Cork knit gives rise to clothing June 29, 2016 17:21
GRIGI is the name of the company created by the Portuguese fashion designer, Mónica Gonçalves. Its aim is the study and experimentation of local and natural materials for their implementation in different areas, including fashion. The word GRIGI arises from a play on syllables and from the Italian word grigio (meaning grey), with the symbolism of an internal force that supports external evils. “GRIGI is my dream that took root against a backdrop of crisis and demoralisation,” explained the designer. The cork knit is her major triumph. She was a pioneer in its use and has already received national and international awards for its use. “The passion for cork was born when I began to realise the great potential of this material. It was a whole new world to explore!”, revealed Mónica Gonçalves.
GRIGI was born with this knit, from the intersection between the values of tradition, ecology and sustainability and the desire to bring design to cork and take cork to a plural place closer to the consumer, through clothing.
“I started by experimenting at home, and I saw right away that it was a material that collaborated and somehow “spoke”. It is very easy to handle and work, but when something does not work cork immediately shows that it is not feasible to proceed with the idea,” explains the designer.
“All designers have a gift. My identity comes to the fore through the experimental – mutation, another face of utility items and dual functionality, the new and the different,” states Mónica Gonçalves.
The designer has developed three collections using cork fabric. Most recently, she supported the development of Little GRIGI, in partnership with Vera Gonçalves and Joana Branco. “One day they proposed at a meeting to create a brand that portrayed GRIGI but in a child’s version! I loved the idea, and right after Little GRIGI was born I went to Paris with the SS15 collection of GRIGI, and the feedback was excellent! “said Mónica Gonçalves. She concludes: “the fashion designers realised that there was nothing in the children’s market in cork, and since they really appreciated the cork knit they decided to innovate and create a new approach to the market.”