“I want to celebrate those areas that we are almost told to hide”: As the Brazillian designer reveals her latest collection exclusively on AnOther, she speaks to Hannah Tindle about her unmistakable namesake label
- Who is it? Karoline Vitto is a London based, Brazil-born designer
- Why do I want it? Vitto’s namesake label creates clothes that accentuate rolls of fat on the body, celebrating a variety of body shapes
- Where can I find it? Pieces are made as custom orders and and soon arrive online at selected stores and KarolineVitto.com
Who is it? Karoline Vitto moved to London from Brazil in 2016 to pursue a career in fashion, first studying at Central Saint Martins for a year before applying to the Royal College of Art’s MA course. “The RCA was the most important move for me – it’s where I learned everything I work with now and what I stand for as a designer,” she says. And what Vitto creates for her namesake label that she founded after her graduation in 2019 is unmistakable, with garments that highlight and enhance rolls of fat on the body in the most literal sense. “I want to celebrate those areas that we are almost told to hide – bulges, back rolls, excesses of flesh under the armpits and at the side of the waist; the ones we tend to feel most self-conscious about,” she says. Working with materials that compress and constrict, such as elastics, or structural elements including metal, pieces are formed in such a way that the folds of the body protrude through cutouts – almost becoming a part of the clothing itself.
Vitto is inspired by the likes of Azzedine Alaïa, who received the moniker ‘the king of cling’ for his form-fitting pieces worn by statuesque muses. “He is my favourite designer of all time,” says Vitto. “He designed for these strong women, not fragile figures. That’s what I’m trying to achieve. I want to make clothes that people can relate to, as well.” The reaction that she has received so far, shows that what she is doing is having the desired effect. “I get messages from people saying that even just seeing the images of my clothes on different bodies, they begin to perceive their own bodies differently – and in a more positive way,” she adds. “One woman messaged me saying she had an open back bodysuit and never wanted to wear it because her back rolls would show – but she feels very differently about it after coming across my work.”
Why do I want it? Karoline Vitto’s latest collection, titled Ladies Pond and revealed exclusively on AnOther, sprung from the designer missing the outdoor swimming space at Hampstead Heath during lockdown – one that she would frequent pre-Covid. It was here that she observed women being the most comfortable in their bodies, while enjoying the water on a summer’s day. Utilising knitwear for the first time, Vitto teamed up with another designer she met at the RCA, Khanh Brice Nguyen, and the pair began to develop ideas. Using striped matte and transparent panels that would distort when stretched onto the body (in order to emulate the way that an image is warped when reflected in water), Vitto was also inspired by the work of fashion photographer David Seidner. “He photographed one of my muses, Brazillian model Betty Lago,” she says. “He photographed her reflected in broken mirrors, and this is what we tried to mimic in the clothes.”
Although she predominantly works with a muted palette, this time Vitto has injected some colour into Ladies Pond: moss green, tomato red, and hot pink. For the first time, shoes have been created, in collaboration with Tabitha Ringwood, and metal pieces have been handcrafted by jewellery designer Brontë Schwier. “These pieces come in two sizes, medium and large, and they fit a variety of bodies – on the underboob, or in the middle of the chest, or on the hips. I am quite proud of the ergonomics we developed here,” says Vitto.
Everything Karoline Vitto produces is made to order, as when working with a variety of body sizes and shapes, she is determined to ensure that no one is left behind. “I would rather work this way so I never leave people out, and it also reduces waste,” she says. Although this is her preferred method of working for the moment, the designer says that she has plans to expand the brand – so long as it is in keeping with her inclusive and sustainable ethos. “I would need to still feel like it’s mine,” she concludes.
Where can I find it? Pieces are made as custom orders, and soon arrive online at selected stores and KarolineVitto.com.
Photography by Lucas Fonseca, Styling and model Karoline Vitto, Hair and Make-up by Alex Origuella. Knitwear pieces created with Khanh Brice Nguyen, Shoes created with Tabitha Ringwood, Metal pieces created with Brontë Schwier.