It is getting to that time of year where I'm getting a bit restless and in need of a holiday which normally happens for me over New Year or in January to help with the blues. That made me look back at old Facebook photos and wow, was it really 5 years ago that I travelled Brazil and South America! Maybe it is time to dust off the backpack, fill it with shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops and head off on another adventure. Brazil was such an incredible place to travel, vibrant, edgy, beautiful and unpredictable.
5 Years on and I feel it is very fitting that I'm now working with Independent Leaders promoting their new AW16 collection, a brand whose story started life in Rio on Ipanema exactly where my backpacking started all those years back.
From Rio, I backpacked northwards Salvador, Maceio, Natal, Fernando de Noronha, Fortaleza, Jericoacoara, Belem & Manaus along the Amazon river - a trip that had so much diversity, which I can see reflects in the Independent Leaders collection. From Manaus, I then travelled to Guyana, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica, so if you need any advice on travelling to these areas feel free to message me.
Independent Leaders - The Story
Two pals from London were looking for an escape from the predictable working life and decided to jet off to Rio to release some steam. Upon arrival things quickly got messy-drinking Caipirinhas by the gallon, they danced on tables and chained shots of Cachaça with the locals until the bar ran dry.
They realised that Rio was a city full of fun, sex, colour and freedom. It was a city that was alive, from dawn til dusk. It was then in amongst the free spirited vibe they knew, Rio loved them & they loved Rio. They felt right at home.
As the morning sun came rising up over the favelas, they strolled along Ipanema Beach and decided that it was time for a brand to exist that captured the fun and attitude of what they have just experienced.
They would take the sites, sounds and flavours from Rio back to London to create a lifestyle brand completely different from anything they had ever seen before.
Most importantly though they would adopt the independent spirit of the people they had met who lived passionately, freely and confidently beyond the rules of society.
Independent leaders was born.
To inspire a movement of people who live life free from outside control.
What I personally love about this collection is the materials, the design and the small little touches that make the collection fun and different. Take my favourite tee of theirs (the cream one in the first two styled looks), the fabric is soft and light, the cut is longline with a curved hem, whilst the detail of the small embroidery on the back adds the stamp of quality from Independent Leaders. As well as this, I love the stitching down the middle of the tee, the curved yolke which matches the curvature of the hem and the pocket which is expertly tailored.
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Photography by Rebecca Spencer