The Carioca Style

The Carioca Style

The Rio label, FARM, is one of the most successful business stories in Brazilian fashion. NaturaBrasil blog spoke to founder Katia Barros to understand how it all came to be, nearly two decades ago.

Inspired by femininity, tropical landscapes and beach culture, FARM is the epitome of Brazilian style. Spreading the feel of summer in Rio de Janeiro, they celebrate Brazil with vibrant colors and lively patterns.

After an unsuccessful attempt to open another label's franchise, Katia Barros and her best friend and business partner, Marcello Bastos, started small – in a fashion pop-up fair booth with one sales person to help them. Twenty years later, they have more than 1,500 employees, 67 stores, some locations around the world and a busy e-commerce.

NaturaBrasil blog spoke to Katia Barros about how her business succeeded:

You and your partner started FARM right after trying to open a branch of Mercearia, a label from São Paulo. What advice would you give young entrepreneurs?

You have to listen to yourself. It all starts from your essence. You need to know what you are good at and persist – because there will be tough times. Nothing comes without sweat!

What has changed since you started?

We got bigger, our responsibilities increased. But our daily challenge is to keep the brand’s essence. We can’t lose it!

We celebrate nature. We believe in beauty in its purest essence. We celebrate beauty that comes from within!

At FARM’s office you offer classes and open-air spaces for meetings. How does that represent FARM’s lifestyle? Could you tell us a bit more about the space?

At our factory we have a beauty salon, an open space full of green, yoga classes and percussion workshops (which then became a yearly Carnival parade called “Glorioso São Cristóvão”). We offer shiatsu (Japanese massage), and have a meeting room in the garden. For meetings that happen while we are traveling, we have the “FARM mobile” – a Volkswagen van where we can meet while going from one location to the next. We feel at home at FARM! These choices have everything to do with the way we see life: less AC, more fresh air; less high heels, more feet on the ground; less make up and more ‘natural look’.

Prints are one of FARM’s trademarks. What is its relevance for the brand’s aesthetic?
We have a very careful and exclusive process when it comes to prints – and this reflects in how strong our prints are perceived. For our 15th anniversary (in 2012), we launched a beautiful book that celebrated our story through prints. It's still how people recognize our brand at first sight.

How do you think Brazilian biodiversity affects the way Brazilians dress?

As the song says: “Moro num país tropical abençoado por Deus!” – (losely translated as “I live in a tropical country, blessed by God!”). The tropical environment, the heat, it all reflects in our love for colors, flowers and fruits. You will always find at FARM a banana print, a Costela de Adão (Monstera leaf) print… I also see Brazil’s biodiversity in the cuts of our tops, in the rounded skirts, in the long dresses. We are nature!

What do you see in common between FARM and NaturaBrasil?

We celebrate nature. We believe in beauty in its purest essence. We celebrate beauty that comes from within!

Luckily for us, Farm's remarkable floral prints, vivid colors and fluttery dresses are now available in the US through partnerships with Adidas and in Anthropologie. Products sold in Adidas are co-branded athleisure clothing and footwear, while those at Anthropologie are the boho chic dresses for walks on the park as well as fancy nights out.

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