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Gisele Bundchen, famous Sao Paulo fashion icon
Gisele Bundchen, famous Sao Paulo fashion icon
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A Guide to São Paulo Fashion In 30 Seconds

Picture of India Doyle
Updated: 7 September 2016
In her new book 30-Second Fashion: The 50 key modes, garments, and designers, editor Rebecca Arnold collates a quick fire guide to fashion around the world. In this extract, contributor Rebecca Straub brings you the debrief on São Paulo fashion. You can also read the 30 second guides to China and Tokyo on The Culture Trip.

From models to fashion designers, Brazilians play a role in shaping the look of fashion both in and outside of South America.

30-SECOND FASHION by Rebecca Arnold of the Courtauld Institute of Art
30-SECOND FASHION by Rebecca Arnold of the Courtauld Institute of Art

Boasting the largest GDP in Latin America, as well as substantial communities of Italian, Lebanese and Japanese immigrants, São Paulo is a diverse state and cosmopolitan city. While domestically viewed as a stylish shopping destination, recent global interest has cast it as the epicentre of fashion in South America. Iguatemi São Paulo, the first mall of Brazil, opened in the 1960s, catering to affluent consumers and carrying primarily foreign and luxury retail brands. A function of both security and consumer desire, the bulk of Brazilian retail fashion is concentrated and consumed in malls. The growth of the middle class has spurred the development of malls that feature local and low-cost apparel brands. Stores such as Lojas Riachuelo, Lojas Renner and Lojas Marisa stand alongside international players like Topshop, Gap and Zara. Brazil’s most densely populated metropolis also plays host to São Paulo Fashion Week, the fifth largest behind London, Paris, New York and Milan respectively. Founded in 1996, this biannual affair draws nearly a million visitors and showcases the work of more than 40 Brazil-based designers. Alexandre Herchcovitch, PatBo and Uma all create garments that have drawn an international audience and counter the dismissive assertion that only swimwear is produced in South America.

3-SECOND BIOGRAPHIES

ALEXANDRE HERCHCOVITCH

1971–

Central Saint Martins graduate and influential Brazilian designer who started his eponymous line in 1994

GISELE BÜNDCHEN

1980–

The world’s highest-paid model chose the Spring 2015 Colcci show during São Paulo Fashion Week to retire from modelling

30-SECOND FASHION:

The 50 Key Modes, garments and designers

by Dr Rebecca Arnold (Ed.)

The Ivy Press / Wordery

160pp. / £14.99