Think Brazilian fashion is only flip-flops and bikinis? Think again. As the Olympic and Paralympic Games kick off in Rio de Janeiro, we take a look at some of the best Brazilian brands and designers bringing some Brazilian flavour to the UK market
The Olympic Games open this week in Rio de Janeiro, throwing the whole of Brazil into the world’s spotlight. Beyond the sport, beaches and sambas, one area in which the country’s culture and craft is thriving is fashion, and brands capitalising on a vibrant Brazilian heritage are creating innovative designs across the globe.
From luxe leather mules and bold handbags to cutting-edge, high-tech swimwear, Brazilian brands and designers are increasingly making an impact in the UK. Here, we bring you seven of Brazil’s best up-and-coming brands:
- Osklen – menswear and womenswear
- Mari Giudicelli – women’s footwear
- Adriana Degreas – beach and swimwear
- Mariana Jungmann – womenswear
- Paula Cademartori – bags and accessories
- Frescobol Carioca – menswear
- Anatomic & Co – men’s shoes
Osklen men’s and women’s wear
Founded by former physician Oskar Metsavhat in 1989, the São Paulo-based label Osklen began life as a sportswear brand, before shifting to the luxury sector 10 years after its creation. Now, Osklen is one of Brazil’s most recognisable labels, showing at São Paulo and New York fashion weeks, and has showrooms in New York, Los Angeles and Milan. In the UK, the brand is stocked by Farfetch, Shopstyle and Yoox.
Osklen autumn 16
Known for its sports-luxe aesthetic, Osklen’s men’s and women’s collections often hark back to its Amazonian heritage, in an array of tropical prints and vibrant, natural colours.
Metsavhat is also considered to be at the forefront of the sustainability movement. Osklen was one of the first brands in Brazil to neutralise its carbon footprint, and its founder has been named a Unesco goodwill ambassador and a World Wildlife Fund “future creator”, thanks to his use of technological and sustainable materials. He is also a board member of Greenpeace. Metsavhat also founded the company Insituto-E, which develops sustainable, technical fabrics using social and environmental criteria.
Retail prices range from $59 (£45) for a T-shirt to $1,669 (£1,270) for a leather jacket. Wholesale prices available on request
Mari Giudicelli women’s footwear
Launching for autumn 16, Mari Giudicelli’s eponymous footwear brand combines a New York chic aesthetic with Brazilian craftsmanship. Founder and designer Giudicelli was born in Rio de Janeiro but moved to New York to train at the Fashion Institute of Technology, during which time she also built a reputation as a muse and model for some of New York’s coolest brands, including Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Mansur Gavriel.
Low-heeled mules and wooden-heeled loafers form the core of the collection, available in a range of glossy leather and lined with calfskin or rabbit fur. The original prototypes were put together by Giudicelli in her Brooklyn flat but, as she prepares to launch her own e-commerce site, production is shifting to a small, family-run factory in Brazil. The brand launched with an exclusive collection at Moda Operandi for spring, and will be stocked there again for autumn 16, but – with more than 30,000 Instagram followers – Giudicelli’s standalone site looks set to be a sell-out when it launches in August.
Retail prices range from £430 for a pair of lizard and calfskin mules to £708 for a pair of lizard and calfskin loafers. Wholesale prices available on request.
Adriana Degreas beach- and swimwear
Founded in 2001, swimwear brand Adriana Degreas creates sleek, luxury beachwear characterised by bold cuts and motifs, exuding a Copacabana glamour. The main line, Bain Couture, is a favourite of the likes of models Kendall Jenner, Poppy Delevingne and Gisele Bündchen and shows its collections on the catwalks in Rio and São Paulo. In the UK the brand is stocked by Net-a-Porter, Harrods and MatchesFashion.com.
Degreas’s swimwear designs are created using the “moulage” drapery technique, which creates an extremely precise fit. After the success of the Bain Couture line, Degreas extended the collection to include a winter line of knitwear, jacquard pieces and fur coats. She has also launched an activewear line, Private Gym, and a children’s line, Le Petit Bain, in Brazil.
Wholesale prices range from £69 for a bikini to £421 for a dress.
Mariana Jungmann womenswear
Fledgling Brazilian womenswear designer Mariana Jungmann trained at the London College of Fashion, displaying her MA graduate collection at London Fashion Week and founding her eponymous label in 2013. After showing her debut solo collection with Fashion Scout at London Fashion Week in 2015, Jungmann showed her next range at Berlin Fashion Week. Now in her third year as a solo designer, Mariana Jungmann has been shortlisted for the Selfridges Bright New Things Award and the Designers of Tomorrow Award.
Stocked by the likes of Not Just a Label and Wolf & Badger, Jungmann has become known for her innovative uses of lace and leather to create intricate patterning and silhouettes. She describes herself as designing for the “paradoxical woman”.
Wholesale prices range from £135 for a pair of shorts to £1,180 for a dress in handmade lace, hand embroidered with 5,000 Swarovski crystals.
Paula Cademartori bags and accessories
After completing a degree in industrial design in Brazil, Paula Cademartori moved to Milan to train in fashion design, gaining a masters in fashion accessories from the Instituto Marangoni, as well as a Young Fashion Manager’s certificate from the Università SDA Bocconi.
She founded her eponymous accessories line in 2010 with designs focused on ideas of power, beauty and femininity and informed by her industrial design background and Brazilian heritage. Bold silver hardware, mixed textures and bright colours are integral to her collections.
While her Brazilian background informs her design work, the collections are made entirely in Italy, and the brand describes itself as “representing an exclusive expression of a style that is a symbol of Italian excellence”.
The brand is distributed by the Riccardo Grassi showroom, and is stocked by Farfetch, Luisa Via Roma and Harvey Nichols.
Prices range from £500 to £1,500 for handbags and from £500 to £1,100 for shoes. Wholesale prices available on request.
Frescobol Carioca menswear
Frescobol Carioca Games Collection
Inspired by the popular Rio beach game frescobol – a type of beach tennis played with short wooden bats, Frescobol Carioca was founded in 2009. Initially, the company specialised in producing luxurious versions of the bats needed for the game, made from varnished driftwood and recycled carpentry off-cuts.
The brand soon branched out into a range of men’s lifestyle clothing and accessories, specialising in tailored swimwear in bold prints, inspired by the Brazilian artists Alfredo Volpi and Roberto Burle Marx. The brand has collaborated with retailers such as Parisian concept store Colette and now has two London stores, in Marylebone and Soho.
Despite its Brazilian heritage, co-founder Harry Brantly says the UK is the brand’s biggest market: “Not only its residents, but also people travelling through stop by our stores in Marylebone and Soho. We’ve decided to concentrate our growth overseas, as selling swimwear in Brazil is like selling ice to an Eskimo.”
Most recently, the company launched its Games Collection of patterned shorts and T-shirts, in celebration of the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Wholesale prices range from £23 for a tank top to £760 for a surfboard.
Anatomic & Co men’s footwear
Anatomic & Co
Founded by two Brazilians, Moema Pimentel and João Conrado, in 2004, Anatomic & Co is an independent men’s footwear brand designed in the UK and handmade in Brazil. The designs focus on comfort and quality at a medium price point, starting at £24.95 (wholesale) for a pair of trainers. Each shoe is made with Brazilian materials, including 100% recyclable rubber soles and naturally treated Brazilian leather. Each shoe also includes the brand’s Anatomic Gel Technology®, which was developed by the company’s own research and development team and aims to make its shoes more comfortable.
Anatomic & Co.
The brand has four collections: Anatomic Prime, Anatomic Ease, Anatomic Warbrobe and Anatomic Weekend, as well as Moema, its range of women’s shoes. In the UK, the brand is sold through its own website and 210 stockists, including Debenhams and Charles Clinkard.
Wholesale prices range from £24.95 for the Serra trainers to £60.95 for the Panorama boots.