“They wanted to change the world.” It was in a bright red, 1989 Opel Corsa that the Saako project began.
On the last day of school several years ago, two graphic designers just completed university after a brutal week of work and very little sleep. They finished numerous papers, exams and exhibitions. Sitting in that old car, they reclined the front seats, stretched their legs and realized their academic life had come to an end.
With a love for communication; Ines Brito and Joana Gouveia decided then the next stage of their lives. As adulthood set in, so did their realities of actually changing the world. Facing careers of long hours in front of a computer, they were still eager to find a creative outlet solely using their hands.
Soon after, the duo relocated to Barcelona and discovered the ability of transforming the famous ribbed, jersey fabric of their native Portugal into trendy, affordable, unique neckwear. ‘Re-use’ was the philosophy of the young designers and over time, their products evolved with more delicacy and style. Saako’s scarf-like necklaces are animated, tactile and earthy; vibrant; Mediterranean, and beg to be touched. Each is handmade, by local women long familiar with the proud traditions of Portuguese and Spanish textiles.
As Saako’s popularity grew, so did the demands of expanding a business. Ines and Joana needed to focus on their design talents. In December 2009, the team became international and added American, Oakley Johnson and Spanish native, Ana Capel.
Over several years in Barcelona, Oakley obtained his MBA and worked in e-commerce. The Saako girls brought him on board to manage operations and growth. Oakley now resides in San Francisco and oversees the US market as well.
Hailing from Barcelona, Ana was recruited to grow Saako’s brand and sales in Europe. She’s a fashion consultant with wonderful knowledge of European styles and trends.
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