Guest Author - Valerie Aguilar
Sao Paolo has long been the Queen of Fashion for Latin Americans but it is not to be neglected on the world stage. Sao Paolo ranks in the top ten fashion capitals along with Paris, New York, London, Barcelona and Madrid. Brazil produces some of the world’s top designers, fashion houses and top models. Sao Paolo Fashion Week is one of the foremost fashion events in the world.
Some of Brazil’s most popular and notable brands include the world renowned Havainas sandals, the most stylish flip flops ever. Arezzo is known for apparel, accessories and is the leading women’s footwear brand in Latin America. Arezzo has been awarded for being the best franchise in Brazil and it is ranked as one of Brazil’s top brands. Compania Hering or Cia Hering is the leading clothing textile company in Latin America and boasts over seven hundred retail clothing stores. Hering runs stores in Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela while distributing its products all over the world. Renner Stores founded in 1912 sold men’s wool clothing that was cold, wind and rain resistant which became essential for cowboys. Renner is now the second largest department store chain in Brazil.
Sao Paolo Fashion Week, the semi-annual trade show, is Latin America’s most prestigious fashion event and is rated fifth in the world after New York, London, Paris and Milan. Brazil is not to be outdone when it comes to superlative fashion designers. Brazilian Francisco Costa is the Women’s Creative Director for the Calvin Klein collection. Former history professor, Salama Amir is famous for his Rosa Cha brand which is constantly expounded on by Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Sports Illustrated and Cosmopolitan among many others. Alexandre Herchcovitch, well known for his trademark skulls which became the icon of youth in the nineties. His designs are seen on the runways of all the major fashion events as he quickly became a serious name in the fashion world.
Carlos Miele designs are sold in over thirty countries and he has flagship stores in Sao Paolo, New York City and Paris. Miele’s clothing often features traditional Brazilian elements supplied by local artisans. Clodovil Hernandez designed gowns worn by Miss Brazil and Miss Universe. Tufi Duek is iconic for his jeans wear and also recognized for his sophisticated evening gowns. Bruno Basso of the Basso and Brooks label is moving up in the fashion world. Michele Obama wore one of his gowns at an evening of Poetry, Music and the Spoken Word in the White House.
Oskar Metsavaht, is the designer behind the luxury Osklen brand with stores in Brazil, Italy, Greece, USA and Japan. Osklen is one of my several favorites. A brilliant young designer, Pedro Lourenco is blowing away the fashion world with his acclaimed resort wear. He follows in the footsteps of his mother, Gloria Coelho and his father, Pedro Lourenco both highly acclaimed in the world of fashion. Maria Bonito designs clothing and her accessories are especially delightful.
Not to be outdone by the brilliant designers Brazil turns out the most beautiful and famous models. It seems like Brazil is where Victoria’s Secret shops for their hottest models. Some of the Brazilians who started out as Victoria’s Secret models are Gisele Bundchen who makes about twenty-five million dollars a year as a model, Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima, Izabel Goulart, Flavia de Oliveira, Raquel Zimmerman, Ana Beatris Barros and Isabeli Fontana. Some of Brazil’s models did not start out with Victoria’s Secret. Camila Alves started modeling in New York. She is now married to film star Matthew McConaughey and designs handbags. Cintia Dicker works the runways and the pages of Sports Illustrated. Male model, Marlon Teixeira was the only male model to walk in the spring 2014 Chanel show.
Brazil has produced many more fashion designers, models and acclaimed fashion labels than I can mention in this short article. I have discussed the ones with whose work I am familiar due to the beauty and celebrity of the designs. Brazil is the up and coming fashion hot spot. Brazil’s models rule magazines. Not only are Brazilians inspiring high fashion, they are buying it too. Brazil welcomed openings of the big names like Chanel, Vuitton, Dior and Valentino.