Sao Paulo’s Reality Show
While the rest of the fashion world is reeling, the mood here in Brazil isn’t quite as fearful. Thanks to a robust domestic market, which accounts for around 97 percent of apparel sales, and high government taxes on imported brands, the Brazilian fashion industry has been able to offset some of the impact of contracting credit markets and weaker currency. At SPFW, the sponsoring organizations are hosting 130 journalists from around the world, an enormous increase over past seasons. Yet at the same time, most designers seem to be aware that things won’t continue in this expansive vein. They’re staging smaller shows on spare sets with mostly somber clothes. Ronaldo Fraga found an innovative way to cut back on costs, casting his show with senior citizens and young kids, the kind of models who are willing to wake up for less than $10,000 a day. Forget about fringe or futurism, the biggest trend to emerge from SPFW is reality.