Alexandre Herchcovitch

The Creators Project: How did you become interested in fashion?

Alexandre Herchovitch: Observing my mother's sense of style.

Do you have an academic background?

When I had to pick a concentration, I chose plastic arts and did that for a year without knowing that there was a school for fashion. When I discovered there was a fashion school in Sao Paulo, I switched.

Is schooling important for designers?

Well, there’s a lot of debate about that. Some of the best designers didn’t study to become designers. They were learning intuitively, you know? Since I was working with clothes long before I ever enrolled at university, four or years before, I already had a brand. I sold and made clothes for some years. It was important for me because I wanted to understand fashion branding better. At the same time, I don’t think university did that for me ultimately.

Where do you find inspiration?

My influences come from various places. Music influences me, but in a marginal way, not directly. With me, music is important, but not in what I create. I don’t think music has a direct connection to my work.

Has being from Sao Paulo influenced you much, do you think?

There are a lot of commonalities between my work and where I’m from and where I was born. But I don’t think if you picked out one of my pieces and asked someone where they thought it were from, they wouldn’t say Brazil. My work doesn’t give off the vibe that it’s specific to Sao Paulo or Brazil. What I think Sao Paulo helped me to do and to understand—because of its cosmopolitan nature—is make fashion that could be worn around world.

You have a collection that was inspired by technology?

Yes. I just used white fabrics that turned purple in the sun. This technology was originally used in creams that would change color in the sun—so we transferred it to fabric. I have an advantage in that the chemical factories in Brazil are always showing me the advances and appropriate them depending on whether I think they’re interesting or not. So, while technology may not be apparent in certain aspects of my fashion, it shows up in other parts of the manufacturing process.

Could you explain your manufacturing process a little bit? How has it evolved along with the advancements in technology.

I think the principal idea behind the line never changes. What changes are the trends that appear to us. The processes of creativity, manufacture, and design—that’s done changing, you know? It’s been perfected, pretty much. But at the same time, fashion is never stagnant. A new thing arrives, a new technology, and you occupy yourself with that in order to integrate it into your line, so things never get stagnant.