By Carolina Soares
There is no doubt that Brazil is in a special moment, mainly driven by the World Cup and the Olympics. Currently, the interest in its culture and economy has broken barriers and is in a global level. Being Brazilian and not be there in a time like this generates a number of interesting situations: every week someone asks me why I left a country with such a good and promising situation to live in one with crisis and high unemployment. Maybe for Brazilians reality is not so optimistic, but it’s true that there are great and good opportunities in this land known for the energy of the people, beauty and natural resources.
One of these opportunities is certainly in fashion. The favorable economic moment, along with the interest of Brazilians in this sector, made many luxury brands invest in the country. The consumers in Brazil have very sharp eyes for quality, style and international trends, being great consumers of expensive and sophisticated garments. Considering that, in the last five years brands like Dior, Burberry, Prada, Chanel and Hermes started its operations in Brazil – and are still rising. On the other hand, fast fashion stores also focused on the Brazilian market: Zara, for example, has 50 stores in the country – but it’s important to point that this number could be higher, since tax costs there are very expensive, detracting the entry of new brands. Anyways, Gap, Top Shop and Forever 21 have managed to start operations recently (this last with queues of up to 3 hours) and there are rumors that H&M will arrive soon.
About the international market, if before we were recognized only for Gisele Bündchen or the Havaianas flip flops, today things have changed. The fashion of Brazil had a boom, evidenced for example by the large number of Brazilian designers operating in the world. It’s true that there is high demand for the “Brazilianness”, translated by a stripped, sexy and colorful fashion. But on the other hand, Brazil’s fashion seems to be moving away from these stereotypes to offer something beyond, like really well designed, cool and sophisticated garments – without losing its identity.
The are many examples about: Osklen, by Oskar Metsavaht, took its conceptual and sophisticated style to countries like USA, Australia, Italy, Greece, Argentina and Japan. Patricia Bonaldi, famous for its well-finished garments, is selling today in more than 15 countries – including Spain. Martha Medeiros, known for its elegant lace, is present in luxury stores like Bergdorf Goodman (USA), Luisa Via Roma (Italy) and Harvey Nichols (England). Lenny Niemeyer, bikini designer, conquered celebrities like Lady Gaga and Carolina Herrera, and now has 23 stores only in U.S. Isolda, famous for its fruit prints combined with geometric elements gained the attention of the major fashionists of the world. And is important to point that all these brands are also at their best moment in Brazil.
Two other good examples of the union of the “cool Brazilianness” are the partnerships between the Brazilian brand Farm and Adidas (that resulted in sports clothing with a tropical flair, sold worldwide), and between Melissa and Karl Lagerfeld, who designed an elegant collection for the Brazilian brand famous for its plastic shoes.
If in World Cup the result of Brazil was bad, in fashion we have much to celebrate.