After struggling to find eyewear that he liked, Pedro Silva moved to Berlin in 2013 to launch his own label, Vava. He has created an aesthetic that looks different from anything else on the market. The brand is contemporaneous, conceptual and timeless. It combines the language of machinery and art, developing an imaginary of its own. Pedro lives by the philosophy of representing the man in control of the technological world, whilst also ahead of himself. On the occasion of the 1st anniversary of Barcelona's OM Concept Store, Vava will showcase their collaboration with Juan Atkins, widely credited as one the pioneers of techno, followed by two more events in Barcelona.
Pedro, please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Portuguese, and I love music! I have worked in the fashion and retail industry since I graduated in 2000 as a Textile Engineer. In 2013 I moved from Milan to Berlin to launch my own eyewear company.
What fascinates you about cities like Berlin and Detroit?
Berlin and Detroit were both part of the industrial revolution. They symbolize the cultural and economic domination, as well as the collapse and the (potential) rebirth of society. Berlin, like Detroit, is a post-industrial city with strong links to techno and with an emerging art scene. It was the perfect spot for Vava to be born with a purpose to re-envision the techno future.
Where else do you seek inspiration?
We play around people's imagination and science fiction. Therefore, we are very much inspired by sci-fi movies, for example 2001: Space Odyssey, which can be read as the racing stand-still that is bound to result from an excessively one-sided belief in technological progress. On the other hand, I’m fond of the Bauhaus and minimalism movements. Basic and simple shapes, like squares and rectangles, stimulate my vision in fashion. Much of the man-made world is composed of these shapes.
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You are building glasses upon architectural principles. Can you tell us a bit about the process?
Eyewear being a rigid object needs to fit perfectly to your face and become a mechanic part of your body. I like to think of eyewear as buildings, and of the face as a landscape. I have a passion for architecture; I’m very much inspired by Corbusier and the Bauhaus movement in general. And I admire artists like Sol LeWitt, Malevich or Josef Albers. My keen interest in minimalism goes a long way back!
What is special about the materials you are using?
Vava is a conscious luxury product. We seek to consolidate a project based on handmade products made with the best materials, as we pride ourselves in avoiding mass production. It means that we have eco-friendly fabrication using high-quality sustainable materials. The frames are made of cellulose acetate from the Italian brand Mazzucchelli, using their exclusive eco-friendly M49 line (entirely recyclable). Another key aspect of our product is the use of crystal lenses, a product 100% recyclable. Vava uses Barberini lenses exclusively, which for many years has been a synonym of excellence in the optical glass sun lenses segment.
The finish of Vava is very precise. What do you do in order to reach these results?
Vava’s leitmotif is to offer a high-quality product that embodies the experience, knowledge, and art of the great masters of handmade eyewear. A knowledge that is gradually being passed down from generation to generation.
What is the spirit of the brand?
The brand's mission is to represent the man in control of the technological world whilst ahead of himself as well, expressing the antithesis of acceleration and rest. I wanted to make a label that could reunite the highly conceptual languages of machinery and arts. The spirit of Vava is based on the same principle: it is conceptual and visionary in its essence. Everybody at Vava lives by this philosophy, providing great consistency to this vision.
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Vava has collaborated with the techno legend Juan Atkins. What’s the relationship like?
The collaboration with the musician Juan Atkins, one of the founders of the techno genre in Detroit in the early '80s, highlights the brand's link with cultured electronic music. 2015 was the 30th anniversary of Atkins record label, Metroplex. The bond was upheld by the creation of a limited edition model of only 300 enumerated samples. Now we will hold three events in Barcelona to showcase this collaboration.
Why did you choose to work with Juan Atkins?
We’ve chosen Juan because he is a high-profile artist and forerunner of a genre that has deeply influenced the story of electronic music. His music is a form of experimentation that emphasizes the balance of man and machine, the same artistic basis at the core of Vava's philosophy.
Can you reveal any information about upcoming collaborations?
We are pleased to announce we will be showcasing at Berlin Fashion Week our latest collaboration with the designer Rad Hourani, a pivotal name in unisex clothing.
The 1st anniversary of OM Concept Store will be celebrated the 15th of June. Juan Atkins will be playing on June 17th at Loud Contact ZT Hotel's showcase.
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