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  • Sapo Lifestyle - July 2017

    The Portuguese designer who changed sculpture career by creating vegan shoes

    Marita Setas Ferro, founder and creative director of the fashion accessories portuguese label Marita Moreno, has changed course but has never ceased to have a sculptural look at the way she looks at her current business area.

    In 2008, Marita Setas Ferro created the brand Marita Moreno, but the great evolution only occurred in 2015 when she applied for Portugal 2020, a financing program with European funds. "The brand has existed for nine years. It has undergone a rebranding two years ago, precisely when Marita Setas advanced with the project candidature, with a view to its internationalization, "she explains in an interview with Modern Life / SAPO Lifestyle.


    At that time, the sculptor threw a line of shoes and bags. "Previously, I was only making clothes. Now I have redirected my efforts to the area of footwear and handbags, although I still make sculptures in my spare time », reveals the founder and creative director of the brand that, in the last couple of years, has already managed to internationalize.


    "I have my creations on sale in a concept store in Berlin, London, New York and still in a showroom in Los Angeles," says Marita Setas Ferro, who is visibly proud. In Portugal, the pieces with their label can be found in The Fitting Room stores in Lisbon and Oporto, the GUD store in Porto and the ID Concept Store store in Braga or even the online store that they created.

    Shoes That Fight Prejudice

    The sculpture was one of her first artistic loves but her interests have long been not only exhausted in this creative art. "Like any woman, shoes are a passion, but they are, above all,  an object and I treat the shoe as if it were a sculptural object. For me, the shoe is  about that ", affirms Marita Setas, 

    "Colors of the World", inspired by the colors of the world, is the name of the four-line spring / summer footwear collection that launched in 2017. One of them, 'What about skin', raises questions about racism, skin color and issues that turn out to be no questions at all. The color of the skin is a color like any other ", defends the designer.


    This line integrates four models, which it called "North", "South", "East" and "West", where predominate colors such as white, brown, orange and yellow. "These are precisely the cardinal points and are colors that I use. Beautiful colors and without any connotation of race or place in the world, "she says. "I always have to have a story behind the collections," 

    The materials used in the vegan shoe line

    The inspiration for creating new models of footwear and handbags may come from where it is least expected. "I have the [line] Dali, which is based on a painting by Salvador Dali, which is all distorted. It is a collection of men, "says Marita Setas Ferro, who has her production office based in Lourosa and the office and showroom in Arcozelo in the north of the country.


    One of his greatest pride, however, is the line of vegan shoes she has created, 'without any animal components', as she stresses. "I use cork, Portuguese textiles and rubber, all made in Portugal", explains the entrepreneur. The difference lies mainly in materials. "I use rubber sole and cork textile, which is also made of cotton," she says.

    Preciousness goes to the point of using sewing thread made without beeswax, unlike the usual. «The lining is microfiber, an artificial component that has nothing of animal components and, moreover, use acrylics and rubbers, all vegetal or artificial components of industrial base, that do not integrate any animal component», assures the former professor of fashion design at Escola Árvore, in Porto.

    The clouds of the sky as inspiration.

    Visually appealing, many of the pieces produced by Marita Moreno even show a degree of eccentricity above the average, as is the case of those that make up the "Summer clouds" line. Available in both men's and women's versions, it features models based on cloud shapes. "They are a bit more artistic pieces, objects that carry some art," she describes.

    «And some Portuguese heritage. Some Portuguese culture, "she adds. In "Oporto", a shoe of the line "What about skin", recreated the Porto tiles in leather. "In the vegan line, it's Portuguese textiles," she explains. In "Shell", she conjugates the income of Felgueiras with cork. "It's still a vegan line but it's a very delicate special edition," she says.

    The lace piece of fillet with cork that also appears in the SS17 ollection results from "a props competition with new technologies", confides the designer. "I added a highly technological component, such as cork, to a highly artisanal component, such as fillet income. It's pure crafts! ", Proud Marita Moreno.