Beneath the Canopy with SIZ
We caught up with Raquel and Sofia, the sister duo of SIZ to hear more about their latest SS21 collection, Beneath the Canopy. Inspired by earthy tones and flowy fabric, this is a reminder that even when apart - we all live under the same canopy. Scroll down to check out their slow and conscious collection.
What was the inspiration behind your next collection?
Our spring/summer 2021 drop is called Beneath the Canopy. It’s inspired by crown shyness, a natural phenomenon that reminds us that, even apart, we all live under the same canopy. This theme also helps us to raise awareness of the many dangers that threaten our beautiful jungles, among them deforestation. Jungles only take up seven percent of the earth’s surface but they are vital to the planet and our existence—they are the habitat with the most diverse range of flora and fauna on the planet. Today, the biodiversity of jungles is in danger, especially for the orangutans, our closest ancestor. Their habitats are being threatened by palm oil plantations which have replaced 27 million hectares of jungle. These factors drove us to think, to move, to create, to talk, to show.
What is crown shyness? How can it be seen throughout the collection?
Crown shyness is a phenomenon that occurs in certain tropical species of trees where their upper branches, although spaced close together, avoid touching each other, creating a giant canopy with a beautiful pattern of gaps. There are several theories for why trees are timid in this way: perhaps they want to protect themselves from the physical damage of colliding with the wind or maybe they can sense nearby plants and try not to grow too close to other trees that could shade them or prevent their growth. We represent this in the collection with a soft touch of fabrics that feel like you’re caressed without touching. And the whole collection is about reminding us that we live under the same canopy. Remembering that even apart, we are still together is more important than ever. Within that, it’s important to also remember that we live on the same planet as the orangutans that are now facing the problem of not having a place to live. We translated that into pieces that transport you into the jungle atmosphere with prints and details.
Walk us through the process of conceptualizing and creating this line.
To create any collection, we started with a theme, choosing crown shyness and deforestation as a focus. We then research the theme in depth, we write about it, we watch documentaries. Then, we create a visual mood board with images of the theme, colors, silhouettes, and details that we think speak the same language as the theme, adding fabrics that we are thinking of using. The mood board should feel like telling a story—we have to feel it, to smell it, even! Later, we add our personal language and start to draw. For Beneath the Canopy, prominent colors were easy to see: green from all the leaves and orange from the lovely orangutans. tWe added some neutrals to keep it clean and soft. Regarding silhouettes, we knew right away that we wanted a safari style with some loose fits and strings. The fabrics are always important to us, they must be sustainable, meaning either organic materials or deadstock fabrics.
We love that you have a mission anchored in sustainability, are there any new processes you are using?
The spring collection is a continuation of our launch last fall, but we were to explore the concept even more in terms of shapes and colors. By continuing the same theme we’re able to be more sustainable as we can continue to use the same fabrics and to sell the same products that are suitable for spring. But it’s also a challenge because we are rethinking things that we’ve already worked on. For this collection we challenged ourselves to create pieces with little off-cuts from the fall line (we keep all of them when we are cutting the pieces). It was really a puzzle, requiring several hours of different creative processes.
If you had to pick three of your favorite pieces from this collection, which pieces would you include?
This question is really hard! But if we have to choose, the first would be the Iroko Shirt because it’s an easy, versatile piece that you can wear as a casual look or for a meeting. Then, the Castilla Ves is a fresh version of the fall blazer that you can match with so many other clothes. And the Ceiba Top stole our hearts from the moment we started making it—but when we saw it in the photoshoot, we realized that it is a true star!