Founded in 2017, the brand RAFAEL KOUTO has a unique sustainable approach to fashion design and products. The main core is the customization and upcycling of an individual curated selection of old textiles and garments from Texaid for the realisation of the couture and commercial collection, 100 % remade in Switzerland. The potential of the sustainable design and local production is giving a new value to the discarded materials as the main resource. The cultural background and business model is based on Kouto‘s own cultural origins mixed with the practice of upcycling, which is very common in Africa. The concept and the hybrid aesthetic, between Africa and the West are distinctive characteristics. It represents an alternative to the current production in fashion as a new luxury paradigm with the aim is to encourage recycling, upcycling, in the production of fashion.

Swiss fashion, textile and research designer Rafael Kouto graduated two years ago with an MA in Fashion Matters at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Previously graduated from the Institute of Fashion Design - Academy of Arts and Design - FHNW in Basel, Switzerland. With a professional background in Couture (Alexander McQueen, London 2013, and Maison Margiela, Paris 2015) and Ethical Fashion (Ethical Fashion Initiative, United Nations - International Trade Center, Geneva 2015) and ready-to-wear (Carven, Paris 2018). Kouto’s latest collection ALL THE NOTHING THAT WILL REMAIN has been shown at Droog store (Amsterdam, NL), Modesuisse (Zürich, CH), Superstudio Fuorisalone - Designweek (Milan, IT) and State of Fashion Biennale (Arnheim, NL), May concepts showroom Mens fashion week (London, UK), winner in the category Fashion&Textile of the Swiss design Awards 2018 and 2019 (Basel, CH) and winner of the Diesel Award and Lotto Sport Award at ITS 2019 (Trieste, IT). Kouto’s aim is to continue researching and promoting about the use of upcycling of waste garments and materials in the creative process and into a larger scale production for his own brand and in collaboration with brands and manufacturies interested in upycling, sustainability, ethical fashion and textiles.
Website: Leonardo Angelucci
Photographer: Jean Vincent Simonet
Still life: Simone Cavadini
Models: Naomi Larbi and Paul Mpoku @Time Model agency
Hair&Make up: Yannick Zurcher
Assistant: Lea Metzger
Typeface (slab serif): Kamon, Federico Paviani

© 2019 Rafael Kouto. All Rights Reserved.