Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Lines Lab has style and it’s all zipped up

Posted by Kimberly on July 2, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
July 02, 2007, page 9 (826 words)

 

Lines Lab launched their latest collection on Saturday night, with an impressive range of Derma bags.
The bags document and re-design images of the landscape of Macau and are geared towards use by architects and designers.
The A3 size of the bags have a practical use, suit those needing to carry around their portfolios while also being aesthetically pleasing, standing out amongst the plain black of the portfolio holders usually seen.
The collection is based on images taken of Macau’s historical centre during a period early in the year.
Yet Lines Lab is not only bags; the company defies description, choosing to meld design with industrial ideas to create a synthesis that immediately poses the question, ‘where did you buy that?’
Headed by product and industrial designer Manuel CS and fashion designer Clara Brito, Lines Lab is also a space for ideas to be born and products sold.
Also used as the designers’ showroom, it was born from the will to create something new with design in all its forms.
Clara Brito spoke to the Macau Daily Times about her thoughts on the growth of the company, from past to present and its success.
Having attended the same university together Manuel and Clara decided to join forces and create a brand that would make people sit up and take notice.
“We have been working together for a long time because, also at the time in Lisbon we had one studio for, I don’t know, maybe four or five years so we were also at that time with another partner from graphic design.
“It was very common to melt several disciplines. I think everything was pretty natural,” she says.
The Derma Bag collection took about four or five months to complete, “it really depends from project to project,” she says.
Asked whether she believed their talent was natural or a result of long study, she says, “For sure I think it’s part of the result of our study but I also think it’s part of me because since the beginning, since I was quite young I was very used to doing my own thing, my own necklaces.
“And now what I realised, having a brand and a company, you have to grow and you have to have more people working with you,” she says.
She is well aware of the restrictive market in Macau but is well prepared.
“Basically, we understand perfectly that the market for fashion in Macau is pretty small.
“We do the design here and the production mainly we do it in China.
“We export to Portugal, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan and Bangkok,” she says.
But the size of Macau is hardly seen as a negative, in her opinion.
“I think, with Macau, everything is quite small so everything is very near to us. At least I can say I feel that we are in the right place at the right time.
“I don’t think Macau is a difficult place to work in fashion and design. The only thing is, for sure, the market is not here but I don’t see that as a problem.
“I have the time here to do so many things, and to be more focussed on what I want to do,” she says.
She discusses the responsibilities of being part of a growing company and her role within in.
“I think mainly it’s a big responsibility. When you feel that you are growing and mainly to maintain foreign customers it’s not only you or your partner.
“It’s the people who work for you, the manufacturers, the shipping company. Everybody has to be pretty clear in how important they are in what they do, so you have to make a compromise between creativity and human relations,” she says.
She admits that in order to grow as a brand, she must give up control.
“I cannot do everything by myself. I know some people can do it. They can design, they produce, they have that strong relationship with their customers but we understand that the market is not here.
“We understand that we have to export to survive,” she says.
The team factor is very much evident and Clara derives a certain amount of satisfaction from working within a team environment.
“With me and Manuel everything is already very easy because we are already used to working with each other. There is no confusion about who does what.
“When you grow and you invite other people to come inside, it’s a relationship. Not only a professional but also an emotional relationship. I think I learnt that it’s the most important in the end.
“People don’t feel comfortable if they cannot see you cooperate really well and come as a team. I don’t think it works,” she says.
For the moment, Lines Lab’s products, including clothing can only be bought at the store, although a website, while running, is expected to provide a means of purchase in the near future.

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