Interview by Michelle Hua @MadeWithGlove
Nayara is Trend Researcher and the Berlin ambassador of the Women of Wearables! She was the Partnership Manager at Girls in tech Brazil from 2014- 2016 and she had been honoured by inclusion in the list of prominent women and women’s organisations in Inspiring Women 2016. The list is run by website Think Olga, an important feminist Think Tank in Brazil that seeks to recognise standout women across the country. Nayara holds a Bachelor degree in Fashion Design (Santa Marcelina) and a Masters in Marketing (ESPM) and always had a lot of interest in online business platforms. She went through advertising and content agencies having served as a trend researcher and public relations analyst.
Nayara, welcome to our team!
Tell us a bit more about yourself, your background and how you became interested in wearable tech.
I always dreamed to be a fashion designer, since a very early age. I grew up between sketches and fabrics and I knew inside myself that I would take all the runways in the globe with my designs. I went to the best fashion school in São Paulo and I was fascinated by that world. I read all we had in that library, from fashion to art history and anthropology. There was so much information about the past, but no one was talking about the future.
I was fascinated by the burlesque scene after dancing in a bar so I wanted to design a bra that could light up on the stage. I approached my teacher with this idea, she told me it was quite impossible because we were not taught how to work with circuits in a fashion school. I was extremely disappointed and frustrated and thought, there must be a way to do it!
I called my father and asked for some help with the circuits and voilà I had a pyramidal bra with led lights inside. It was super easy and I enjoyed so much the process of learning by my own how to do it.
I graduated as underwear designer and interned at Liria's Pristine intern in São Paulo (London based Knitwear designer). I took a technical course after university and in 2011 I joined a Lycra Future designers competition and I was one of the 5 finalists around the country, and I had my collection shown in great style.
I also started my own lingerie brand called “Lady Cupcake” making couture underwear. The business was shortlived however I enjoyed the customer facing aspect of the business and marketing.
I started writing about my research in fashion tech for a blog called Modefica, and worked on a project with Ray-Ban for e-commerce and wearable technology. I also contributed to Trend Watching as cool hunter.
Last year my work was showcased at one of their events about fashion and sustainability and in 2017, I decided to move to Berlin. Now I work as a Trend Researcher for different companies, but my passion is definitely the mix between human and technology and how it can make our lives better!
How did you find out about Women of Wearables?
I heard about WoW in Amanda Cosco's Electric Runway Podcast, and after 3 years working with Girls in Tech, I though: wow I found myself, I want work with these girls!
What are your plans now that you have moved from Sao Paulo to Berlin?
Berlin has been a love and dream since my first time here, so I want to engage in this beautiful blooming entrepreneurial environment and help fashion/tech brands develop themselves in a sustainable and smart way. I am also truly concerned about the consumer experience and I think that through wearable technology we can enhance this aspect so much!
What things are you looking forward to learning about in the wearable tech/smart textiles industry in Berlin, especially now that you will be leading our first chapter outside of the UK in Berlin? (e.g. events, companies, designers)
I am really looking forward to learning more about the technology aspects behind the creations and how they can improve the consumer experience in so many different ways. But I am also interested in helping shape the educational system for future designers that’s why I think it’s very important to connect with different companies, organizations and to create events to discuss more about this theme and raise awareness about our industry.
As a trend analyst, what do you see as the key trends in the wearable tech and fashion tech industry in the next 5 years and where do you see it heading?
I believe that the smart textiles will be more popular and affordable, and we will have more functional pieces to make our lives much more simple.
I believe we will no longer need platforms like smart -watches or smartphones and that will also be the end of the app era. But I am sure that everything will be connected through IoT and the idea of implantable microchips connecting humans to technology it will be part of our daily lives.
With your background in working as a community manager at Miss Career/Less – Women Who Change and Dare to change in Brussels as well as a Board Member at Girls in Tech in Sao Paulo, it shows that women’s equality, empowerment and rights is important to you. What can you share about working in these 2 organizations in 2 different cities?
For sure women’s equality is definitely something that I am committed to. I learnt a lot working in both organizations so from my point of view, São Paulo it’s a huge city and it’s quite advanced but still there’s so much to learn when we talk about gender equality. From my experience I think it’s harder to work to get resources and to be noticed even though my team and I were recently honoured in the list of prominent women and women’s organizations in Inspiring Women 2016. The list is run by the website Think Olga, an important feminist Think Tank in Brazil that seeks to recognize standout women across the country.
I joined Miss Career/Less after having a bad experience related to a tech company in Brussels and Virag gave me the opportunity to grow our community and empower and encourage women to take their careers on their own hands and not be afraid to change and to look for what is better for them.
I love being able to help other women grow. We have to look out for each other and be happy for our achievements. That’s the only way we are going to have more equal opportunities.
What advice can you give about being involved in women in tech organisations?
Be curious, be out there, do every job you can, learn, ask questions, don’t be afraid, be bold and give your best, it’s worth it!
Who are your 3 inspirational women in wearable tech?
Renata Portelada: Co-Founder of The Lab for Architectural Singularity an architecture and design company, that works with projects of diverse scale, technology consulting, and workshops.
Lisa Gerkens: Co-LeeLuu Labs is an interactive textile startup developing new textile interfaces.
Margit Lillemma: SEMU designs devices for visually impaired and blind people that enable them to use home automation systems to make their homes safer and more efficient.