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Top Brazilian Designer Sees Mass Fashion Opportunities

Alexandre Herchcovitch, one of Brazil’s top designers, says the future of fashion in this Bric country is in clothing the rising middle class -- even if he won't ever stop making super-expensive stuff for the super-rich.

O Boticário show during São Paulo Fashion Week (O Boticário SPFW)
O Boticário show during São Paulo Fashion Week (O Boticário SPFW)
Vivian Whiteman and Pedro Diniz

SÃO PAULO - "Lets get real..." As São Paulo Fashion Week kicks off, one of Brazil's most acclaimed designers, Alexandre Herchcovitch, says his industry must redirect its eye toward the country's growing middle class -- and even those just rising out of poverty. "This is the rule for those who want to survive in Brazil," he affirms in the following interview.

FOLHA: What do you think of some fashion designers suggesting a separation between commercial and conceptual brands in Brazil's fashion weeks?
HERCHCOVITCH: When you are aware of what you are doing, you don't have to be afraid. My role models are in New York. There some brands that have been showing polo shirts for the past 120 years. Sorry, I don't need to ask Paulo Borges Fashion Week organizer for special treatment for my brand. And who will play God to know which one is good and which one is less good? Each designer has to take care of his own stuff, do his best and be brave enough to show it.

What do the final consumers want?
Let's get real. Brazil has enough expertise to make popular clothes for lower classes. We have to look at this reality. I was taking a shower today and wondered "what do I sell the most and the least?" I don't sell so many dresses that cost R$10,000 ($5,000), but I won't give up making expensive dresses. Still, those who want to survive nowadays in Brazil have to make products for middle and lower-middle class customers.

How is it to compete with international luxury brands?
Our clothes are not as good as theirs. It's hard to compete, and we don't have the same quality of fabrics. If we buy those fabrics, the clothes get too expensive. I do the best I can, while making it possible to sell in Brazil.

And who are your customers?
I don't know well. I've tried to do this "Brazilian female style," but I'm not good at it. That's not a problem, though, the country is huge, and there is a variety of tastes. My brand has conquered its own space. If I focused more on serving the lower classes, I would have more customers, but I don't know how to do it, so I just adjusted my expectations.

Read more from Folha

Photo -O BoticárioSPFW

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Influencer Union? The Next Labor Rights Battle May Be For Social Media Creators

With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor.

​photograph of a smartphone on a selfie stick

Smartphone on a selfie stick

Steve Gale/Unsplash
David Craig and Stuart Cunningham

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

✉️ You can receive our Bon Vivant selection of fresh reads on international culture, food & travel directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

Keep reading...Show less

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