It’s been just a while since we launched OXYMORON, yet we got asked many times how we came up with the concept and what’s the creative process behind our man and woman lines of silk and ceramic accessories.

In this post, we’ll share the main steps of our journey and some of the biggest challenges and discoveries that we had along the way.

THE VISION

As you can imagine everything starts with a vision. Our vision was to explore the intersections between fashion and interior design. Passionate about the evolution of architecture and interior design from classic to contemporary, we set out to bring this very same concept into the fashion domain.

YOJO fashion design creative process

To accomplish such a design challenge, we focused on formalwear classic accessories that never really changed or adapted to today’s culture.

Bow ties and collars were the very first things that popped up our mind.

THE CHOICE OF CERAMICS

We didn’t want to be trivial or irrelevant so we started brainstorming and researching some of the most compelling materials used in architecture and interior design.

At first we fell in love with marbles, but we then discovered that the properties of such a metamorphic rock were difficult to manipulate to make it wearable. We then came across corian and ceramics. Compared to ceramics, corian is a much more contemporary material that made its entrance on the interior design scene in the late ‘60s. Ceramics though remains one of the most authentic plastic materials available to humans and the evolution it ‘d been undertaking in the last decades very well reflected our vision.

ceramics used in fashion to create contemporary accessories for men and women

DOT AFTER DOT...

Proud of the artistic reputation of our hometown - Napoli (IT) – we decided to entrust our people for completing this project. We visited almost every ceramic workshop and lab on the coastline between Vietri and Napoli and learned a number of things we had to account for in the design process. So we started designing shapes, colour palettes and motives.

The first shapes coming to life were the ceramic bow tie and cufflinks for men and the collar and ribbon necklace for women. After developing 3D models and prototypes we took them to the ceramic artists we met in Italy and asked them to reproduce the shapes and start testing out colours… Eventually we had to go through several rounds of production and come up with a number of new techniques to make the objects extraordinary light and optimise patterns and colours definition.

the ceramic bowtie being painted by indipendent Italian artist

HERE IS WHAT WE WERE MISSING

In the creative process we also realised that much more was possible if we had combined ceramics with a more traditional fashion textile. To stay relevant with our vision and keep our accessories as sustainable and animal-free as possible we selected silk as secondary material and started to design our range of ties, headbands, turbans and sevigne bows.

YOJO design process of silk and ceramic accessories such as ties, headbands, turbans and sevigne bows

Silk was also the much-researched bridge to fashion that we initially envisioned. It was the mean through which we coud have pushed forward without the arrogance of destroying guidelines that master designers dictated in the past.

We worked with some of the industry leading silk suppliers to select and produce a range of minimalist colours and patterns reflecting the contemporary twist we wanted to give our accessories. 

THAT'S AMORE

Aware that the multi-disciplinary approach to design added an extra layer of complexity to the manufacturing process we decided to keep it simple and work with tailors and seamstresses in Napoli. Napoli has a strong reputation on the sartorial panorama… from tailoring boutiques like Sartoria Napoletana to local workshops holding manufacturing collaborations with the likes of Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana. We knew that Napoli was one of the few places where we could find tie makers with a deep knowledge and brilliant execution of the destinguished 7-fold techniques – a tie folding technique dating back to our granpas and always regarded as supreme for the otherwise unreachable soft and seamless look.

the sartorial process to sew silk ties with the seven fold technique

Pulling tailors and ceramic artists all together, we went through a number of trial and error prototypes to understand the implications of the two materials combined and visulise shapes, sizes, colour contrasts, stiching points, needles and closing mechanisms.

Enventually, during the process we also realised that with a little tweak to the design of the closing mechanism the ties and bowties could have turned modular, hence, enabling easier customisation through the switch and swap of different styles of silk and ceramic knots.

the world's first modular silk tie with ceramic knot

OXYMORON: THE COLLECTION

By now it would be clear why we named our collection OXYMORON. Oxymoron is a powerful concept bridging two diametral worlds. And essentially, that was our design challange too... we brought an ancient material into an industry where it was actually new and combined it with one of the most traditional fashion textile to create a modern re-interpratation of classic accessories. 

The final collection comprises of two lines: The man line consists of ceramic bow ties, cufflinks and modular silk and ceramic neckties. The woman line showcases ceramic necklaces and silk and ceramic headbands, turbans and sevigne bows.

 The OXYMORON collection by YOJO - a man and woman collection of silk and ceramic accessories

The OXYMORON collection was born to be a creative mean of expression for the next ethically aware generations and all those men and women about town who want to use aesthetics to express their diversity and fashion to make a statement. 

All accessories are available in a range of minimalist colours on our e-commerce site or can be made to order to accomodate your styling needs.

SPOILER ALERT: OUR INTERVIEW AT #LONDONFASHIONWEEK

If you liked this post and value our creative process, please share it on your social channels and help us spread the word. In occasion of London Fashion Week Men (8-12th June) we and other menswear designer brands will be sharing more about our creative process in an interview sponsored and conducted by Tommy Lee – an international fashion blogger and professional influencer based in London.

Stay tuned on our channels.

I am an immigrant fashion statement against president trump executive order on immigration

On a recent afternoon during New York Fashion Week 2017, models, photographers, designers, and stylists took a break to come together and make a united and defiant statement against Trump's executive order restricting immigration from seven, predominantly Muslim countries.

Under art direction of Kloss Films, 80 of fashion’s most recognizable faces - including models Anja Rubik, Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Maria Borges and Winnie Harlow; photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Mario Sorrenti; designers Diane Von Furstenberg, Joseph Altuzzarra and Edward Enninful; and fashion activist Bethann Hardison - have proudly stated "I am an immigrant" before the lens and contributed to the production of a short film that will hopefully help creating awareness on the matter.

 

The video is part of a Wmagazine editorial elaborated by Katherine Cusumano and the effort is part of a series of web content covering the intersection of fashion and politics.

This is a notewhorty events for the fashion idustry that seems to have become aware of being not just a meaningless trendsetter but an intimate form of expression in everyone's daily life and therefore a powerful source of political inspiration.

As an international brand conceived in London and manufactured in Italy, YOJO - as probabily the whole fashion design industry - thrive on cultural diversity and dialogue and therefore stand absolutely against every form of racism and xenophobia... even if triggered by terror.

Let's being people and global citizens first and then fashion professionals. The world needs unity towards change... let's stay united.

 I am an immigrant fashion statement against president trump executive order on immigration

YOJO LIMITED at PURE LONDON 2017 in PURE MAN CONCEPT SECTION

The 41st edition of Pure London is just a few days away. The nordic minimalist venue of Olympia Park in central London is ready to host thousands of emerging and trendsetting designer brands to present their collections to industry experts and media.

The UK's leading fashion show organised by Asciental Events and sponsored by industry giants such as DRAPERS, WGSN and HOUSE OF SOLO will pool together press, bloggers, influencers, brands and retailers in a 3-day fashion marathon.

Special hosts of the show will be Alexandra Shulman - Editor in Chief of British Vogue since 1992 - Sasha Wilkins - Blogger and Consultant at Liberty London Girl - and Sara Maggioni - Director of Retail and Buying at WGSN.

With an intricate theme named “Saturated Soul”, the Pure team is also introducing for the first time ever in the histroy of the show a CONCEPT section featuring premium high-end yet unconventional brands. Other intriguing must-see sections will be emerging designers and spirit.

 

The fashion event will also see a number of ready-to-wear-cutwalks showcasing a number of brands handpicked by the team of stylists at The Production Team and directed by Amy Moosah. Moodboards Theme of the cutwalks will be 'Earthed', 'Design Matters',  'Nocturne' and 'Infusion' with YOJO selected for 3 out of 4 themes.

PURE LONDON 2017 fashion catwalk earthed theme by the production team uk and featuring YOJO

PURE LONDON 2017 fashion catwalk design matters theme by the production team uk and featuring YOJO

PURE LONDON 2017 fashion catwalk nocturne theme by the production team uk and featuring YOJO

PURE LONDON 2017 fashion catwalk infusion theme by the production team uk and featuring YOJO

As for every season the event has attracted an incredible amount of enthusiasm, but this year partecipation is particularly expected to reach record numbers with a massive influx of international characters landing in the fashion capital for the weekend.

We will be at stand G68 of the CONCEPT SECTION (MAIN HALL) eager to show you production samples of  our  man and woman collection of silk and ceramic accessories.

Come and see us or drop us an email at info@yojolimited.com to book a slot in advance.

If Nature could talk, what would it say? We’ve all been told by medias, teachers, lecturers and friends that we have been changing the very balance of the ecosystem in which we live and we all have been informed of the growing concerns that our dump use of resources is causing to the world. But what if we turn all that on its head? What if we could hear what nature had to say on the matter?
Conservation International released a series of seven YouTube videos that give voice to Nature. Here are the videos. It won't take more than 10 minutes to watch them all but they will literally change the way you think about nature... and humans!

Water - Narrotor: Penelope Cruz

 

 Soil - Narrotor: Edward Norton

 

Red Wood - Narrotor: Robert Redford 

 

 Coral Reef - Narrotor: Ian Somerhalder

 

 Rain Forest -Narrotor: Kevin Spacey

 

Ocean - Narrotor: Harrison Ford

 

Mother Nature - Narrotor:  Julia Roberts

 

We have heard from Water, Soil, Redwood, Coral Reef, Rainforest, Ocean and Mother Nature and the message is loud and clear. We have got it wrong ever since.

We have always been taught that nature is meant to be exploited and owned. We have been replacing green forests with buildings and offices... trading lands and waters... contaminating soils with the toxic wastes of our factories and wearing some of the rarest and scarcest materials for the sole sake of building up our status quo. Leather, Wood, Coral, Diamonds are just a few of those "lux" materials contributing to damage our world, but - ultimately - should't innovation be all about harmonising our world rather than jeopardising it? 
 

YOJO blends nature with fashion innovation and revamp the ancient manufacturing processes over today's industrial mass-production. Our ceramic bow ties, ties, hadbands and jewelleries come straight from the earth and are all mindfully crafted with the environment in mind. "No deforestation, no sick materials, no animal harassment" is our motto, creativity is the drive.

Visit our concept store and please share to spread awareness.

In April 2013, the eight storey Rana Plaza Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,138 people and injuring another 2,500. The building housed 5 garment factories where poorly paid Bangladeshi workers made clothing for wealthy and high profile Western clothing labels. The Rana Plaza collapse has been reported as the deadliest accident in the history of the garment industry and the deadliest accidental structural failure in modern human history. 

On the day of the collapse the Bangladeshi photojournalist Ismail Ferdous was in Dhaka and took these haunting and chilling images of the collapse and its aftermath. Ferdous’s work featured in this short documentary pays tribute to those who died, as well as those who worked to free people from the rubble. Ferdous also photographed clothing labels in the rubble that show the direct connection between high profile fashion labels and the deaths in the collapse.

The least we can do staring at these desperate and suffering eyes is asking ourselves whether the disaster at Rana Plaza is the natural outcropping of a system that we have contributed to create... a system purely based on consumerism and social inequality with no respect for the ecosystem and human beings.
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Almost three years have passed by since that utter disaster, still many people 'working' there that day are missing and - most importantly - nothing has really changed. Corporate labels continue to exploit our planet for the sole sake of making money, lobby with mainstream media to make this stories disappear in a blow and sponsor marketing campaigns to avoid mass-reflection and change.   

Too many of us are still unaware of these sick dynamics and indoctrinated with this mental idea of purchasing more for less while throwing everything away straight after a night out. We are not the ones to blame, that's true, but we are not purely victims either. In the 21st century and in such a critical moment for human history, not asking questions is our fault. We have the decision power and the intelligence to understand that quality garments crafted by skilled workers in safety and sustainable working conditions cannot be as cheap as those mass-produced with cruelty and slavery... People doing this invaluable job for passion and not survival cannot accept these insane wages and working conditions and independent labels doing things with values might not even think to create human slaughterhouses rather than tailored labs... All of this has a cost, though. Awareness is first step towards change, but shoppers are the only ones who can really make a change through their choices and ultimately we are all shoppers.
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It doesn't take longer to reflect on these lines and realise that buying 20 accessories per week at 2 pounds each is exactly the same as buying one at 40 pounds with the only exception that ideally it will last longer and have no impact on our ecosystem. Yes, we agree with you that this is not always true and there are many labels that try to trick shoppers with pricing strategy and heavy marketing, but again we are sons of the internet generation and is not difficult to seek out transparency before making a purchasing decision. At the end of the day it's all just about changing the way we look at things, being conscious of the impact that our choices have on the ecosystem and put our human values before our consumerist habits. A change is possible and we got to drive it.   

 

#BuyConsciusly

#AnotherWorldIsPossible

‘Fast Fashion’ refers to clothing and accessories that are designed to reflect current industry trends, yet produced using less expensive materials to ensure a low price tag. For the last two decades, clothing retailers like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 have popularized Fast Fashion among everyday consumers. However, not everyone is a huge fan of the trend.

Many designers, for instance, have complained that Fast Fashion has reduced conceptual originality within the clothing industry in order to produce a higher volume of garments and accessories. Zara, for example, churns out 10,000 new items every year; most boutique designers, by comparison, release between 50 and 100 pieces.

The Fast Fashion trend has also led to environmental concerns. Every year, the clothing industry produces 2 million tons of waste, emits 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide, and uses 70 million tons of water; these figures have significantly risen in the years since Fast Fashion became a retailing standard. To make matters worse, the quality of these garments is typically so low that most are discarded or donated to charity by the wearer within two years of the original purchase.

 

When Coco Chanel spoke the words " Fashion passes, Style remains" she couldn't have known how relevant it would be 50 years on... With every season we see more colours, collections and styles than ever before. Although fashion moves faster and faster, the concept of clothing hasn't change much over 100 years... textiles still cover bodies and signify social code, fabrics are still sawn with needles and sold in stores. Maybe, it doesn't make sense to disrupt a 1.7 trillion dollar industry, but shouldn't there be something more progressive than design and style changes? Shouldn't there be innovation that alters the entire concept of clothing?

The current model known as Fast Fashion has caused the consumption of textile to increase a staggering 47% from 2000 to 2010. This relentless production and consumption had much higher costs on the environment...

Ready for it or not, the concept of clothing is going to change and whether it moves in the direction of technology, biology, sustainability, all of the above, or something completely different, nobody can know. But once the dust is settle, we will reflect on this time and think that the way we ended up with was obvious.... 

However, the role we play in making this changes happen is completely up to us! As makers we - and many other brands out there - have already committed ourselves to provide ethical and sustainable alternatives to almost everything that the consumerism system has to offer. Now is time for you to make your own choices, take your part of responsibility and get curious on whether or not the processes and materials that bring your garments and accessories to life are truly safe - for both yourself and the ecosystem you belong to. 

The Next Black is a documentary film about some of the people behind the scenes who are working to shape the next big step in the clothing industry. Please find the time to watch it. And do your best to make this change happen!

 

 Bottoms up & Ceramics ON 

We are all artists... Some of us recognise it, some of us don't! 

That's because since childhood we are trained to abide the rules, be productive and fit in and along this process we lose contact with ourselves and our creative abilities, becoming more and more focused on tasks, results and rewards.

We are taught to compare ourselves to others and compete with each other for fame and success. We are constantly required to set objectives and achieve them in order to be proud of ourselves – or even worse, to make others proud of ourselves. We are asked to prove our skills and show off our talent without never being given the chance to find out what our talent really is.

We are deceptively led to think of artists as those people on TV who are living the dream-life – doing what they like, being famous and getting often very reach.  

But reality is different, big times!  

Reality is, that too often those who have the fortune to get to know their talent and tap into that creative space where they can really feel alive, never see that talent recognised and are instead regarded as slackers!  

Reality is that as an artist, it is terribly hard to make a living, and while busy making a living it is terribly hard to get in touch with the artist that is within us!

However, by no means, this can be a reason to stop trying. Creativity is what makes us humans, and our dreams are what make our lives worth living!  

Whether you are an artist struggling to have your voice heard or a lost soul struggling to find the way to unleash your true potential, always remember that YOU ARE AMAZING and...DREAM, DREAM DREAM!!

Need more motivation to believe in yourself and keep your dreams alive?  Please watch this beautiful and inspiring video realised by Maximus Thor!    

                                   

 

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Bottoms up & Ceramic ON!