PARIS--Pedro Lourenco is 20. He's Brazilian. His parents are designers. And he says that he's been designing professionally since age 12.
There is plenty of hype around this wunderkind, but not as much as one would expect, given the extreme skill it takes to create what he creates. As I waited in the Beax Arts building on Paris's left bank for the show to begin, I got a taste of what Lourenco is capable of. Several of the organizers--either his personal PRs or sales people--were wearing Fall 2010 Lourenco creations. In camel and black, the heavy wool pieces were made of blocks of fabrics that looked as though they had been fused together, some molded into curvy pleats.
For spring, Lourenco held to this aesthetic, with very, very precise seams and cuts. But this season, it was all done in leather and what looked like a sheer, nude nylon. The visual trick? An illusion that the heavy leather pieces simply floated on the body. (In reality, they were held up by this sheer fabric.)
The most successful pieces were the dresses, although none of it looked as wearable as what he debuted for Fall. The jumpsuits--nude leather with accents of green and red--were interesting, but wholly unbelievable.
Expect Lourenco's profile to rise over the next year. And expect his next collection veer a bit more commercial. Buyers will indeed be calling, but they need to be buying, too.