São Paulo’s fashion scene is thriving with dozens of young, talented professionals making a name for themselves every year. The city’s two annual Fashion Weeks attract national and international names of the fashion world, and consolidate the work and talent of those who display their collections. Here is a guide to 12 fashion designers from São Paulo that you should know about.
The 40-something fashion designer launched his first label in 1994 with a skull print collection. From then on, Herchcovitch became a favorite of the rebel youths of the 21st century. Over the years, however, the designer has moved away from his punk roots and started to produce more contemporary garments. After working for a series of labels, Herchcovitch started to focus his energy on a new clothing line, À La Garçonne, which made its debut in the 2016 São Paulo Fashion Week.
Showing his collections at São Paulo’s Fashion Week (SPFW) since 2010, designer João Pimenta has worked creating clothes with a few labels, but nothing as exciting as his newest partnership with LAB, the clothing brand owned by rappers Emicida and Evandro Fióti. During the 2016 SPFW, Pimenta brought out the Yasuke collection which promoted the meeting of Africa and Japan, fashion and music. Pimenta’s most recent designs are clothes with no specific gender classification, to meet all styles and body types.
A newcomer to the São Paulo design community, Renato Ratier is already well known in the city as one of the owners of the incredibly popular nightclub D-Edge. After more than 15 years in the music business, Ratier turned his hand to clothing design and is establishing himself as a major player in the São Paulo fashion arena. The product mix includes jackets, parkas, shorts and leather trousers, as well as shirts and vests. Everything one might wear to his nightclub.
Amir Slama entered the world of fashion in 1993 in a partnership with his wife Riva when they inaugurated Rosa Chá, one of Brazil’s most acclaimed beachwear brands. In 2011, almost 20 years after the launch of Rosa Chá, Amir Slama, decided to re-invent himself all over again, creating a label that bears his name. The designer returned to São Paulo Fashion Week with the Slama label and was a huge success.
Samuel Cirnansck entered the world of fashion 10 years ago as an assistant costume designer for theater and opera performers. In 2004 he opened his own atelier in one of São Paulo’s upscale neighborhoods, where he creates tailor-made exquisite gowns for brides, debutantes, bridesmaids and celebrities. After more than 12 successful collections shown at São Paulo Fashion Week, the designer proves he is still at the forefront of national and international fashion.
The son of Lebanese immigrants, the São Paulo native launched his first label, Der Haten, in 1987, later changing it to his own name, Fause Haten. His bold creativity and unique way of presenting his designs made him a big name in the Brazilian design scene by the 1990s. Haten also invested in other careers such as acting, participating in theater pieces, and singing, producing a CD in 2013. In 2016 the performer/designer returned to the catwalk, opening up the 41st São Paulo Fashion Week with clothes placed on life-size dolls all resembling French icon Marlene Dietrich.
Architect Paula Raia began her clothing brand in 2010 and instantly became one of São Paulo’s favorite designers. Known for her meticulous, handcrafted collections, Raia favors the natural fiber, color and texture of materials. Her clothes are delicate and value the seamstress’ handiwork. The designer works with small shops and the pieces take up to two months to be completed. Raia’s designs use mostly organza, linen, cotton and silk fabrics to construct flowing garments in off-white, mauve, sandy-auburn and light rose hues.
As a history major, Thiago Marcon says he transforms the classics into something appealing for the younger generations as main designer for Ellus 2nd Floor. Classic florals receive a more contemporary look in his designs. Marcon started at Ellus when the important Brazilian label started to give young designers a chance to show their talent. When in 2007 the company decided to launch a second label geared towards the younger crowd, it asked Marcon to be its style coordinator.
Fabia Bercsek is one of those creators who designs clothes for the people on the street, the consumers. Her designs are the type that could be found in middle class clothing stores, but with a unique addition or fabric gain another life and meaning. In 2016 Bercsek introduced designs which contain bioactive minerals and infrared technology, which absorbs heat from the human body and returns it in the form of infrared rays. These rays interact with the body stimulating the blood microcirculation.
Although he graduated with a university degree in accounting services, Valdemar Iodice built an empire in the fashion design sector. Iodice is today one of the most important fashion labels in Brazil, internationally recognized for design and quality. The label has been at the São Paulo Fashion Week since its first edition back in 1995, and Iodice has evolved from jean-based clothes to adopting other types of fabrics and styles. Today the brand is present in 500 of Brazil’s largest multi-brand stores and distributed to 240 outlets outside Brazil, among them Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
Known as “l’enfant terrible” of the São Paulo fashion design circuit for his quarrels with SPFW officials, Carlos Miele, creator of successful label M. Officer, decided to leave Brazil back in 2001 and try his luck abroad. His perseverance paid off and he was able to establish himself as an international designer, dressing clients such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Camilla Belle and Scarlett Johansson. Miele eventually made it back home to São Paulo, opening up a 300 square meter store in one of the ritziest shopping centers in the city. The designer now, in addition to M.Officer, also has a label that carries his name, Carlos Miele.
An established fashion designer in São Paulo whose clothes look more like sculpture pieces, Yamamoto values the handicraft of hand-made stitching combined with new techniques. Favoring darker shades, Yamamoto’s clothes in her most recent collections play with the notions of chalk line and loose, white threads on a black background.