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Yes, we have Brazilian jeans!

The name in the diminutive, Dorinha Reynolds, 40, or “little Dora“ in Portuguese, may reflect her short height or her sweetness, but it certainly contrasts with her grandeur. Born in Parai­ba, Northeastern Brazil, the youngest of 15 siblings, Dorinha came from a humble childhood, matured in Sao Paulo working in the campaign of former state governor Luiz Anti´nio Fleury and now has found her niche in Canada.
If anyone had any doubts about the strength of Brazilian women, she erases them immediately. Her brand, Dorinha Jeans Wear, was established in 2001 and has found enormous success in Vancouver and abroad through online sales. Her “Dorinha Girls“ have walked on the catwalks of Vancouver Fashion Week, displaying the audacious “one-inch zipper“ she is famous for, and celebrity Nelly Furtado has declared her devotion to Dorinha’s jeans. At her store in Coquitlam Centre, with her sweet smile and captivating charisma, Dorinha told her story to Brazilian Vibe, revealing her vulnerability when reminising about her family, as well as her determination to establish a successful life in Canada.
Brazilian Vibe ” How did you end up in Vancouver?
Dorinha Reynolds ”A When I worked for Sao Paulo’s State Department of Culture, I attended many meetings with consuls of Anglophone countries and began to feel the need to learn English. As a result I came to study the language here in 1992. I chose Canada because, after some research, I realized that people have a clearer accent here. After the course was over, I went back and forth between Brazil and Canada, but eventually established myself permanently in Vancouver around 1995. I began studying Psychology and English at Langara College and was acting in movies. Nowadays, I feel it is almost more natural for me to speak English than Portuguese, but I still find my mother tongue beautiful and sexy. “Como vai voce?“ is a lot sexier than “How are you?“.
BV ” What made you stay in Vancouver?
Dorinha ”A When I experience something new, it interests me. It’s like a first date. I went back to Brazil with new knowledge and was proud to carry it with me. In Canada I found the same welcoming environment I would find at my family’s home and I also found opportunities. I know I could find them in Brazil as well, if I looked for them, but here I am unique. Sometimes it’s easier to do what we like and to set ourselves apart from others. Perhaps in Brazil people would see me as just another designer. That is why I will only expand my brand to Brazil once it’s famous enough here.
BV ” When did you come up with the idea of establishing a brand with your name in Vancouver?
Dorinha ”A When I worked on Fleury’s campaign, he was a man nobody knew of, not famous at all. Our team crafted the Fleury idea: he won the election due to the team’s hard work with a number of other companies and people. It was very cool to build something big from scratch and to see the celebrations on the streets after the results of the elections were in. Making something out of nothing is possible. As for my name being on the brand, every time I tell someone my name, their reaction is: “Oh! What a beautiful name!“ I do not want to sound vain, but everyone liked the name Dorinha so I named the brand after myself.
BV ”A How did the idea of the one-inch zipper come about?
Dorinha ”A Whenever I went out to buy jeans, I came home unsatisfied and with ill-fitting clothes. There was always some gaps here or bunching there. I took that as my challenge – to make myself a perfect-fitting pair of jeans! The torso of a woman is smaller than a man’s, so I designed a small zipper that was compatible with the woman’s torso and didn’t leave any extra room in the front when I sat down. It had to be flat, sexy and beautiful, without any problems. That is how I created the one-inch zipper. And every woman who wears the jeans looks behind and says: “Wow, I have a butt!“
BV ” How do you choose the Dorinha Girls? What do you look for?
Dorinha ”A Before anything, a Dorinha Girl must have a genuine smile. I do not like snobbish people and I can only work with those who are genuine and honest. Being beautiful is one thing, but if they cannot get along with the other girls and if they are not interested in personal development, they do not make the team. We have a familial relationship and we want them to grow together with the brand. Shay Mittchell and Serinda Swan, for example, are great actresses nowadays and they began their careers here with me. If I say “hi“ to one of them, it is not a “hi“ from Dorinha to a famous actress, but a “hi“ from Dorinha to a Dorinha Girl. There is this affection.
BV ” How is it to be a mother and a businesswoman at the same time?
Dorinha ”A I used to be against cloning, but now I support it. I would be the first one to raise a hand and say: “Me! Please, clone me! Ten at least!“ Sometimes I do not believe how busy my day is. If someone is five minutes late for an appointment with me, the rest falls apart. Besides work, I look after my two boys: Keenan Cicero, age four, and Braden Marcelo, age one. They are my life. And my husband, of course, Dale Reynolds. He is in charge of the brand’s marketing and gives the company public visibility.
BV ” What do you miss the most about Brazil?
Dorinha ”A My father. He is 88. The prettiest thing in the world. He has never been to Canada and, being a very simple person from the Northeast, he would not. I bought him a country home in Sao Paulo, where he could be more comfortable, but he only stayed there for a year before deciding to go back to his rammed earth shack, washing his feet in front of the house. I miss him and this simplicity.
BV ” Why do your jeans have names of Brazilian women?
Dorinha ”A Ninety per cent of my trousers have my sisters’ names or nicknames. It is a way of paying homage to them. I love my family. We are very united and I am their diamond, the youngest of them. I do what I can and even what I cannot for them, emotionally and financially. Sometimes, I take from myself to give to them. When I told my sister Lourdes that I had named one of my jeans Didi, her nickname, she was very happy and asked me to bring her one on my next trip to Brazil. So, all this has a lot of meaning. I like meaningful things.
BV ” What is the future of Dorinha and of Dorinha Jeans Wear?
Dorinha ”A I will keep working, putting my heart into the business; selling products that people like not just because they are jeans, but for what they represent. When wearing these jeans, a woman feels empowered. Sometimes it is not the product that makes the difference, but how you feel in this product. I want to offer this to my clients, always. I want them to try the clothes and discover themselves. The other day, a client asked me: “What is your secret? I do not have aA round butt, but in these pants¦ Take a look!“ She stared at her backside for 15 minutes in all the mirrors, called her husband and said: “You will not believe my butt!“ At the end of the day, it was the happiness I saw in her that cheered me up. She has a great body but she was wearing clothes that hid it. I made a product that accentuated what she already had and she rediscovered herself. Dorinha Jeans strives to create clothes in which people rediscover themselves every time they wear them.
Photo by: Lucas Socio

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