Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

When you hear about BRIC countries there are one of two things that cross the mind: 1) what is a BRIC country? 2) Lucky b'stards.  If question one flashed through your mind, here is the full explanation. To precis, BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China, and by 2027 these four developing and emerging economies are predicted to have overtaken British, American and our fellow developed G7 nations.

If you want to experience a boom economy - remember what that feels like? - then brush up your Portuguese/Russian/Cantonese/Mandarin or Hindi and get the hell out of here to the happy land of a BRIC.  In BRIC countries fashion is a high priority. As developing nations accelerate into the global fast-lane so their inhabitants appetite for and output of luxury goods and fashion shoots right up. This is what makes them so interesting (and fabulous) to me.

In fact, from my vantage point in London I've become increasingly intrigued to discover what fashionistas in the BRIC economies are up to.  So it showed great smarts for one of my favourite fashion shopping websites,, to organise Ola Brazil, which puts together nine leading fashion designers from its fashion capital Sao Paulo and brings them to our attention. Ola Brazil launches on the site tomorrow.

With many of the high fashion websites starting to feel a bit homogenous at times, I like how FarFetch continues to take risks in its quest to innovate on sourcing hard-to-access product and give it a global platform.  Much as I would like to be flitting around the boutiques of Sao Paulo making local discoveries, it will not be happening in the near future, so this is the next best thing.

In the press release FarFetch talk about their highlighted designers being "emerging"; this is not strictly true. The majority are fairly well established locally in Brazil, but there is an experimental edge to their clothes that feels refreshing and young. Where they are emerging is here in Britain and across Europe and the USA, and to me that is something worth talking about.   One of the designers Reinaldo Lourenco has been going since the 1980s and it is his prodigy son Pedro Lourenco who can officially be monikered as "emerging".  Pedro has been showing in Paris since the tender age of 19 and is still only 22. Still, that's just me being picky.

The exuberance, colour, texture or should I just say just pure Brazilian-ness of the pieces FarFetch have chosen fits exactly with the summery mood ushered in by the glorious heatwave we have been experiencing this last week. It makes me think dressing in bikini bottoms and a cropped red lace top is perfectly acceptable. It also reinforces my belief (well, that and all the swimwear shows going on this week at Rio Fashion Week) that Brazil harbours the best swimwear designers in all the world.

So, may I introduce you to Lino Villaventura, Reinaldo Lourenco, Juliana Jabour, Copa Club and Brigitte. I hope this is a success so that FarFetch may be inspired to dig a little deeper next time; and hopefully they will have some emerging designers from India, China and Russia coming soon.

Brown and green dress by Lino Villaventura £554
Red lace top by Lino Villaventura: £242
Printed blouse by Reinaldo Lourenco: £761
Jumpsuit by Juliana Jabour £364

"Maya"swimsuit by Brigitte £135
Snakeskin swimsuit by Copa Club: £167

OLA BRAZIL! Launch date: 31st May 2012 at

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