Designer Bacca da Silva: Individuality, Precious Relevance

Bacca da Silva remains to focus his future on relevancy rather than mass production.

Bacca da Silva
PHOTO Bacca da Silva

“I don’t see myself as a Brazilian or an American.” Bacca da Silva states with illuminated confidence, “with all the traveling that I do, I see the world as a big picture. I don’t let anything influence me, at the same time, everything influences me.” In a collection he designed last season, there was a heavy usage of gold and shimmer. The idea subconsciously derived from a visit to SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,) where Andy Warhol’s artwork and Jeff Koons’ gold-leaf porcelain sculpture, Michael Jackson and Bubbles, inked dazzling impressions in his whimsical mind.

It’s difficult to imagine the same man also worked in Silicon Valley as a global product manager. Bacca was born and raised in the suburbs outside of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Twenty years ago, fashion was not a developed market in South America. In 1995, he chose to study business, and came to the States in 1999 to receive an international business degree. He attended the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona. Even in business school, he wanted to be in fashion and created the first Fashion Club on campus by inviting reps from Ralph Lauren and other top fashion brands to speak at school. “In classes,” he remembers, “you become more and more aware of the world. My friends from school came from: China, Russia, India. To this day, they still help me with my collections and business decisions.”

Bacca da Silva
PHOTO Bacca da Silva

Bacca grew up in a small town, his family never had access to culture.

“My family was not rich. I didn’t have enough information to know what ‘fashion’ was. But I always knew I had a creative drive.”

At the age of seventeen, he saved some money for etiquette courses in Brazil. Posing, mannerisms and the education regarding fashion industry opened a new world of possibilities. As he watched his mom sew and make crochet, he began fostering similar skills to channel his creative energy.

Bacca da Silva
PHOTO Bacca da Silva

“I always knew fashion was my thing, I was just waiting for the right moment.” Despite working in Silicon Valley, Bacca tirelessly attended networking events, eventually built a close relationship with a director at GenArt. As a result, his GenArt show in 2006 earned him the title: Fresh Face of Fashion, which ultimately launched his career.

In fashion, he looks for beauty, for what’s precious and relevant. Although he wants to sell, he’s not willing to limit his eyes and vision for the sake of blindly following a certain trend. “I criticize American fashion because it’s absolutely commercial but not in a good way, it has become something where everyone is repeating the same. No one supports designers to be new, creative. In a way, that’s why Paris is doing a better job. Or some other designers that are over the top like the Belgians and the British.”

His definition of preciousness lies in the difficulty of bringing life to a piece of garment. “That’s how I think about women’s wear. From season to season, I look for precious fabric and taking three hundred hours to make every piece. For men’s wear, I think about tactics: what’s innovative and fun. It’s like the analytical brain playing with the creative part.” He strives for perfection in shapes and patterns, the requirement of a certain cut to move in a desired flow. Yet, he also doesn’t take things too seriously which leads to a sense of playfulness in his designs.

Bacca da Silva
PHOTO Bacca da Silva

As the fashion industry shifts into a world of mass production, he believes trends have turned into excess while anyone and everyone is truly craving for individuality. “It’s like when I wear a special pair of shoes purchased from a tiny boutique, people want to know where I bought them but I don’t necessarily want to tell them because it’s my store. So I think that’s where luxury is now, it’s about individuality.” In other words, we’re all looking for something special and someone who exudes a solid personality – people who are true to themselves. He emphasizes the importance of honesty, without facade.

In the last ten years, he has become a bonafide and highly acclaimed designer in San Francisco. He remains to focus his future on relevancy rather than mass production. “Of course it’s easier to network in a city like New York. But the way I see it, I’ve made my name in San Francisco. In the next ten years, I don’t want to be huge, but I want to be relevant. I don’t want people to buy my cloths for the sake of buying. I want them to understand the story behind each piece. I don’t want to make lots of pieces, but I want to create and be remembered.”

Visit Bacca da Silva’s store in San Francisco: 590 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Bacca da Silva
PHOTO Bacca da Silva

Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and Russia because they were all so different! St. Bart's was pretty amazing too (wink)!

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