Time Out Rio de Janeiro

Style file: ITSU

Two carioca skate enthusiasts have injected a breath of fresh air into the city's streetwear scene.

Business partners Eduardo Moura and Daniel Olej may have met whilst working at Redley, the cherished carioca surf/skate/street brand firmly established as a more accessible cousin of the infamously pricey Osklen, but their ambition soon took them to new horizons. Both ardent skaters and cyclists, the pair dreamt up their own take on the city's inimitable style whilst filling the rails, and in 2012 finally took the leap and started their own label, ITSU.

Wisely specialising in just bikes, skateboards and rucksacks rather than trying to spread themselves too far too soon, Moura and Olej espouse the Japanese 'wabi-sabi' philosophy to summarise their simplistic, less-is-more approach to the processes and natural finish of the products. Coupled with the use of natural colours in improbable combinations, an avocado green and pink bike needs little more to stand out from the crowd from afar, but close up, the appeal of the hand-made, individual finish is everything.

"I want to use a backpack for my board that goes with jeans and a t-shirt, not with that regular, athletic look," explains Moura, regarding the practical style of their aesthetics. "It's not that we are obsessed with trying to make products out of grass or anything like that" adds his partner, "but we want to help towards a more sustainable and elegant lifestyle."

Sustainability in the ITSU sense is less about the materials being used, then, and more about the business processes involved, the relationships with their suppliers and the collaborative approach from which the individually hewn products emerge. Which is what makes them so dear to the hearts of those that have already got on board.

Words by Time Out Rio de Janeiro editors

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