Babajaan Maiara (Helen) Silk Georgette Kaftan (red bahia)
Catching up with Sandra Moleirinho is somewhat of a challenge as she is constantly travelling from one country to another at the drop of a hat, as founder and creative director of luxury, swimwear, beachwear and accessories brand BABAJAAN.
Yet when we finally do, we fully comprehend that her incredibly approachable nature, her innate sense of style, her true passion for what she does, and her decision early on to give back to society make a her a true force of nature!
Sandra attributes her successful achievements, and driving Babajaan full steam ahead to greater expansion and successes despite a difficult financial climate to a strong determination, in her words "You need to believe in yourself and in your choices, however the journey is not easy and you need to be sensitive to predict obstacles and to find the solutions."
The company is growing 'organically happily,' as Sandra points out, something Sandra believes "also evolves through connecting to people and having the right partners..., our clients are all over the world from luxury resorts to high-end boutiques, in the Caribbean, South America, USA, Europe, Japan, to the Middle East...and now we are launching the collection in Brazil which is very exciting!"
Babajaan's main markets at the moment are USA, Europe and Asia, and Sandra was pleased to report that they were starting to have some interesting requests from South America.
Babajaan Lua Kimono (navy)
Sandra's view about luxury is that it should be timeless and she tells us about a Babajaan long kaftan that belonged to their very first collection 4 years ago " I love this piece and still wear it and I have people always asking me: Is this a new piece? Where can I find it?"
As many of the established luxury brands are now finding that their consumers, including Those from their newer markets such as Russia, China etc are returning to values such as heritage, craftsmanship, and durability, as stated by Antoine Arnault recently we ask Sandra how she believes Babajaan will fit into this ‘new vision’ of the luxury client:
We are living in a moment that we want real experiences in life and this also changes behave in fashion, people wants to purchase pieces that have integrity, a nice story and quality with the correct value.
So who is the Babajaan client, who is the woman buys Babajaan, Sandra's response is in our opinion probably one of the keys to her success "It is an interesting question, because our clients are many types of women, they all love celebrating life, love and family.... We receive many emails with images of clients wearing our collection and they share their experiences with us. We are very happy to receive these emails and that Babajaan is part of their holidays, journeys and beautiful moments; it seems our clients love the simplicity of our shapes and quality".
Indeed, we would go so far as suggesting that Sandra's vision of Babajaan is so close to what women feel and need that they welcome Babajaan into their own life making Babajaan part of their family whilst entering Babajaan's own extended family. Brand loyalty at its very best which will in all probability be handed down from generation to generation.
Babajaan Stella Swimsuit (oyster)
Sandra's Brazilian heritage and the concept of ‘Brazilian weekend’, as she once described it, filters through the Babajaan collection, highlighting how important Sandra's heritage is to her: As a young girl I used to spend almost of my weekends at our beach house, and it is true those weekends were amazing, we were always going to the beach, we were windsurfing, sailing; the swimwear becomes such an important part of your wardrobe because you wear it all the time, it becomes your daywear
Feeling good, comfortable and easy to wear are all musts for Sandra and this is translated into a collection where the Brazilian tradition that your Swimwear becomes becomes your daywear is clear through the functionality and practicality which are always considered when producing a Babajaan collection.
A rather refreshing concept for those of us who grew up with the mantra 'no pain, no gain'!
Yet, Sandra readily admits that there has been some influence from Europe where she has now worked and lived in for over 10 years: "My core inspiration comes from Brazil, my lifestyle and my connection with nature, but since I moved to Europe 15 years ago, I must say that our pieces have the European quality, finishing and details, living in Europe made my attention to details even more accurate."
Babajaan Liza Bikini (nude)
Through Babajaan Sandra is also able to give back to society through charities that benefit directly from the manufacture and the sale of the Babajaan Collection. We ask Sandra to tell us more about this:
"We decided to manufacture Babajaan collection in India, Brazil, Ecuador and other countries for their expertise and tradition, best in their art such as embroidery work in India, special weaves and handmade techniques for the Panama Hats in Ecuador and Brazil for the great swimwear fabrics and manufactures.
The project involves the countries were we manufacture the Babajaan collection as the core of it is to give something back to each community.
Each Babajaan piece sold will help children organizations in these countries, helping children with better opportunities in life such food, guidance and study. It is important that we contribute for this vision to happen. We really love this project and we are putting our hearts on it to expand it soon."
Although Babajaan started manufacturing only in Brazil famed for its luxury swimwear production, they now also manufacture part of their collection in Italy too, ensuring exceptional craftsmanship in both countries.
For those of you who like the Green Pebbles Girls have had the luck to see the Babajaan Cruise Collection 2012 you will be drawn into a rainbow of pastel colours combined with a ruby red and neutrals.
Babajaan Jackie Bikini
The 2012 Cruise and Summer Collection Sandra explained to us were "inspired by the Brazilian Indigenous culture and manifestation. The strong colours such as the purple, green and coral red represents their tribal dances which translates to the power of their wishes for a better blessing during the year. The embroidery details were inspired by elements from their accessories such as the “Cocar ” which represents a particular feather headdress worn as a symbol of nobility to the Indians.
Our inspiration was to translate this idea and culture into a long kaftans, dresses and swimwear pieces. The handmade triangle cut out elements in the bikinis represent their special outfit for hunting. The neutral colours combined with silk fringes are connected to the blessings received and to their beautiful indigenous goddesses.
Brazilian Tribal Dancer
The concept of goddess is often mentioned by Sandra and indeed on more than one occasion during interviews she has spoken about Babajaan bringing out the goddess in every woman, which of course makes us ask, just how does Babajaan do this? Sandra's answer is clear and to the point "Our pieces are designed to enhance women’s natural beauty, this is the message, we celebrate women!" but in her view is there a goddess in every woman "For sure, we women have such a power, such a beautiful energy; we are mothers, wives, girlfriends, business women, leaders...
Babajaan Sofia Dress (oyster)
When we ask Sandra to define Babajaan and Sandra Moleirinho she replies:
"Babajaan is comfortable and elegant, and Sandra is a small piece of Brazil." A great combination in our opinion, and we ask Sandra to choose the pieces in the collection which she believes represent Babajaan and Sandra best respectively and interestingly her replies are very similar: "I would say the Jackie and the Liza bikini and all Helens kaftans that are all part of our continuity line, represent Babajaan the best and for myself, despite the fact that I am inspired by women and I design for all of them, for myself I love the Helen shapes and the Jackie bikinis.."
So what kind of a designer is Sandra Moleirinho? She describes herself as a disciplined designer, but not necessarily methodical (i.e. someone who is content to sit at their desk and sketch away), she needs her "moments alone for creation and this can be anywhere" and Sandra was kind enough to share one of her personal images "one of my moments of inspiration in December 2011, in a empty beach in Angra dos Reis....even in a cloudy day Angra dos Reis is so beautiful!"
Moments of inspiration for Sandra Moleirinho in December 2011, in a empty beach in Angra dos Reis
A major fan of Coco Chanel whom she relates to because "she made a difference and left her mark in the fashion world, she was a real woman from a real world and that brought luxury into luxury", Sandra also loves Azzedine Alaia "his shapes are amazing, his designs, everything, a man that can read women's sensuality and femininity in a perfect way".
As the luxury market is seeing a major upturn with many of the luxury brands posting phenomenal sales results for this fiscal year’s third quarter there is a desire for expansion and consolidation for many brands including Babajaan who will in the future see interesting collaborations and an expansion of the collection into new product lines.
As far as long term plans for Babajaan Sandra aims to "enjoy all the results of our efforts, have a happy team, our own Babajaan stores and the children project spread around the world!"
Babajaan Yara Fringe Kaftan (oyster)
REMEMBER TO WATCH THIS SPACE..... as Sandra has promised "A LITTLE FUN SURPRISE" for the Autumn Winter 2012/2013 collection!
WE CAN'T WAIT!
To purchase your own Babajaan piece and join the "Babajaan Family" you'll be delighted to know that the Babajaan Collection is available from NET-A-PORTER.COM worldwide as well as the following boutiques and stores!
For additional information please visit Babajaan's website WWW.BABAJAANCOLLECTION.COM