Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Pictures: Retailers
Cult jewelry brand Éliou has just launched its first ready-to-wear collection: an eclectic, gender-neutral assortment that includes everything from garden-print pants in kitchen towel to crocheted rainbow cowboy hats. Much like Eliou’s jewelry, each item is delightfully specific – almost personal in nature. I recently described the brand’s aesthetic to a friend as “something you find on holiday in a market on the Amalfi Coast or in the south of France and tons of people ask you every time you wear it at home”. (Basically a portable bragging rights, no problem).
According to one of Eliou’s founders, Duda Teixeira, the process of translating this sense of discovery and uniqueness from jewelry to clothing was a fatality in Eliou’s progression: “There was a time when we realized we couldn’t find the clothes to match our jewelry in our own closets and that’s when we knew it was time to go.
It wasn’t a decision she or her co-founder Cristina Mantilla took lightly. “The market has a lot of fast fashion and we wanted to create something different,” Mantilla explained.
With this goal in mind, it took them over a year to put together the collection. Each piece is produced in very limited quantities, handcrafted by Teixeira’s family in her mother’s hometown of Vitória, Brazil. Her mother is one of seven sisters who all helped make the collection (the first samples were actually made on her late grandmother’s sewing machine). “It was a proud experience to see the matriarchs of my family come together to work on this,” Teixeira said.
“Even his cousins were our in-form role models,” Mantilla added. “It was really this crazy family affair.”
Yes. In a world of mass production and oversaturation, the novelty of something handmade with genuine care in limited numbers is certainly worth considering. If you’re looking for a new and special addition to your summer wardrobe, you can’t go wrong here. It also doesn’t hurt that the collection is really fun. Kind of “excited to dress because it exists” kind of fun. I am emotionally attached to many parts; however, those that currently occupy separate tabs in my internet browser window devoted to shopping contemplation include: the Bico crochet skirt and the Vera shirt. They look great together, but I can also see myself wearing either as a swim cover up or with waffle Nike trainers and a crew neck sweater in September.
The ready-to-wear collection ranges from $150 to $598 and is exclusively available in-store on Eliou’s website. The individual shop pages list exactly how many units of each piece are made and, in some cases, how long it takes to create one. For example, there are 14 units of the Vitória crochet skirt, and each one takes a week to produce by hand. For the Garden Patchwork shirts, which take six days to make, each patch is crocheted by Teixeira’s aunts, Tia Zezeca, Tia Rosa and Tia Vera in her mother’s living room, then hand-sewn into the shirts. Pretty amazing, right?
Eliou only accepts returns for store credit or size exchange – just something to keep in mind when browsing. If any of their jewelry catches your eye (like, say, the necklace Harry Styles just wore on the cover of Better homes and gardens), you can find it through a variety of retail partners such as Net-A-Porter, Nordstrom, MATCHESFASHION and Shopbop in addition to the brand’s website.