Rio de Janeiro


The World Cup may have ended (granted, not in the way we expected down here), but soccer will live on for the next four years in our hearts—and for at least a few months longer in the window displays of Osklen stores throughout Brazil. Oskar Metsavaht’s soccer-inspired collection pays homage to the origin of the sport, mixing geometric forms and creative prints that ingeniously allude to its aesthetics.

But let’s forget—or at least try to forget—soccer for a while and move on to the next most-renowned Brazilian export. No, I am not talking about supermodels—although a quick rendezvous with Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Adriana Lima during the final match at FIFA’s VIP lounge at Maracana Stadium was enough to heighten the sad spirits of even the most fanatic futebol fans. And the “cherry on top” for the German champions: I personally witnessed Adriana getting photo-bombed by midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and the World Cup trophy.


(She gives a stellar lesson on how to pronounce the national sport like a Brazilian here.) Nope, what I’m talking about is beachwear. A few weeks ago in Paris, it became clear that this Brazilian export is hotter than ever, as fashion darlings Bianca Brandolini d’Adda and Alexia Niedzielski joined forces with Oskar to launch Osklen Praia A&B.

The seed for the celebrated collection was planted when Oskar and the pair of Parisian-slash-Carioca fashionistas met up a couple of summers ago for a coconut water on Ipanema Beach. To Oskar, Bianca is not only a friend but an informal longtime muse, and Alexia’s imaginative vision had intrigued him years ago, when she launched the biannual, sustainability focused Ever Manifesto with Charlotte Casiraghi and Elizabeth von Guttman. Osklen Praia A&B, shown at the Brazilian Embassy in Paris during the week of the Couture shows, is a delightful blend of Oskar’s easy-breezy “Brazilian soul” and the je ne sais quoi of these intimidatingly stylish mademoiselles.


Having known the girls for many years, it was fun to witness their creative process at the design meetings held at the Osklen studio in Rio’s industrial neighborhood of São Cristóvão. Alexia would vehemently defend the length of a certain jumpsuit, while Bianca approved the first designs of a series of flats—which she was particularly excited about since her Pomeranian puppy, Max, had destroyed her favorite pair of Alaïa sandals.


The bikinis come in a variety of forms and patterns, with a predominant sixties flair. Black-and-white beach-chic stripes and prints, like the California leaves design shown above, are bound to become instant summer classics. When paired with bold accessories—like my absolute favorite, the pineapple purse—the seaside looks become perfectly party-appropriate. Overall, the collection, hopefully the first of many, is sophisticated and incredibly wearable, just right for the laid-back, warm waters of Trancoso, Bahia (where the Brandolinis vacation over New Year’s), or for party-hopping along the French Riviera.

Osklen Praia A&B will be available soon at Moda Operandi.


Photos: @adrianalima/Instagram; Paula Bezerra de Mello; Courtesy of Osklen Praia A&B

More Posts From Rio de Janeiro