Travel Diary: Sister Designers Lizzy and Darlene Okpo in Brazil
Hurricane Sandy hit New York’s South Street Seaport hard. But over the course of two years, the neighborhood has made an incredible comeback, thanks largely to an influx of new businesses like clothing line William Okpo.
“Darlene and I are honored to a part of the rebirth of the Seaport,” said co-owner Lizzy Okpo. “Upon opening we were so anxious to finally build our brand and tell our story, our way. Our complete inspiration was built around the idea of a rainforest and tropical places: Guatemala, Peru, Brazil.”
“We wanted to really bring South America to the Seaport,” she said. “So we've started to begin doing research on having our brand produced in a South American country. This idea led to more research and travels. We started our South America journey with a trip to Guatemala three months ago, and now Brazil.”
Onward, for photos from the team’s recent trip to Rio.
Selaron Steps Rio
The steps took 20 years for the artist, Jorge Selaron, to complete. The homage to Rio features beautiful ceramic tile work.
La Maison By Dussol Hotel
This hotel was unlike any other—each room was inspired by a famous city or place, and we had the pleasure of staying in the Copacabana and New York City rooms. Just sitting on the balcony you could see the beautiful favelas and Cristo De Redeemer standing on the highest mountain in Rio. Here’s a photo of our beautiful view of the Tijuca Rainforest.
You could get lost here. Located between Leblon and Ipanema, it’s one of the largest gardens in the world. It never ends. After Jardim Botânico, we headed to Tijuca. We were so excited to do a tour of the forest to see the monkeys.
Words can’t explain how amazing food and drinks are at ZaZa Bistro. We had great meals from Chef Classic like cod Armando and curry chicken.
This was quite a sensitive tour for the four of us, and astonishing beautiful. All natives to The Bronx, we were hesitant to tour the favelas only because we were weary about the idea of taking photos given the history of extreme poverty. Once we arrived at the Rochina favela, we were happy we decided to go. Thirty percent of Rio's population is the working class who migrated to Rio and live in these neighborhoods. New York and Rio aren’t the same, but we all felt a connection with the community growing up in the Bronx, and having our families move to NYC from different countries for work.
Ipanema Beach, Copacabana Beach, Arpoador Beach Rock
On beaches in Rio, you see the most amazing bathing suits and the most beautiful confidence. I felt like the most over-dressed person, so much so that I was pretty tempted to buy a thong bikini set from the man selling them on the beaches. Maybe next time.
Clubhouse Rio is the place to dance to world music. The owner is a photographer, and wonderful prints fill the room.
One every block, we were spoiled with the best graffiti art. It was as though we were in an outside museum that lasted for miles.
This is just a beautiful stone historical site.