The fashion label named after its founder, the fashion designer Rafael Kouto, was established in 2017 and is characterised by its sustainable fashion and product philosophy. Already three years ago he started a partnership with the textile agency TEXAID, which is based on common attitudes regarding recycling, upcycling, sustainable design and environmentally friendly production. Today TEXAID makes an individually curated selection of used textiles and clothing available to the designer, from which he arranges for his couture and apparel collection to be produced. The basic consideration in this process is to make tailor-made, unique fashion from carefully selected used clothing via upcycling, which is “100% remade in Switzerland”. This sustainable approach gives the already discarded initial material new value when it is combined with local, production by craftsmen. A hybrid aesthetic, which oscillates between African and western influences and refers to the designer's cultural roots, becomes the core sign of this upcycling that wants to be regarded as the new paradigm for contemporary luxury.
Comments of the nominators:
Rafael Kouto has without doubt professionalised his label and shows that fashion upcycling also works on an industrial, work-sharing basis. In addition, the designer impressively focuses on recycling, upcycling and regional production and in doing so has struck the chord of the times. The fact that he often uses the subject of his ethnic roots in his designs, gives his collection a certain authenticity and individualism, which people today are increasingly seeking.