Rafael Kouto

Grey Sheep



zürich / switzerland


Sandberg Instituut

Graduation year


Main Manufacturing Countries


Rafael Kouto is an avant-garde, experimental and conceptual fashion brand with integrity and purpose established in 2017. The brand is characterized by a distinctive, visionary aesthetic merging the African and Western culture. The brand is cultivating an uncompromised approach to sustainability as it exclusively uses the technique of pre- and post- consumer upcycling to create new clothes and accessories. It also guarantees high quality and unique items exclusively remade in Switzerland by using local manufacturing, refined with traditional, artisanal couture techniques and crafts. Rafael Kouto is a brand that aims to move the textile industry forward towards greater impact in environmental sustainability, increase access to high quality, creative and affordable fashion that stands out from the mass market offer and that hits the zeitgeist.

Rafael Kouto is a Swiss fashion, textile and research designer, winner of the Diesel Award and Lotto Sport Award at ITS-International Talents Support 2019 (Trieste, IT) and the Swiss Design Award in 2018 and 2019 (Basel, CH). He graduated in 2017 with a MA in Fashion Matters at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, and previously graduated, in 2014, from the Institute of Fashion Design Academy of Arts and Design FHNW in Basel.

During his work experiences in Couture at Alexander McQueen, at Maison Martin Margiela and at Carven, as well as at Ethical Fashion at Ethical Fashion Initiative, United Nations - International Trade Center, he developed a strong interest in environmental and sustainable production methodologies focusing on open source innovative design, craftsmanship and high quality materials.

Kouto’s commitment is to continue researching and promoting the use of upcycling of textile waste, deadstock and other materials into the creative and production process for his own namesake brand. He also works on high visibility collaborations and consultancy with other brands, manufacturers and academics interested in sustainable methods and strategies, ethical fashion and textiles. This includes the creative direction and development of engaging strategies and projects for its promotion.

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