Sunday, 29 May 2011

Life is a Carnaval for Muchacho at Bondi Markets

Wandered down to the Bondi Markets this morning, and met a fellow traveler in Andy Cameron, a Bondi boy who started Muchacho, a t’shirt brand inspired by his love of photography, fashion and travel, especially in Central and South America.

Muchacho, which is Spanish for young man and Mexican slang for mate, takes the good life seriously, and its slogan is ‘La vida es un carnaval (Life is a Carnaval).

“We believe that what you wear is a reflection of your state of mind and can make you feel good so we include positive colours and combine them with comfortable cotton fabrics,” says Andy. “Each design is based on experiences that have been enjoyed by the team often including photography from a particular event over the years.  We aim to connect with the wearer in order to make garments as well as tell a little story along the way.”  

Bondi Curmudgeon scored a jumper (the girls' version modeled below),  and it came with a story about how Andy took the photo at Plaza de Mayo y Cabildo, in the centre of Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of his favourite cities. 

I know how he feels, I was there in the summer of 1995-1996 as part of a whirlwind six-week trip to South America with two girlfriends, Alicia and Denise. 

We crisscrossed the continent going from the bars of Buenos Aires, to the glaciers of the wild and remote Torres del Paine, the beaches of Rio, the waterfalls of Iguazu Falls, to the sacred Machu Picchu, which gave me a natural high that had nothing to do with the Coco Leaves we chewed in a vain attempt to ward off altitude-sickness. 

I left my friends in La Paz to return to work in Australia and Alicia ended up falling in love with a Brazilian boy working in Bolivia. She was so love-sick when she eventually came home that she returned to La Paz to live for a couple of years until they could get his visa approved and move to Australia. Sadly, their romance ended in tears, but they have a gorgeous son, Keane. 

My nostalgia for South America made me feel like the above t'shirt was designed just for me and after checking in on Foursquare, I got a $10 discount. Andy says he took the photo on a perfect Sunday afternoon on Brazil’s Ipanema Beach, when it was 32-degrees and the coconut stand had just cracked open a coco verde. 

“On Sundays they shut down the road alongside the beach to let people cruise along on skateboards, bikes and rollerblades ...  these two guys were riding into an Ipanema sunset having a good yarn.” 

The tag says, “Season Quatro designed in Sydney after a trip to Carnaval with a few stops on the way – loads of inspiration, loads more fun …”

Fun is one way to describe Brazil. After a fantastic NYE's on Copacabana Beach we jumped on a bus and ended up in Buzios, which won our hearts with its beaches, sailing trips, cocktail bars and sunny days just made for reading in hammocks. It was a sleepy fishing village until the 1960s when it was discovered by Brigitte Bardot and her Brazilian boyfriend who alerted the rest of the world turning it into a playground for those who enjoy the good life.