From student to lecturer - in conversation with womenswear designer Joao Maraschin
Joao Maraschin is an LCFMA20 MA Fashion Design Technology (Womenswear) alumnus, Founder of his own label, JOAO MARASCHIN and now an LCF design lecturer and year 1 unit leader on BA Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear. We caught up with Joao for an update on his career and how he is managing to juggle both an incredible successful fashion label alongside teaching the next generation of students.
Welcome (back) to LCF! A huge congratulations on the new role – how are you finding it so far?
Thank you - it is absolutely my pleasure. I'm delighted to have joined the BA Womenswear team. It is a great opportunity to be part of such a leading institution like London College of Fashion and be able to give back and contribute with my knowledge and experience to the new generation.
Tell us what you’ve been up to since graduation?
After finishing the MA Womenswear at LCF in December 2019, I decided to start my eponymous brand and moved to a studio in Poplar Works. I stayed there for a year and designed another collection in the meantime. In 2021, I managed to grow the team and moved to a bigger space. We have been interacting with arts and culture driven projects to keep tackling social and environmental issues that are at the core of my values set. We are about to publish our first Sustainability Report that highlights the brand's impact in the last sixteen months. This is really rewarding for me, because it registers our footprint as a brand and measures our impact both negative and positive, so we can create action plans to keep moving into a better and more responsible working condition.
What attracted you to the role at LCF?
Education has always been a very important pillar in my practice and reflected in many ways across my work. I was interested in teaching from the outset and then the role came up and I thought it was a great opportunity at the right time. I love the design development process and being able to get involved in so many at one time is something that really excites me.
Alongside your new role, you’re first and foremost a designer. Tell us about what you’re working on at the moment.
JOAO MARASCHIN, the brand, has grown a lot over the last year and we have started selling in Japan, Italy, Brazil and the USA. I'm currently working on the fourth collection which will be launched in September 2022 at London Fashion Week. We have also engaged with many new practitioners and expanded our artisans' network. We are currently preparing a very special exhibition for London Craft Week in May 2022 and there's much more in the pipeline that will be released very soon. I have also started a PhD in Fashion and Ageing and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge in that direction.
LCF was on schedule for London Fashion Week for the first time which was super exciting. You also showcased as part of the Discovery Lab at London Fashion Week – tell us what this represents.
I have been showing at LFW from the first collection and it is such an amazing opportunity for an emerging brand like mine to have that possibility. The British Fashion Council is always very supportive and the DiscoveryLAB has been a great platform to start conversations with the wider industry, from individuals, to other brands, stockists, press, journalists, etc.
Have there been any significant shifts in focus since the pandemic? Would you say designers are approaching things differently?
Absolutely. From my perspective, we need to keep pivoting and rethinking the way we approach the industry, because the social fabric keeps changing and fashion has to respond to that. It is much more complex in practice, but it is important to have a plan and address issues by respecting your own pace. There is definitely an urgency to fight both the climate and social crisis, but it is about finding your true areas where you can shift negative impact to become positive and generate collective value.