Levi’s Opens A Neighborhood Concept Store in Sao Paulo
After a long time, here I am back to my blog. Lately, I’ve been thinking about changing the blog’s name, but I have so many business cards with this website address, so I decided to wait. I am not going to give with an excuse for my absence in the last months. I personally don’t like bloggers who do such a thing. It’s hard to update a blog when this is not your full time job, and for me, who work on the streets most of the time, it is even harder.
Anyway, anyhow, this month I saw many cool openings happening in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and I’ll be happy to hare some of them with you.
After a long decade of fancy and large shops, retailers decided it is time to update their shops according to the consumer needs. The idea is to get the consumer closer to the brand, and make them feel the brand is a friend. How do they do this? It depends on the brand, and what they want to transmit to the public. But the main principle is to make the store more appealing to the public.
Levi’s, the classic American denim brand, recently developed a new concept shop named the neighborhood concept store. The first store was opened in Meatpacking District, New York, in 2010. This month, Levi’s brought this new concept to Sao Paulo, the fourth in the world, and the first in Latin America. The address chosen was Rua Oscar Freire, one of the most elegant shop destinations in South America. The idea of the store is to offer exclusive products, and to bring the local culture to the store. The shop located on Oscar Freire brings objects and pictures of Sao Paulo. Of course, to not lose the brand’s identity, there are some other elements, such as an American flag, and classic Levi’s denim, that remember consumer they are at a Levi’s store. The place is also called neighborhood concept because its sales associates are trained to give information about restaurants, cafes, theaters, and other places to go in the neighborhood. The idea of the store came after a research that showed consumers who do not live in the area frequently ask sales people about touristic spots close by. This research was conducted in many world capitals, including New York. Besides New York and São Paulo, Levi’s has a shop in San Francisco and another one in Malibu.
Fotos: Levi’s Release
Mad Hatter and His Boho Boutique
Sao Paulo is not only about high-end boutiques and luxury shopping malls. It is also an excellent place to find creative people and emerging talents. The best neighborhood to find those people is certainly Vila Madalena. Vila Madalena is located in the west side of the city. It is a kind of Williamsburg of New York, but in Sao Paulo. While walking on the streets in Vila Madalena, I found a very cute boutique. The outside of the store looks like a vintage store, but the inside is full of hats. The most interesting thing is the hats are not like every other hat. Vintage inspired, they come in colorful and fun prints with a Brazilian touch. Most of them mix different types of prints very characteristic from Brazil, like Rio de Janeiro sidewalk’s pattern. It’s funny to find such a thing because Brazilians do not wear hats very often. You might see some people wearing them on the beach, but it is not very common to see hats all the time in the city, even during sunny days. But this practice is changing with the numerous global influences in the country brought by young immigrants from the north hemisphere.
E-Holic (the name of the store) was developed by the designer Durval Sampaio, who was born in Sao Paulo, and raised in a small town called Maripora. The designer decided to start making hats after developing a special hat just to go to a party. He said he had problem to find hats because his had was too big, so he decided to make his own one. His hat became a success among his friends, and later he saw himself making hats to sell. He thus found his passion for sewing, and decided to quit his job. Few years later, Durval consolidated his name in the indie fashion scene in São Paulo, and opened his first store. His philosophy “do what you love” became the slogan of his brand to inspire other people to do what he did.
If you are planning to come to Sao Paulo or you are in Sao Paulo, I strongly recommend you to visit Vila Madalena and check out his store. I will after give some other tips about this amazing neighborhood for art, culture, and indie fashion.
Phone: +55.11.3852.0420 - http://www.e-holic.com.br
Diane von Furstenberg, the Luxe, and Brazil
Diane von Furstenberg was this week in Brazil for the IHT Luxury Hot conference held this year in Sao Paulo. The creator of the classic wrap-dress gave this Wednesday a seminar for fashion students at FAAP University. She talked about her life and her career path. It was a excellent source of inspiration for young students who dream in becoming successful designers or other type of fashion professionals. At the end of her speech, bloggers and students asked questions about the several topics, including questions about the Chinese fashion industry. Diane answered no one should be afraid of China. They, indeed, have an excellent market in terms of sales, and probably the best for luxury goods nowadays. She also said Brazil is country of the future, and right now we are already living in the future. Later in the afternoon, the designer presented her Resort Collection’12 at the luxury Iguatemi Shopping mall. Among its guests was members of the Sao Paulo upper class and Suzy Menkes, the fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune.
IHT Conference started this Thursday, November 10, and was attended by other powerful fashion names, such as Mario Testino, Carolina Herrera, Sarah Burton, and Francisco Costa.
Photos & Edition: Newardrobe
Step Inside VOGUE Fashion Night Out BRAZIL
Fashion Night Out Brazil was my first FNO outside New York. It was held on September 12th in São Paulo, and September 13th in Rio de Janeiro. Newardrobe is right now in Brazil, and went to check out what was going on in one of the most famous e luxurious address in São Paulo, Rua Oscar Freire. Rua Oscar Freire is like the Fifth Avenue in São Paulo, expect the fact it is a street and not an avenue. Like Fifth Avenue, the street is full of flagship stores, and many high-end labels like Dior are located on crosscut streets: Bela Cintra and Haddock Lobo. The overall area is called Jardins – which means gardens. This is one of the best parts of the city to walk outdoors. São Paulo is city where everyone drives. It is very pleasant to have the opportunity to walk around in Jardins because it is a quite unique experience in the city.
FNO São Paulo was held in many different locations in the city, but all of them were situated very far from each other. So, it was impossible to walk around throughout the city like in New York. The main locations were Jardins, Shopping Iguatemi, Shopping Cidade Jardim – two luxurious malls - and Daslu – the only high-end department store in the country very similar to Bergdorf Goodman. Jardins was my favorite location to go, as I prefer to stay outdoors. Plus, the weather was relatively nice to walk around.
Brazil is a place with a growing fashion culture, and São Paulo is where fashionistas want to be. It has been one of the favorite addresses to new luxurious stores. Chanel, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Hermes, Missoni, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade New York, Christian Louboutin, Diane von Furstenberg, among many others are examples of stores that opened in the country in the last few years. Luxurious merchandise seems to have a higher mark-up, but this is not a problem for Brazilian customers, especially because they can finance the full price amount in their credit cards to pay in a monthly basis. They want to have the latest Chanel bag, the most expensive Zegna suit, the most exclusive Hermes Birkin bag, and the coolest Marc Jacobs outfit. Money is not a problem in an emerging economy, especially because new money individuals do no think about saving. They want to show what they can get. Fashion is quite limited to the elite. Fast-fashion stores widespread in the north-hemisphere like H&M, Forever 21, and Top Shop are not in Brazil because these companies cannot enter in the country with competitive prices due to the high taxation. The Brazilian fast-fashion market is limited to companies like C&A, Renner, and Riachuelo. C&A has been the one transforming the fast-fashion scenario in Brazil. Still, the Brazilian customer is not very receptive with less expensive fashion goods.
Anyhow, FNO Brazil was not only about the international luxurious labels. Local fashion labels were also getting their slices in the event. FNO was more like a party with drinks, music and some snacks. A few stores had special gifts, but I haven’t seen any store offering a special item made for FNO. Only the event T-shirt designed by Hering –a local fashion company - were available at the stores for about BR$80 (US$50). Stores were opened until midnight, but the traffic was quite slow. It was not generating more sales for sure. The event, however, was great for fun, and for the goodwill of the brands that stayed opened until late at night. The small boutiques Anunciação, Têca and Helo Rocha, and Garoa called my attention for their unique and chic Brazilian collections. Their staff and designers were also very nice. I will talk more about them another day.
On the streets, Newardrobe chose the coolest looks in Jardins for FNO Brazil. There were some fashionable Brazilians, and even a few New Yorkers jumping from one store to another. Most of Brazilians like to dress-up to shop, and women like to get their hair and nails always done. Here is the land of Brazilian straightening, so long and straight hair is like a uniform. It is wintertime, and the most common outfit is: high boots, leather jackets, jeans, and a nice designer bag. Of course, not everyone were dressed like that, but there is one thing I can tell about Paulistas – Brazilians born in São Paulo – they all have excellent taste to dress.
***Thank you everyone on the streets. You guys were awesome! Obrigada!! :)
Photos; Anelisa Salles