The new collaborative collection from Desigual and Spanish designer María Escoté is all about spreading the love. Utilising brilliant colour, references to Japanese aesthetics, playful silhouettes and more, Desigual x María Escoté is a judgement-free exploration of everything that makes being alive such a wonderful thing to be.
Floral and animal prints abound, playing atop both chic oversize shapes and tight feminine fits — each piece effortlessly blending a street casual look with chic modernity. With its diversity of styles and the addition of unisex garments, Desigual x María Escoté is truly designed with everyone in mind.
María Escoté stresses that this collection is about uniqueness, both of the garments and those who wear them. “Sexy Planet speaks of diversity, of a planet of different people,” she starts. “It speaks of difference as identity, of the magic of feeling different, of interracial procreation, of mixture, and invites us to go out and reconquer this planet.”
To welcome us to this aforementioned “Sexy Planet”, María Escoté and Desigual have invited a team of talented and empowered women to share the collection’s themes of empowerment, peace, self-esteem, identity, love and more through their own experience. These women include Ilona “Cicciolina” Staller, Lea T, Carla Díaz, Bikôkô and María Escoté herself — each one a capable storyteller whose view of the world helps compose the spirit of the collection.
“Something that has been making me very happy these past few years is seeing how in my profession, in this industry, I am increasingly surrounded by teams made up of women. How we succeed in the work we do, the campaigns, the productions… The teams are filled with women. And that’s what excites me most,” María Escoté shares. After all, she reminds us, “To make this planet even sexier, we need freedom and respect.”
First on our list of protagonists is Cicciolina — an icon of free love. Cicciolina is known around the world for her work as a model, adult film star and politician as part of the Partido Radical in the Italian parliament. For this collection, she delivers an anti-war message — perhaps not a surprise given the memorable in her past when she offered to have sex with Saddam Hussein to put an end to the Gulf War.
“I went to the embassy and they were all asking… ‘Why?’ I expressed my desire because I believe in universal love and I’m against war. That is essential to me. I’m against war, against restrictions…” Cicciolina recalls. “I’m for love, love between all peoples, between individuals. People must not hate each other, people need to love each other.”
Our next protagonist is Carla Díaz. Díaz epitomises what it means to be a free spirit; she is a successful actor who enjoys painting, playing guitar, ballet and flamenco dancing. Whilst she’s a serious talent and star, she does not let the fame or acclaim get to her head, choosing instead to move to the beat of her own drum.
“I think it’s very important to look inwards often, to treat yourself well and to listen to yourself closely,” she instructs. “Having good self-esteem and feeling comfortable in your own skin is what brings you happiness… This is what is helping me to manage all this craziness — If you’re happy with yourself, feel comfortable in your own skin and your self-esteem is healthy and you’re happy… you’ll find happiness anywhere. And that’s the key. It’s not so much about professional success, but achieving personal success.”
Also joining the party is Lea T. Lea is a true trailblazer: in 2010, she became the first transgender model to be the face of a global campaign, following that feat up in 2016 by being the first transgender person to be a flag bearer for a country at the 2016 Olympic Games. She has many firsts to her name, but she does not want to be defined by her labels.
“I am part of a community, but I’m not a label. Before I say I’m a trans woman, I say I’m a black woman, an indigenous woman,” she says. “We must pay attention and avoid universalising groups and leaving individuals aside. I’m not just one thing, I’m thousands of things… My story is about so many things!… We must focus on living on a planet with diverse people, diverse realities, with critical thinking,” she concludes.
Our final guide through this Sexy Planet is Bikôkô. The singer Bikôkô takes in a globe’s worth of influences: R&B, soul, African sounds from the West of the continent and more combine to create beautiful, personal pieces. Her spirit and range of inspirations makes her a perfect fit for this collaboration — even if getting to the point where she was comfortable sharing this spirit took some time.
“There were things I didn’t do out of fear, especially as a teenager,” she remembers. Now, Bikôkô feels comfortable to “go with the flow”, concluding that “If you stop being afraid to love, to be yourself, others will love you back.”
Working together, these incredible women tell the story of a fantastic collaboration. With beautiful colour and a wide range of looks, the Desigual x María Escoté collection is a fabulous series with stories to tell. Explore the full collection now.