Empress was founded in São Paulo in 2010, by Dutch-Brazilian CEO & Founder Catherine Maaskant. Back then, still living in the Netherlands, her initial idea was to bring the Brazilian beachwear aesthetic to her country. In her opinion, there was a clear gap in the Dutch market for a cool beach - wear brand, so she decided to create a Brazilian yet inter - national inspired collection to present to the Dutch public. 

“When I started, I had no experience in fashion, but being an eager learner and a hard worker, I designed the first collection which turned out to be a success, shortly after launch. It was published in several high profile magazines in Brazil, which al- lowed the brand to expand quickly. Today I am still responsible for the designs and creative direction of Empress Brasil. I love staying in my studio in São Paulo, sketch new designs, do re- search and get inspired by being in the midst of beautiful fabrics and hardware. That’s where inspiration explodes!”

-Catherine Maaskant


Meet Catherine Maaskant, Founder & CEO of Empress Brasil. She is the heart of the company. In 2010 she founded the Brazilian brand that today has grown to be internationally recognized.

Born to a Brazilian mother and a Dutch father, Catherine has lived most of her life in the Netherlands. Although she graduated in aerospace engineering, she decided to follow her dream of be- coming entrepreneur in the fashion industry, and moved to Sao Paulo. That’s how Empress Brasil was born. 

Today Catherine lives in New York and travels between the United States and Brazil to take care of the company. “I get a lot of inspiration from New York as well. It’s a vibrant city, where people come with a dream to succeed. Its work mentality and philoso- phy of living is something I completely identify with. Being in New York, a world fashion capital, I attend events by other crea- tors and taste makers which gives me a lot of inspiration and have made the international flavor of my creations even stronger .