Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Sao Paulo Fashion Week for the first time. Despite still being in its infancy, it is definitely a legitimate event that deserves recognition for many reasons; but I did notice some marked differences between SPFW and NYFW, which I'm much more familiar with. Some examples: everything takes place in one venue; people dress a bit more casually; the runways are all full of swimwear; in many cases, it seemed more organized and regimented; and it was heavily sponsored.
No one's seen more sides of the fashion industry than models. While we may only see some of them at the big fashion weeks or in ad campaigns, many of them, especially up-and-comers, spend much of the year traveling all over the world to fashion weeks you may not have even known existed. Thus, they have a unique perspective on the whole thing.
We were in Sao Paulo with M.A.C. and spent a lot of time backstage. While we weren't watching already-gorgeous models being made even more gorgeous by M.A.C. makeup artists, we tried to talk to a few of the ones who spoke English, mostly because we love hearing models talk, but also because we wanted to hear their take on Sao Paulo Fashion Week and how it compares to New York. We chatted briefly with three lovely girls--Lida Fox, Lais Ribeiro and Aline Weber--each of whom were some of SPFW's most prominent faces, but also have plenty of experience in the other fashion capitals.
Click through to find out who they are, why you should know about them, and their thoughts on SPFW.
Name: Lais Ribeiro
Found her: backstage at Osklen
Why she's major: Everyone kept telling us Lais is the next big thing to come out of Brazil, which is not at all surprising when you see her in person. She's super tall and strikingly beautiful without any makeup. And she's a Victoria's Secret Angel. NBD.
What do you like about Sao Paulo Fashion week? For me here, it‘s always much better, but it’s my country; I have friends here. I think [in terms of] the designers and everything, Brazil is getting much better. Every year, it’s getting better and better but I like New York too.
How is the fashion different between Brazil and New York? I think it's very different because [in] Brazil it’s more spring because here it’s very hot, but there, I dress up more I think.
What other fashion weeks are you doing? I’m going to do New York and London and Milan and I’m going to Paris.
How have you seen Sao Paulo Fashion Week grow and evolve? It’s getting bigger because all the people I talk to about fashion week here, they want to come to see how they do the makeup, the clothes. Sometimes the shows are similar [to what] they see [designers are doing in Europe and New York].
Name: Aline Weber
Found her: Backstage at Osklen
Why she's major: Known for her platinum blonde hair and prominent cheekbones, Weber is instantly recognizable and one of the most successful models to come out of Brazil in recent years. She's a veteran of fashion weeks around the world, including Sao Paulo, and has starred in tons of ad campaigns and magazine editorials. Kind of obsessed with her.
Have you done Sao Paulo Fashion Week before? This is my 17th season here.
Wow, how have you seen it change and evolve over time? I think from the time it started--it was in 2004--to now, it has grown a lot and there's a lot of international press coming here now, so it's getting much more interesting.
What are the major differences you've noticed between New York and Sao Paulo? In Brazil, a lot of the designers are still doing beachwear stuff and we don’t see that in New York much, so that’s one difference and in New York, they do more clothes for the city and things that happen around the city.
What about the industry and the people you work with? For me, everytime I come to Brazil, I feel like I’m home because I’m Brazilian as well, so for me that’s the difference. It’s just because I've known everyone here for such a long time and we speak the same language we have the same culture, so I feel very comfortable here. In New York I feel comfortable because I’ve made a lot of friends there already because I’ve done so many fashion weeks there, [too].
Name: Lida Fox
Nationality: American, from South Carolina
Found her: Backstage at Ellus
Why she's major: We saw her at pretty much every show at SPFW and there weren't a whole lot of Americans there. She's also walked in most of the major shows in Paris and has awesome personal style.
Have you ever been to Brazil before? No it’s my first time. I got here a week ago today.
What do you think of Sao Paulo Fashion Week? It’s kind of nice because almost all the shows are in one place. I’m used to going everywhere by metro [in other cities] whereas here [when you need to go somewhere] you get everywhere by car because [everything's] so far apart.