Diversity Flows in São Paulo

São Paulo Fashion Week’s 48th edition came to an end last Friday and will be remembered as a turning point for the meaning of diversity in fashion. Inclusion – and its multiple facets – was a central theme for designers as a response to the current government scrutiny towards the LGBT+ community.

Breaking down gender rules was a fundamental pillar in the castings and, in many of the shows, identifying the sex of the models was ambiguous. Trans model Sam Porto – who walked the runway at the Cavalera show shirtless, showing-off his new manly body shape, a scar from his recent mastectomy and the protest RESPECT TRANS on his chest – was the scene that no one will forget this season.

João Pimenta, a designer specialized in men's tailoring, was inspired by lesbian women and female masculinity. Lucas Leão, 27, presented a collection with futuristic digital prints – an exceptional out-of-this-world mood – featuring models of different genres. It really didn't matter if they were women or men. They connected through style and attitude, blurring the lines between male and female characteristics.  

The same genderless feeling was palpable in the Beira show, but with calm and restraint, amid a monochromatic collection of smart ensembles. This socially conscious movement is more about attitude than it is about clothes. It felt really good to see the kids being themselves and feeling great about it. Body positivity and transgenerational beauty was also everywhere, filling the catwalk with women of different sizes and ages, in shows such as Fernanda Yamamoto and Free Free, both of which made the audience cry.

SPFW also addressed inclusion of the Afro-Brazilian community in the local system. Newcomer Isaac Silva presented a collection celebrating Afro-Brazilian religions and his African ancestry. Inclusivity was primal and expressed through Silva’s exclusively black model casting. Before this edition of São Paulo Fashion Week, when we talked about diversity in Brazilian fashion, it was mostly regarding the lack of African-Brazilian models on the runways. In this edition, the top five models were all afro descendants. Nayara Oliveira, Mari Calazan, Isadora Oliveira, Elle Maciel, and Raynara Negrine are the new faces of Brazilian fashion.

Even if it is still considered to be the most important fashion event in South America, SPFW isn’t what it used to be. And that’s just fine. Where once supermodel Gisele walked down the runway under the eye of famed critics such as Suzy Menkes, now the scene is more local; models and designers are young, and the whole scene is less international and festive. In other words, Brazil’s fashion scene is still thriving, and designers are constantly evolving, even if SPFW’s impact is now on a more local level. Back in the early 2000s when Gisele was strutting down the runway, the collections were a big collage of what was shown in Milan and Paris during the previous season. This new isolation – due to the economical and political crises – gave designers an avenue to be more creative, original, and to create fashion that caters to local needs. Now, that might be the best thing that emerged from this crisis. Brazilian designers seem to be more in sync with who they really are: they are focused on making significant impacts on their own culture and society, instead of mimicking international brands with the hope of stepping inside the global fashion circuit.

In São Paulo, local expression becomes precious. At a time when a giant like Brazil makes a fashion event for its own people and not for international press, it is rewarding to see an evolution in terms of ideas, materials, and shapes but also models, designers, and behaviour. Brazilians are looking within and using fashion as a tool to rise again, embracing the young generation and giving them a place to belong. Now, that's a statement we won't forget.

 

SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
A Verdict on Digital Fashion Week
By Fabio Ciquera
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations,...
By Fabio Ciquera
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations, online happenings and symposia. One cannot accuse luxury houses to lack inventiveness, and there is a genuine appreciation for the quick turnaround in moving everything online. From Loewe to Prada and...
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations, online happenings and symposia. One cannot accuse luxury houses to lack inventiveness, and there is a genuine appreciation for the quick turnaround in moving everything online. From Loewe to Prada and Dior, among the many names, the creative solutions have been exciting to watch. This new reality...
Revival LDN: The Upcycled Fashion Brand Aiming At Helping the Environment
By Alice Ierace
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through...
By Alice Ierace
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through research and proposals, have tried to lessen the fashion industry’s huge impact on the environment. However, despite the efforts, many are still the fast-fashion brands ignoring the issue. The problem is...
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through research and proposals, have tried to lessen the fashion industry’s huge impact on the environment. However, despite the efforts, many are still the fast-fashion brands ignoring the issue. The problem is that, no matter how sustainable they deem they are, we are still living in a fast-paced environment...
Reflections on Life post Lockdown at MFW
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021...
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021 and Women’s Resort 2021 collections with an informal gathering at Milan’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel. “We are finally back together, in the garden of this iconic hotel, in the heart of Milan’s...
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021 and Women’s Resort 2021 collections with an informal gathering at Milan’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel. “We are finally back together, in the garden of this iconic hotel, in the heart of Milan’s Montenapoleone district. We want to highlight that we are a family, that Etro is a family living in a world...
White Mountaineering Brings Back BLK Line
By Elisa Carassai
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese...
By Elisa Carassai
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese designer Yosuke Aizawa. This season, the designer not only presented an exclusive film directed by Daito Manabe from the Rhizomatiks, but he also decided to relaunch his original BLK line. Launched in 2009,...
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese designer Yosuke Aizawa. This season, the designer not only presented an exclusive film directed by Daito Manabe from the Rhizomatiks, but he also decided to relaunch his original BLK line. Launched in 2009, White Mountaineering’s BLK Line proposed a new feel to outdoor wear with high-spec textiles and...
Digital Meets Local at Sunnei
By Elisa Carassai
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo...
By Elisa Carassai
By Elisa Carassai
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo were supposed to move in their newly-bought building, Casa Sunnei. Not being able to move in, and stuck quarantining home, the duo started reflecting on what they could do to move forward, at a slower...
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo were supposed to move in their newly-bought building, Casa Sunnei. Not being able to move in, and stuck quarantining home, the duo started reflecting on what they could do to move forward, at a slower pace.  “During the lockdown, I realized we were moving at a pace that was too fast - we were...
A Play of Poetics at MFW
By Elisa Carassai
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was...
By Elisa Carassai
By Elisa Carassai
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was Massimo Giorgetti’s MSGM, with a film celebrating the new Milanese generation of young creatives, as well as the joy of life post-lockdown. Inspired by writer Isabella Santacroce’s book Fluo: Storie di...
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was Massimo Giorgetti’s MSGM, with a film celebrating the new Milanese generation of young creatives, as well as the joy of life post-lockdown. Inspired by writer Isabella Santacroce’s book Fluo: Storie di Giovani a Riccione (“Fluo: Stories of Young People in Riccione”) – who also happens to be from...
Purity and Tradition Intertwine at MFW
By Alice Ierace
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the...
By Alice Ierace
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the announcement back in February stating that Raf Simons would become the brand’s new co-creative director, today we were lucky enough to witness Miuccia’s last solo collection – her final bow after three...
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the announcement back in February stating that Raf Simons would become the brand’s new co-creative director, today we were lucky enough to witness Miuccia’s last solo collection – her final bow after three decades of unforgettable shows.Of course, a simple presentation wasn’t in the plan – it needed that...
Auralee’s Imaginary Journey Through Time
By Alice Ierace
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer...
By Alice Ierace
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer 21 collection during digital Paris Fashion Week as one of the major independent fashion brands.As a brand, Auralee is renowned for its magnificent clean silhouettes, impeccable quality and minimal...
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer 21 collection during digital Paris Fashion Week as one of the major independent fashion brands.As a brand, Auralee is renowned for its magnificent clean silhouettes, impeccable quality and minimal styling. Its aim? A full exploration into the development of their own fabrics. By taking inspiration...