Monday, April 07, 2014

Nao do Brasil Hits Manila!

Aihleen with partners Inna & Corinne Yenko

When our friend Aihleen Tan-Gruba first told me about NÃO do Brasil, a French brand of sneakers that she, her husband Mark, and their partners brought in to Manila after discovering and hoarding pairs of it in Paris, I wondered, "If it's French? Why is it called Nao do Brasil?"

Legend has it that a little boy named Adilson, who "lived in the depths of Minas Gerais, an arid region in Brazil", was tired of walking barefoot, and hearing his mother say "NÃO" everytime he asked her to buy him a pair of shoes.

So he decided to make his own shoes, using materials picked up from the slums of Belo Horizonte. Over the years, he refined his craft and his shoes became known for their craftsmanship, color, comfort and style.

When asked whether he had given a name to his shoes, Adilson would recall his mother's words and invariably answer NÃO, with an enigmatic smile on his face.

Today, it is said that Adilson is a happy man, who heads a small firm that produces thousands of multi-colored shoes every year for the enjoyment of all. 

Meanwhile, back in France, in the year 2010, NÃO do Brasil founder Gerard Mandrea opened his first NÃO store in Juan-Les-Pins in France. Today, there are over 20 NÃO do Brasil stores in Europe, the Middle East and now in Asia, by way of the Philippines with the first store opening here at SM Megamall Fashion Hall D.

Of course, I visited the store and was blown away by the sheer variety of choices. There are several styles to choose from ranging from the trademark Caïpi to Noïte, Altaï, Baïana, Drïa, Kerïa, Praï. These styles come in hundreds of color combinations, with sizes ranging from 18 (infants) to 47 (adults).

Aihleen told me that when you see a color and style you like in your size, I better grab onto it because there's no guarantee I will ever find the same thing ever. 

This is because 70% of their shoes are made from recycled or salvaged materials, sourced from various Brazilian manufacturers. Each pair is entirely made by hand by an artisan, in one of the five workshops set-up in different parts of Brazil.

So when I zoomed in on this silver-y pair, I knew this was it for me.

I then found a pair of silver high tops for Berry, and I left feeling like I won a matching game!

With the hundreds, if not thousands of color combinations in store, it is almost impossible to find two similar pairs in the sizes you want.

Of course, these were the pairs that Berry & I wore to the launch of NÃO do Brasil in Megamall last March 25. 

Our biggest supporters, Dada & Xavi, were there to cheer us on, along with my fellow SoMoms, Pam, Jane, Patty, Jenny and Jackie!

Because Berry & I walked the ramp! It was a first for me, OMG!

Berry, the veteran, who already had a gig with Gingersnaps under her belt, was teaching me how to pose backstage and was practicing the counts with me.

She even showed me how she counted from 1 to 5 to hold her pose, while smiling! Too cute!

It was a wonderful bonding experience with Beriray, having our hair done together at Blo and getting dolled up at Make Up for Forever. I am so happy we were in it together. We super enjoyed it!

Such a relief to also walk the ramp in the comfiest of shoes! Not only am I so glad my first ever runway experience was with Berry, I was also happy it was with NÃO do Brasil. It felt so natural to walk with a bounce on my step, with no fear of tumbling all over for all to see! 

Visit the store to see what I mean! 

NÃO do Brasil 
3/F SM Megamall Fashion Hall
SM Megamall Building D
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila


cheekeegirl said...

Congrats on your first modeling stint Ms. Tin! hanep mka rampa nitong si Berry.

trina said...

is she showing off her shoes at the end of the runway? product positioning!

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