Following in the wake of garments, accessories made in Brazil are showing their face on the foreign market. Jewels, shoes and handbags made in the country are shown in shop windows all around the world.
Behind the creation of colorful and rhythmic collections are designers like Cecília Rodrigues and Francesca Giobbi. The products show the versatility of the Brazilians, who mix material like wood from the country with diamonds and rubies, and make necklaces out of fabric.
Stylist Cecília Rodrigues, from the southeastern Brazilian city of São Paulo, is an example of this pluralism. A former Citibank employee and daughter of a Portuguese builder, Cecília discovered that she had talent for the creation of jewelry.
She does not have the habit of drawing, but, as she herself describes it, “she has active hands”, and brings the parts together as if she were embroidering.
In 1995, she abandoned her career at the bank and set up a studio in São Paulo. Success came with the release of her first jewels, which brought together Brazilian stones, gold and fragments of ancient pieces.
International recognition came at the end of the 1990’s, when the designer was invited to participate in an auction at the Christie’s gallery, in Geneva. In 2000, it was the turn of the Americans to get to know a little about Cecília’s work, and her products were auctioned in New York, in another auction by Christie’s and one by Sotheby’s.
Millionaires, like the Venezuelan Patrícia Cisneros, owner of the Cisneros group, also purchased jewels made by the Brazilian. This year the jeweler showed her products in France, during the commemorations of the Brazilian year in that country.
What is her secret to win the foreigners? Working with quality raw material and professionals. “Whenever it is necessary, I have the stones cut in Europe so as to use them in the items I produce,” she said.
Another thing: she watches carefully so as to collect material from all around the world and integrate it. The result may be seen in collection “Wood, Woods”, which includes necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings sculpted in Brazilian woods like Violetwood, Lauraceae e Brazilian Rosewood, covered in diamonds, rubies, aqua marines and pearls.
The mixture of materials is also present in the work by costume jewelry designer Tutu Ferreira, from São Paulo. Tutu brings together palm seeds, wood of various kinds, and seeds with crystal, Murano glass and natural stones so as to make necklaces and bracelets.
The collections are very colorful and have also been successful abroad. “We have been exporting to the United States, Mexico and the Dominican Republic,” explained Tutu.
Sales began three years ago. Next month, Tutu is going to take an important step in the direction of the European market. “We are going to participate in a fair in Milan (Italy),” she explained.
Tutu does not work with a closed collection, and therefore has “news” almost every week. The strategy is also good for the company marketing: Tutu’s products are always in the editorial pages of the main fashion magazines in the country.
“Customers in this sector always want new products, to match clothes they have bought, and we therefore have to be agile,” she said.
The only definite characteristic is the color palette of the season. For the next, spring and summer, the rule is to have colorful products, with yellow, orange and red.
Strong colors are also present in the collections of Ana Beatriz and Juliana Suassuna, from Studio Muggia, in Rio de Janeiro. The sisters design products for the Clube Chocolate stores, and sell in Brazil and Portugal.
The necklaces are different; the designers do not use stones, but work with fabrics and metals. For their last collection – spring/summer – they made even greater use of the fashion productive chain, having hired a fabric designer to create a print especially for their studio.
Anba – www.anba.com.br