By Kauan Novack
Brazilian fashion has perhaps the greatest beach wear market in the world. Not only do we have famous designer names from the fashion industry in this market, but our warm climate encourages the beach business.
Brazilian designers began to appear on the catwalks consistently during the 1970’s, with the fluid beauty of Zuzu Angel’s creations and Clodovil Hernandes’s elegant strength in haute couture-like dresses. Following these two great icons of Brazilian fashion, others have helped put Brazil on the fashion map. Nowadays, names like Herchcovitch, Fraga, and Colcci are common in fashion magazines and have earned Brazil international recognition for its excellence, making São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro top fashion capitals of the world.
However, far from these two trendy capitals, another city has a developing fashion industry and an exciting perspective on radical ideas in clothing. Curitiba, with its almost 3 million inhabitants, has southern Brazil’s greatest market for fashion as well as a well-developed industry. Additionally, the city has a very chic and critical public, opening the doors for Curitiba to become the biggest fashion commerce laboratory in Brazil.
In Curitiba, you can easily find some exclusive fashion designers in the São Francisco neighborhood, carved in the middle of Curitiba’s Historic Centre. The area today is completely taken up by stores and galleries, where young designers promote effervescence in the local fashion market. The young designers want to be far away from the “fast-fashion” business – clothes produced in series – and closer to creative and authorial production, allying fashion to art.
Anyone who walks through the narrow streets of São Francisco, especially in the area between Largo da Ordem and Trajano Reis Street, will see the newest trends. There are stores with cool facades, which are getting attention through alternative products that appeal to a demanding alternative public in search of movements outside the mainstream.
One location, the region’s biggest and flashiest, is Gallery Lúdica – a conceptual space that links fashion to design and art. It’s an art gallery, fashion store, and café combined.
Another great place to visit is Novo Louvre, a gallery near Largo da Ordem, where fashion, art and architecture are blended in an elegant way. With its own creations and label, this gallery also works with other designs and has innovative projects in fashion. Down the street, there’s Salão Lolitas, which mixes fashion and style. A bit up the alley can be found Lisa Simpson’s atelier, where she customizes vintage clothes in an avant-garde initiative of recycling as an alternative to current fashion trends.
Fashion trends do not really matter for these Curitibana designers who work mostly against the market trends. Their desire is uniting ideas that respect individual artistry, bringing the connection between designer and public closer.