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Travel: Cristy and Duda from éliou

We spoke to #Faithfullgirls and founders of éliou, Duda Teixeira & Cristina Mantilla, about the story behind the brand name, what inspires their collection each season and their top 5 of art deco district and the place they call home; Miami, Florida. 

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“Where did the name, éliou originate from?”

"éliou is a made-up name we came up with. We played with letters and accents and came up with a name we felt could be a city in the Italian or French Riviera. The kind of place that embodies a perfect summer. We liked that it could also be the name of a person who lives in this place and lives a life that evokes the lifestyle of the brand."

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“How did the brand start?”

"Before jewelry design turned into a full-time job it was a part-time hobby.

In 2015 we started a creative agency focused on a mix of set design, graphic design, photography, and styling. Throughout our agency years, we became pretty familiar with different foundations of design and working with our hands, whether it be through constructing a photoshoot set or customizing an accessory for a styling job.

We were making jewelry for ourselves and our friends in 2018 and, without any real intention of starting another business, the two of us designed a small collection, developed a website, and shot our own campaign. We launched our website and woke up to an email asking if we’d be participating in Paris Fashion Week. That was the moment when we decided it might be time to start taking this seriously."

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“Describe éliou”

"éliou is a blend of traditional and contemporary. A fluid mix of classic design with modern, hand-crafted technique to create pieces that are timeless and original. We mostly make jewelry but have been experimenting with additional items that feel special and artful, natural extensions of what we're interested in at the moment."

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“Top 5”

You are both based in Miami, please share a TOP 5 for us.

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“What to do”

"If you have the opportunity to find yourself on a boat, there is nothing like a sunny day spent in the middle of a Miami bay, followed by a night of deep conversations and endless bottles of wine at Lagniappe Wine Bar."

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“Where to stay”

"Miami Beach is always a fun experience and popular destination for tourists. We’d suggest parking yourself anywhere “South of Fifth” for a more local experience. If interested in a quiet, less tourist and more luxury experience, the Ritz Carlton at Key Biscayne is your go to."

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“Where to eat”

"Coffee and breakfast at All Day followed by an outdoor lunch at Lemoni Café and dinner at Mandolin. On the weekends we always pick up a fresh local olive loaf from Flour & Weirdoughs and Nabatti natural ice cream to fill our sweet tooth cravings (also a must for the dairy-free lovers!)."

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“What to listen to”

"Anything and Khruangbi, Rhye, Bon Iver and Paul Desmond are our repeat artists. We recently received an Helado Negro vinyl that’s been on repeat lately. If you’re looking for a local Miami secret, Spam All Stars never disappoints."

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“What to wear”

"Less is more thanks to Miami’s notorious high temperatures and humidity. Easy slip dresses, floppy hats and worn in beach bags are pretty ubiquitous here."

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“When designing each collection where do you draw inspiration from? ”

"Having both lived walking distance from the ocean our entire life, we always felt connected to it. A lot of our pieces are inspired by our environment and made with different fragments and nodes of it. Each design is sparked by an idea that stems from something we’d wear ourselves. Our personalities are so coalesced into Éliou it would feel weird and dishonest to design something we wouldn’t wear."

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“The best pieces of advice you have both received”

"Never accept no for an answer, if there is a will there's a way- It all depends on how worthy the fight is."

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“2020 has taught you..”

"Patience & Acceptance. That is the first thing that comes to mind. We should be less frightened of change and more open to living presently. This year has allowed us to enjoy the simple things; cooking, reading, sleeping a little longer, walks and morning dips in the ocean."

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“What's next? ”

"Since stagnation has never been an intrinsic quality of ours, right now our hands are dipped into a different few projects. One of our current focuses is to continue collaborating with artists we love. These collaborations allow us to explore design via different artistic elements with skilled artisans we admire. The road to Ready to Wear is calling and a path we may want to start exploring. Lessening our plastic consumption and carbon footprint is a big one for 2020."

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Words & Photography :

Duda Teixeira & Cristina Mantilla