In recent years, Brazil has been making significant tracks in the world of fashion and design. Although it still has some strides to take before it reaches the fashion giants such as London, Paris and Milan, it certainly has been creating ripples in the fashion world. Here are some of the most exciting designers from Rio to keep your eye on.
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Barbara Casasola pursued her fashion career in London by training at Central Saint Martins before graduating in fashion capital, Milan. She later worked for Roberto Cavalli in Florence, adding a valuable hands-on experience to her already impressive résumé. This all came together in 2013 when she returned to London with her debut collection at the White Cube gallery. Today, she continues to inspire by creating clothes with clean lines, simple elegance and in neutral shades.
Tufi Duek is known for his exceptionally tailored jeans and lavish evening dresses. He is also behind famous labels Forum and Triton. Forum is sold in over 150 stores throughout the US, a credit to his keen eye and ability to produce what consumers want, while maintaining his unique signature style. This brand also enjoyed a partnership with the art director Giovanni Bianca for six years. Triton appeals to the youth culture with its innovative designs, bold patterns and playful flair.
One of Brazil’s most famous jewelry designers, Ara Vartanian designs beautifully crafted pieces with unusual additions such as inverted diamonds and two or three-finger rings, some in the shape of octopuses that sprawl across the fingers. His store in Rio de Janeiro is based in Village Mall shopping center in Barra da Tijuca, one of Rio’s most exclusive and upscale malls. He branched out to London after encouragement from model Kate Moss, who fell in love with his work after a visit to Brazil. Vartanian now has a boutique decked with vintage items and dim lighting in affluent area, Mayfair in London.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Patricia Viera spent several years working in London for designer Sally Mee. This set the ball rolling for her career in fashion, yet it wasn’t until she returned to Brazil and worked for Mauro Taubman managing the shoe lines of Company and Companhia de Pés that she discovered her love and passion for leather. In 1998 she started her own brand and has been participating in São Paulo Fashion Week since 2006. She also has a label called Pat Pat’s which was made in collaboration with her daughter and is aimed at a younger audience.
Having graduated in Graphic Design, Julia Vidal started selling clothes at a local fair in Rio de Janeiro. Her work eventually became recognized and she began to design dresses for famous Brazilian singers. Vidal started her own brand named Julia Vidal Moda Etnica, which showcases Brazilian culture through patterns that suggest fluidity and sensuality, and by using strong, bold colurs.
Alessandra Migani completed a Masters in design in London before returning to Brazil to start her own brand, Casa da Alessa, a label that specializes in apparel for women. To help expand internationally, she started to experiment with clothes that used only raw materials from Brazil to help distinguish herself from other brands. Soon enough, her designs caught the attention of Selfridges in London where she started to sell her line. Nowadays, Migani sells her clothes throughout Brazil and 30 other countries including France, England, Japan and Spain.