Rio de Janeiro
Home accessories and jewelry by recycled-goods master Carlos Sobral. Vibrant, colorful plastics, set in resin, form benches, soap dishes and more.
If you can trace all great love stories to their roots, you can trace this one to the Ipanema Hippie Fair in 1970. It was there that Brazilian designer Carlos Sobral (who had already become obsessed with recycled substances) first came across resin, a material that would eventually come to define his success. Of course, he had no idea that his creations, which he sold for years at craft fairs around Rio, would become a global brand—or that he would eventually collaborate on a jewelry line with Karl Lagerfeld.
In October, Sobral found an apt venue for his first NYC store, a hipper-than-thou block of West Broadway. His objets and personal accessories, though, are strikingly down-to-earth—almost friendly, in fact, many formed of whimsical bits of recycled plastics set in resin (a petrol sub-product). The SoHo store is a two-floor, all-white space—what better way to make a display of totally wild starfish trivets or multi-colored resin stools pop? Stock up on Mother's Day gifts at the sample sale (May 2–6); we particularly loved the Flash Gordon collection, jewelry made from repurposed circuit boards. It's but one of the designer's many lines hand made by artisans in Brazil and finished with 100 percent oxy-biodegradable packaging. See it for yourself online.