High Fashion to get Comfortable In

Published on June 29, 2022 7:35:50 AM PDT June 29, 2022 7:35:50 AM PDTth, June 29, 2022 7:35:50 AM PDT

I spoke to Cinthia Boni Cordioli, founder, designer and creative director of Campo, a collection of sustainable sleepwear designed to be worn at any time and in any place. She told me about her time spent living in New York, Brazil and Miami, and how her own love of the unique and quirky in fashion drove the ethos of Campo. But before we get on to that, I have a confession to make…

  

As much as I love style and design and fashion, at heart I’m all about the comfort. This means that if I’m wearing it to dinner then the chances are, as long as it’s comfortable, I’m going to end up sleeping in it. Comfy enough to snooze in but with a little something going on might just describe my ideal garment – especially if I could pack the same item for a day at the beach or a break in my favorite spa.

All of which helps to explain why Campo is pretty much an ideal Rhelm collection. Everything about the items in the Campo collection – in fact everything about the collection as a whole – is just that little bit different. The name itself is pronounced ‘Kam-pu’ and translates as ‘field’ in Portugese, the native language of Brazilian born Cinthia. The garments are sleepwear in the classic European or Brazilian style, but sleepwear designed to be worn all day, blending minimalist styling with easy comfort and sustainable production. Sustainability is the kind of buzzword many labels adopt as an added accessory at the moment, but when you talk to Cinthia you realize just how central it is to her vision. Fabrics are ethically sourced and 100% Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) certified, and production takes place in Miami, with an all-female team of local artisans working to create small batches of high quality garments. Any packaging needed is kept to the absolute minimum and made of recycled and recyclable materials, and the whole process is grounded in a desire to take the concept of ‘slow fashion’ and turn it into a fabulously wearable reality.

Cinthia Boni Cordioli, founder, designer and creative director of Campo

I spoke to Cinthia after deciding that the Campo collection would be perfect for Rhelm. She told me that she’d been in fashion her whole life, “I did it all, the creative side, PR, sales and merchandising,” and this varied skill-set was to come to the fore with the creation of Campo. Having been born in Brazil, grown up in New York for 17 years, and moved back to Brazil for another 11 years – during which she took time off from full time work, consulting with luxury brands while raising her family – Cinthia moved to Miami four and a half years ago. With her children now older, she decided the time was right to realize her personal dream of a collection. Having worked in high-end fashion all her life, Cinthia naturally wanted to create garments at the luxury end of the market, despite realizing, as she freely admits, that Miami is probably not the easiest place in which to sell this kind of fashion.

She wasn’t put off, however, as she explains:

“I really wanted to do something that I was passionate about, and that wasn’t already super-saturated in the market. I’ve always been passionate about nightwear, and particularly the more European or Brazilian concept of wearing a beautifully designed and crafted nightgown to bed. That’s not as much of a ‘thing’ in America, and keeping that difference in mind I was determined that every piece I created would have a duality to it. That it would work just as well as sleepwear or worn during the day. I wanted a versatility that meant that each piece would look and feel just as good in bed as it did on the beach, and vice versa.”

The single-mindedness of this approach is what helps to make Campo unique. From the earliest days, Cinthia knew that she wasn’t creating a collection with mass-market appeal, but she also knew that this was exactly how she wanted it. It’s a brave stance for a new collection looking to find a market, but it’s one which she’s happy to explain:

“I knew it was a small niche, but I like to create clothes that aren’t for everybody. That’s how I like to shop. I don’t like to just shop for a brand that everyone has, I love to hear about independent brands, to do my own exploring and find my own little secrets – those designers that nobody else knows about. I didn’t want to create a collection that kept up with the trends, I wanted to create timeless pieces that could be worn year in and year out.”

It’s this kind of thinking that makes Campo an ideal partner for Rhelm. Every item in the collection showcases the passion of the woman behind it, and the personal vision being expressed. The Campo collection manages to combine self-expression and individuality with accessibility. These are clothes we want to wear, it’s as simple as that, and the ethos and the thinking behind the collection just adds to their appeal.

Despite her shunning of trends the launch of Campo couldn’t have come at a more ‘on trend’ moment; it was April 2020, just as the pandemic caused pretty much the whole world to hunker down and get as comfy and cozy as possible. The nature of the launch was yet another aspect setting Campo and Cinthia apart from the crowd. To begin with, it shunned the world of influencers and social media. “I hate it all,” she laughs. “ To be featured in Vogue was much nicer to me than to be featured on an influencers Instagram story.” She opted, instead, for a traditional PR and advertising approach which meant that, over the first 12 months, Campo was featured, in Cinthia’s words, ‘in everything’.

And when she says ‘everything’ she really does mean it; Campo received glowing mentions in everything from Vogue to Harper’s Bazaar, Forbes, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Exposure of this kind led to sales taking off straight away, and although Cinthia did eventually work with a few influencers – on the proviso that they were unpaid and selected garments they truly loved – her plans for the future showcase an ongoing determination to keep setting Campo apart from the wider world of fashion. She has no plans for a physical store and ‘doesn’t want to be everywhere.’ She knows that Campo doesn’t fit into a standard department store with distinct and rigid categories, and is proud of the fact that her items don’t follow the seasons. There are no summer or winter looks and collections in the world of Campo, because everything is designed to be worn all year round. Individual items fall under the headings Campo I, Campo II – which introduced intimate pieces for women and girls and a lounge set for men and boys - and Capsule I. It’s an approach which showcases Cinthia’s intention to create ‘a core collection that builds on itself’, and plans for the future include additional pieces designed for much more than simply sleep, including items that can be incorporated over a nightgown or slip dress. The one thing all the Campo items will have in common, Cinthia promises, is that they will be timeless and classic.

There’s just one more thing to mention about Campo items, and it’s the detail that sells me on them probably more than any other. You know how much I love hitting the road and travelling, and if you’ve tried it yourself you’ll know just how much of a chore packing and repacking just the right amount of clothing can be. Well Campo items, I’m assured, can be crinkled up and thrown in your travel bag. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of luxury fashion I’m only too glad to have in my wardrobe.