A few weeks ago I was invited to Pier Restaurant in Sydney’s Rose Bay for a brunch (the menu was so heavenly, I tried everything!) and to meet the lovely Bruna and see her brand spanking new fashionable thong range called Bruna!Â I took with me my lovely intern Corrine from FrockandRoll.
Her Auntie Amelia introduced the cult thong Havaianas to Australia 12 years ago (I know can you believe it was 12 years ago?) and we embraced them with a vengeance.
Bruna‘s debut range of thongs are very fashionable and are all named after places she loves in Rio; Leblon, Leme, Lapa and Buzios.Â What’s different about her thongs?Â They have been adorned with studs in gold or silver and come in black or white so nice and basic but stylish at the same time … I am lucky enough to have a pair and they definitely add a touch of style to my outfits.
I did a quick Q&A with Bruna so we could get more of an insight into this lovely Brazilian lass who’s made Australia home.
Describe your life growing up in Brazil.
I was born in Rio de Janeiro and lived there until my 17 years of age. Life in Rio was a lot of fun!Â My mum was always involved in the fashion world so I grew up going to Rio Fashion Week and knowing people from the industry in Brazil. That was always an inspiration and I remember getting very excited about it so I started sewing clothes and creating outfits for my Barbie dolls.Â When I was around 11-12 I started making bags for myself and friends. They would usually be Â fabric from my jeans that I had cut into shorts or sometimes I would buy fabric and then customize them with studs or sequin.
How did your Auntie Amelia, who introduced Australia to Havaianas, help guide you with your label?
When I came to Australia I started working at the Havaianas Warehouse to make some money. It was always fun even though I had to travel on a train for an hour and walk another 20 minutes to get there. The people that I worked with were amazing and are still good friends. I\’m still working in the company but now I\’m in Marketing/PR which is great! Working for Havaianas is very cool since I grew up wearing them and saw the brand growing up as well. So I think the best guidance Amelia gave me was helping me understand how the business works as whole and also the industry in Australia.
Her opinion is always really valuable and she always told me “ if you are going to do something, do it right”!
Do you have a fashion background or are you self-taught?
My fashion background is only my love for fashion and influence from my mum, friends and auntie.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your footwear, from the aesthetics to the names?
My inspiration comes from the consumer’s perspective. I wear thongs all the time but sometimes I just can\’t wear them everywhere. I thought I needed something more dressed up that looks good but is still very comfortable. So you can go to work and them out for a drink with friends.Â That\’s where the idea came from plus I work for the two best thongs brands in the world!Â Since this is a really personal range I thought it would be cool to name the different styles after places I love back home in Rio!
From design to conception, how long/difficult was it for you to get your label off the ground?
I\’ve had the idea of customizing thongs a couple of years ago. But from when I actually got the concept ready to the launch of the brand it took around six months.Â There is a process to it, sourcing the studs, getting approval for designs and colours etc.
Your footwear is both stylish AND comfortable – was this an important consideration when designing?
Definitely! Probably the main consideration!
What do you find to be the most exciting aspect of producing your own range?
It just feels really special since it was my idea and it\’s finally happening. I get so excited when people say they like them. It will be even more exciting when I see people wearing them around!
What\’s next for BRUNA?
Everything is so new and happening right now that I\’m just really enjoying the moment.Â But yeah, I do have plenty of ideas in mind!
What made you move to Australia?
I finished high school and thought it was time to travel. Learn English, meet new people and explore new places. Australia was always appealing to me and it was perfect that I had my auntie here.
What do you love about Australia and what do you miss about Brazil?
Australia is a such a good place to live. I feel really safe but it\’s also fun. I love living in Bondi so close to the beach. People are nice and I have a wonderful job. What I miss in Brazil is the vibe. The Brazilian vibe is so unique that it\’s hard to explain. Of course I also miss my friends who I grew up with and my family. Not to say the food!
Okay, some fun & girlie personal questions:
Who is your celebrity crush? My long term crush is Leonardo DiCaprio. I actually saw him ridding a bike in London in July when I was on holidays!
WhereÂ is your favourite place in the world and why? This is hard! I love travelling and I\’ve been to some really amazing places. I think anywhere in the world where I have my friends and family around.
Describe yourself in 5 words: Relaxed, passionate&.happy&..easy going&..this is very hard so perhaps humble
What\’s your life\’s motto? Be happy and respect others
What five favourite things can\’t you live without?
- My Bruna thongs!
- Pao de queijo â€“ little puffs of cheese from Brazil&.yumm
- The Beach â€“ its in my blood growing up in Rio
- Family and friends.
Which Sassi Moment best describes you and why? Definitely NOTHING TO WEAR … I read a lot of fashion magazines so I\’m always seeing new things that I like. Even though I have a big wardrobe full of clothes sometimes it feels like I have nothing to wear because I just want all these new fabulous clothes I\’m seeing in all the mags.
Your favourite fun and girlie thing you like to do? Definitely getting a massage, getting my hair cut, going out dancing, shopping!
Who would you like to have at a girl\’s night in and why? (can be anyone around the globe living or passed) I think Lilly Allen would be fun to go out with. I went to her concert and she seems cool.Â Plus it would be great to borrow some stuff from her wardrobe, she hangs out with Kate Moss and she would know about all the good parties!
To find a stockist for Bruna’s new range of thongs call 02 9369 0500 and prices start at $39.95.