Brazil leads the way at Sao Paulo Fashion Week

Lewis Smith
Monday 14 June 2010 00:00

Sao Paulo Fashion Week is widely regarded as the "fifth" fashion week, after New York, Paris, Milan and London, and it's an event where the issue of non-white models has been tackled head-on.

Organisers at the show have had to ensure at least one in 10 models are of indigenous or African descent to reflect the make-up of Brazilian society, after an inquiry found a disproportionate number of models on the catwalk were white, including Gisele Bundchen, Brazil's leading model.

The Brazilian designer Lino Villaventura is among those to use non-white models this year, the second that the quota regime has been in place, as he showed a collection boasting bold stripes and vibrant colours.

The Brazilian fashion market is worth £34bn, and despite the global economic slowdown in Brazil the luxury sector expanded 11.5 per cent last year with a further 17 per cent forecast for this year. Black Brazilians have seen their income rise by 40 per cent in the last decade, double the rate of the white population.

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