chapter  10
Fashion Brazil: South American style, culture, and industry
Pages 13

The symbolic appeal that stimulates consumer interest in fashion is usually based on aspects of the “new,” the singular, the different. In an attempt to confer meanings, cutting-edge fashion designers have made aesthetic references to the clothing of “exotic” countries, as a stimulus to new fashion cycles and trends. Nowadays, as European fashion designers search for greater and more diverse design inspiration, they are also paying attention to the new styles that are emerging in countries formerly marginal to the global systems of haute couture and ready-to-wear. “Latin style” has emerged as a fashion focus, centered in particular on Brazil. From Havaianas sandals and Rosa Chá bikinis, to Alexandre Herchcovitch’s more conceptual designs, Brazilian fashion, with its strong ethnic appeal, and sometimes almost theatrical tendencies, is becoming a new fashion tendency. Brazilian fashion designers are referencing the exotic, the urban, and the marginal, as sources of design innovation, and in turn they are providing a stimulus to a once-dwindling clothing industry.