We catch up with the designer behind the London-based label known for its handmade bespoke and readymade luxury shirts
Debonair catches up with the team behind Frescobol Carioca, the Rio de Janeiro-based brand known for its handcrafted beach bats, luxury swimwear and shirts
Eduan R. Maggo
Where does the name come from? Frescobol is one of Rio’s most popular sports; you’ll see people playing it on the beach up and down the coast. Our company started with a luxury hand-crafted beach bat for the game. A Carioca is simply someone who is a native of Rio de Janeiro.
How would you describe your brand’s aesthetic? It’s versatile and modern, while retaining an effortless sophistication.
What inspires the brand? The city of Rio and its locals. Rio has an amazing juxtaposition of modernist cityscapes and tropical beaches and rainforests, while the Cariocas themselves bring an incredible positive, creative energy.
How did beach bats emerge as a flagship product, and what makes it stand out? Beach bats were our first product when we started. We wanted to share the energy and entertainment of frescobol by creating bats that were great for playing with, as well as being beautiful objects. Each one is handmade in Rio from up to seventeen pieces of sustainably sourced native wood, and finished with a natural resin.
What goes into creating the perfect swimwear? For us, our meticulously developed cuts share equal status with our prints. They create a product that is not just of exceptional quality, but features an original artwork, inspired by Rio and the Cariocas. It’s not just a beautiful and well-made product; it really has a story and a culture behind it.
What informs your choice of cut, material, print, colour etc? For cut and material, we are constantly working to have the best quality products possible. We work with a Savile Row tailor to create our shape, and the textile is a bespoke blend of polyamide created for us in Italy. Prints and colour are informed organically by the inspiration our head designer has found lately — in Rio’s architecture, its history of bossa nova, its tropical rainforest… Inspiration is everywhere in Rio!
What about the Middle East market appeals to you? The Middle Eastern customer is discerning, and has a highly developed sense of the luxury market. The weather is also perfect for swimwear, lightweight linens, and a game of frescobol!
How has the rise of e-commerce influenced your company and strategy? E-commerce sales are definitely growing at a faster rate, but it’s helped us develop an innovative new strategy for our stores. They’ve become spaces where we introduce our customer to the whole ethos of our brand, our key products, and the aesthetics of Rio. Our Notting Hill store has a beautiful pop-up space where we hold exhibitions, workshops and boutique installations that represent the values of our brand and help us build a relationship with our customer.