comfort zone and push creative boundaries, while pouring all of her passion into her art. Born of Syrian descent, and growing up in Rio’s vibrant metropolis, her vivid photography highlights the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community, people of colour, and other underrepresented groups – notably, her 2022 work on the feather capes of the indigenous Tupinambá tribe.

After months of conversation, listening to stories about Rio today, we packed up 3 suitcases and flew to Fernanda’s hometown for a week. We arrived with a romantic notion of summer in the city, excited to explore the home of the experimental bossa nova scene of the 1960s and 70s – and the place where samba music blossomed after its birth in Bahia. We discovered that a summer's day in Rio revolves entirely around the beach, which is split into distinct sections, all of which have their very own personalities.

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You might take a work call with the sand between your toes, then hop from venue to venue in the Lapa district to watch bands jamming in the corner of every bar, before ending up back at the ocean to bask in the simplicity & beauty of Copacabana Beach.

Only possible in this expression of organised chaos, for days we drove around the city having meetings with local record shops, karaoke owners, and cobblers working from their self-constructed kiosk by the beach with a big sign that said Shoe Hospital. Bringing everything we'd heard to life, we understood that it's the people who make this city so animated and vibrant.

The protagonists of Fernanda’s tour of Rio were musician MC Lizzie and models Julia Menezes and Heloisa Muniz. Deep in conversation, they wore pieces from our SS24 collection, and it felt like a tribute to the daring glamour of the 1970s São Paulo scene that came before us.

From the metallic sheen of the Dagna bag and the subtle sequins of the Eyra trousers, to the sparkle of the Sonia knitted top and theatrical leather laces winding their way up the Andes shoe, our inspiration is unmistakable.

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Leme beach, Rio de Janeiro

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Saara Market, Rio de Janeiro

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Hotel Vila Galé, Rio de Janeiro

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SHOP SS24 SEEN ON THE STREETS OF BRAZIL

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