Fashionista teamed up with trend-tracking firm StyleSight for a lesson on Brazilian fashion. Pretty much every major retailer in the country employs StyleSight to tell them what's new and next. So we thought it'd be interesting to see what StyleSight's women's market expert Joanna Manganaro had to say about the country's ever-growing influence. Fashionista: It feels like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro fashion weeks get bigger and bigger every year. Why do you think they get so much attention, at least compared to the other "minor" fashion weeks? Joanna Manganaro: It's a lot like London in terms of the creativity. The designers are really free-thinking--they aren't held back by any sort of conventions. They're more on the directional side of things. Brazilian designers like Alexander Herchcovitch and (swimwear designer) Rosa Cha have gotten really big because they have this certain uniqueness that's hard to pin down. Do you think it's because they're so free with color? That's definitely a big part of it. They mix a lot of color, a lot of prints. There's a dark, romantic side, but there's also something folksy about what a lot of the designers do. Are there any global trends that you would credit the region with bringing to the forefront? I'd say that maxi dresses were helped along quite a bit by Brazilian street style. And designers like Carlos Miele definitely influence global style. Who are your picks for designers or brands to watch? Well, there are more mass brands--like Maria Bonita Extra and Cantao--that do a lot of really interesting things with color and print. Isabela Capeto is folksy, while Patachou is darker and structured. How can someone in a dreary city--or anywhere--incorporate bright, playful colors into their wardrobe? I feel like I, personally, am addicted to black. It's not as easy as its looks to add color, right? I'd say start small. It can be scary, but if you start with a pattern--like one of the African tribal looks from SS10 or a bright coat--I just bought a gorgeous chartreuse one--it really makes me happy. I'm serious!