The 51st edition of São Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW), which requires 50% of participating models to be black or indigenous, shows how the debates on race proposed in the past decade have borne fruit. In 2009, for example, the Public Ministry of São Paulo (MPSP) summoned stylists and organizers on the choice of casting for the event. Currently, in addition to the racial quota, the fashion week hosts the Sankofa project, a collective of black stylists with eight brands.
“Fashion is a message, it is a code that is presented to people. [Uma mensagem] of self-esteem or low-esteem, to include or to exclude. It has both ways. We’ve always been looking to bring it to fashion and, starting with SPFW, facing these issues that transform the whole”, points out Paulo Borges, SPFW’s creative director. The event had start on the 23rd and ends on Sunday (27) and has the participation of 43 brands.
The director emphasizes that major events can be showcases for real changes to take place in society. “By putting racialized models on the catwalk, you are not changing SPFW, you are bringing a message to society as a whole. That’s what’s important, the most important thing here is where you arrive with this gesture”, he defends.
He adds that these changes are fundamental for the fashion creative process itself to be more diverse. “Fashion is a living process, it is an organic process. Living right now is a learning experience. The more you listen, the more you will be able to bring about bridges and transformations.”
Brazil fashion week
The event, in festival format, has the theme “Regeneration”, a concept that involves aspects such as female protagonism, entrepreneurship, inclusion and technology. Borges explains that the year of the pandemic brought this perspective of the need to redo. “[Falamos] of making regenerative processes for everything, for fashion, for life, for relationships, for people, for the process, for the environment. And we started to understand that all this happened in a way in which everything made sense”, he explains.
In a 100% digital edition, like the previous one, Borges points out that online presence is a hallmark of the event. “We have always believed that the internet, for Brazil, due to its size, its shape, not only geographical, but diverse in terms of culture, behavior, would be a valuable tool to build a fashion process within the country ”, evaluates.
The next edition is scheduled for November. “I believe that we are already able to be a part of São Paulo Fashion Week, the festival, physically, with all the necessary precautions, but we are also ready to make it 100% digital.” Borges believes that, even with the end of sanitary restrictions, the event is moving towards a mix between the digital and the physical. “You don’t change, you join layers of relationships, speeds, shapes and we’ve been experimenting with digital with São Paulo Fashion Week for a long time.”
The complete schedule can be found at site of the event.
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