Consider him Rio de Janeiro’s reigning Renaissance man. Though best known as the style director behind powerhouse surf-turned-runway brand Osklen — one of Brazil’s most influential fashion labels — Oskar Metsavaht also moonlights as an artist, physician and filmmaker.
“I just co-produced a movie called ‘Soundtrack’ that is going to be launched next February in the U.S. and Brazil,” the 55-year-old said of the film, for which Osklen provided costumes.
Another of his passions: Om.Art, a new special-projects studio that recently hosted an exhibition reimagining the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue by various artists. But the designer’s boldest work to date might be the repurposing of Amazonian pirarucu fish skins, which launched in Brazil several years ago and is now available in the U.S.
“The skin was discarded in the trash,” said Metsavaht. “We developed an exclusive, sustainable tanning process, so the skin becomes interesting aesthetically and comfortable to use on our shoes, clothing and accessories. As a consequence, Amazonian fishers have a better income.”
As the Olympics get into full swing, the entrepreneur and sportsman (who practices Gyrotonics, swims and surfs daily in front of his house) shares his guide to all things Rio.
Signatures of Rio style “Laid-back, where simplicity and sophistication are in balance.”
Olympic reflections “I admire those who dedicate themselves to conquer through dedication and collaboration.”
Latest collection inspiration “The Greek gods of Olympia meet the spirit of Rio de Janeiro. I called this collection ‘Golden Spirit.’ ”
Go-to shoes “My own. I was an orthopedics and sports medicine doctor, which helped me to design shoes for Osklen that are comfortable and not just about aesthetics.”
Brazilian tunes on shuffle “‘Clube de Esquina’ and ‘Geraes’ by Milton Nascimento.”
The secret to good health “Our fresh fruit juices at any corner of the city. I suggest ordering passion fruit mixed with another tropical fruit. I’m also a big fan of Greenpeople cold-pressed juice.”