What started in 1997 at a marketplace in Brazil by Marcello Bastos and Katia Barros quickly expanded into one of Rio de Janeiro’s top ready-to-wear brands, offering dresses and tops in perfect patterns, crocheted skirts, and more.
Following on the heels of their hometown success, Farm Rio recently broke into the US market, opening their first flagship store in New York City alongside pop-ups in Montauk and Los Angeles. And the reaction has been overwhelming. Around Soho, people (including me) can be spotted in their uniquely colorful pants, wide skirts, and tailored tops. What’s more, they intentionally set accessible price points for their pieces while still maintaining sustainability and giving back to the planet.
Below, we talked to Barros about how the brand has grown, their sustainability efforts, and what’s next.
What is Farm Rio?
Farm Rio is a global fashion and lifestyle brand that captures the true essence of Brazil. Using a playful mix of proprietary prints and radiant colors and textures, Farm Rio inspires a life well-lived—one of authenticity, vibrancy, and natural beauty.
I began my career as an auditor, but I was always drawn to the world of fashion. I wanted to capture the joyful energy and creative spirit of my native Rio de Janeiro, and built Farm Rio to share this with the world. My co-founder Marcello Bastos and I launched Farm Rio in 1997 as a small booth at a marketplace, and it has been exciting to grow the brand over the last 22 years into a household name in Brazil, with over 75 stores across the country—and now in the U.S. too.
What is your design ethos?
We’re inspired by the culture and colors of Rio de Janeiro and we want customers to feel embraced in the Brazilian culture when wearing Farm Rio. Our prints and designs are based on elements found in nature and symbolize the joy of life. Through our products, stores, and experiences, we look to help customers share in the values of community, celebration, and creativity that Brazil inspires—and Farm Rio embodies.
Every detail in our collection is inspired by Brazilian elements, but with a twist. We put our own spin on it, using textures and colors we’ve seen in nature or drawing from motifs that are signature to Farm Rio, like toucans, bananas, and cashews. Through print engineering, all of our prints are specifically designed for each piece, allowing for the perfect positioning of elements on each garment.
Can you explain the fashion of Brazil? What makes it different and special?
Brazilian fashion is one of a kind—it’s playful and energetic, bringing together all aspects of our traditional culture and community. We’re not afraid of bright colors and bold prints, instead they’re part of our identity. It’s unique in that it plays into the Brazilian lifestyle, where we can go from work to the beach to the bar, so our pieces are specially designed to take you through the day with versatile silhouettes and materials.
We’d love to know more about your One Tree Planted initiative and sustainability/ethics within your brand?
We joined forces with One Tree Planted, an organization whose mission is to make it simple for people to give back to the environment. With each purchase on farmrio.com and at our retail locations, we donate one tree to be planted in Amazon Rainforest. Our goal is to help recover endangered forest ecosystems and protect freshwater supply, and we want to make it easy for our customers to join us in this mission.
What do the next five years look like for you and the brand?
The next five years for Farm Rio are focused on global expansion. Our goal is to bring the spirit of Brazil to the rest of the world and I’m excited to use the success we’ve seen in the U.S. as our launching pad to continue to grow in new markets across the globe, with new store openings and global wholesale.