In 2015, Paulo Castro and his sister Ginny launched Melbourne-based fashion brand Orocéo Castro, a label named after their mother’s maiden name and their father’s surname.
“Both of us were influenced by our mum and grandmothers’ different styles when it comes to fashion. In saying that our aesthetics are slightly different. I gravitate towards dramatic and structured silhouettes whereas Ginny prefers classic looks,” explains Paulo.
“However both of us have a penchant for uptown chic and polished styling. We wanted an effective way for us to express ourselves artistically so I studied fashion design at MFI in Fitzroy to get the necessary skills to start a brand. After I graduated Orocéo Castro was born.”
Both Paulo and Ginny are “fascinated by how clothes affect how people feel”, and say that they really wanted to “create unique pieces whilst expressing ourselves artistically”, Paulo says.
“When we were planning our first collection, we came up with over a hundred looks but we knew that to be a sustainable brand we had to whittle it down to a lot fewer than that!”
He defines the brand’s aesthetic as being: “Classic with just the right amount of quirk and twist and always polished.”
The Orocéo Castro look is definitely feminine with soft tailored details in clear, bright colours or a variety of prints from ditsy florals to striking stripes. The brand also does smartly cut separates with unique details, like the wide culottes with clever slits.
According to Paulo, “Orocéo Castro is all about marrying our need to express ourselves with our desire to make our customers feel as fabulous as they possibly can through fashion.”
“We both love travelling, art, history and architecture so we mainly draw inspiration from these. Also our mum and grandmothers are massive artistic inspirations for us. I remember doing a mini collection inspired by classical music pieces by certain composers and another collection inspired by the paintings from the Dutch Golden Age.”
As is expected of fashion brands, Orocéo Castro holds to a number of sustainable and ethical practices. All of the label’s garments are made-to-order, and only a limited amount of each fabric per style is stocked leading to limited production.
All of the Orocéo Castro pieces are also able to be customised: “We’ve had customers make requests about garment lengths, mixing and matching fabrics from different collections, addition of pockets, etc” Paulo explained.
As for the future, Paulo says that they “aim to remain an independent brand and keep making pieces that are true to our aesthetic”.
“Over time we will introduce more evening wear and couture pieces. We also aim to create more accessories per collection.”
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