Behind Botafogo's sharp, multi-brand mini-store Sala de Estar is a pair of young entrepreneurs bringing a refreshing, single-minded take on Rio fashion. Barbara Rosalinski, 24, and Marcela Ceribelli, 22, joined forces to open a boutique that would be all about the 'young producing for the young', creating a space where new stylists and designers could show off their work not just to intrigued customers but potential mainstream clients. With this outlook, the modest Sala de Estar ('Living Room') was born.
“We can get ahead of the curve on new trends because the process we use to screen stylists’ new creations is less bureaucratic," says Rosalinski. Accustomed to working with young talent, she advises style addicts who want to make it in the fashion industry to stay focused on the business side. “Freak out, create; don’t be afraid but at the same time, keep an eye on what sells without becoming too consumed in your own atelier. Learn to get attention without getting lost in your own madness.”
“At (Gávea-based university) PUC, where I studied, there are a lot of young, talented people who have a hard time launching their brands in the market,” she continues. "Fashion is about exploring pieces that have their own history, embodying a freedom of expression that goes way beyond slavery to this season’s trends."
At Sala de Estar, therefore, the clothes represent a fresh style without the abusive markups that more established high street Rio stores are able to get away with, the two talented young women selecting chic and fun looks for their equally original shop.
Located inside pulsing Botafogo arts den Comuna, publicizing their collaboration has been a solely word of mouth affair, but the buzz surrounding this self-confessed 'low profile, but bursting with personality' model seems to be paying off for the creators: the young entrepreneurs have already been approached by Melissa and American Apparel, established fashion retailers, interested in reselling some of their exclusive products.
“These brands have had a hard time communicating with our audience, people who don't fit into a specific stereotype. These are the opinion leaders, whose clothes are a way to stand out within their own expression as artists, musicians or entrepreneurs,” tell Barbara and Marcela. In their space at Comuna, they have found the right way to reach that valuable 20-30-year-old male and female audience that eludes categorization.
Starting in March 2013, the style hub based in Botafogo (Rua Sorocaba 585, Botafogo) will be bringing their original, stylish picks to a wider audience thanks to the launch of a new website (nasaladeestar.com), complete with an online shop.