Time Out Rio de Janeiro

5 Minutes with... O Cluster's Carolina Herszenhut

Time Out Rio talks to Carolina Herszenhut, co-creator of the city's hottest indie fashion, art and food event

As stylist and creator of Branchée, the carioca brand whose website operates as an online portal to all things creative in Rio, Carolina Herszenhut was well-placed to curate a coming-together of bright young labels and designers keen to get their work out to public eyes. Live art, music and food all competes with the clothes for the attentions but, as Herszenhut explains, it's really alll about the creativity


What is the concept behind O Cluster and why does Rio need an event like this one?
The idea for the event arose from the need to have an interdisciplinary space, where many 'producers' from the creative industry can show off their work and sell their products. Cluster is a space that allows artists, stylists, designers and musicians to do just that. The concept comes from the business meaning of the word itself - working in a collaborative way towards a shared objective and our idea is exactly that: everyone working in the same environment so that we can create a new creative market in Rio.

What do you hope to achieve with O Cluster?
The event seeks to create a new creative industry core in Rio that has national recognition and that can bring attention back to Rio for being a creative scene. We want to help the growth of carioca fashion and give new stylists the visibility they might lack by not having a showroom.

Historically, which Brazilian designers have inspired you?
There are Brazilians that inspire me not necessarily for their artistic vein but for their entrepreneurial abilities. Oscar Metsavah, for example, who brought Osklen into the global spotlight and Alexandre Herchcovitch, who knew, without losing his style and conviction, how to expand his brand and take it international.

Are there any particular artists, stylists or designers that you are keeping an eye on this year?
We're hosting a lot of interesting brands including Velt (velt.com.br), the menswear label that shared the catwalk with my brand during Rio Fashion Week. There is also Miss Manga (missmanga.com.br), a modern brand that is totally carioca-savvy.

What are the differences between the world of fashion and style in Rio de Janeiro and London, where you studied?
People in London are more daring in the way they dress, but I think that style and fashion today are very globalised. What really interests me is how easy it is to jump into the market and sell your clothes in Europe. In Brazil, those channels are still very restricted, so that is why an event like Cluster is important. I think we are missing initiatives like ours so that these designers can grow, stop being independent and become mainstream.

Words by Maria Lopez Conde
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