Friday, 14 September 2012

Brazilian fashion takes over The Shop at Bluebird

When I set off to a press breakfast at The Shop at Bluebird this morning, I didn’t expect a reunion with my Anglo-Brazilian contacts. It goes to show what a small world it is. As soon as I walked in, I spotted Harry Brantly from FB Collection and even bumped into Raya from Harrods’ H Stern concession, where my engagement ring is from. I was there for the launch of Brazil Rising, an initiative set up by Alice Ferraz (another reunion; we met exactly a year ago at London Fashion Week), to promote Brazilian fashion designers via a shop-in-shop concept at The Shop at Bluebird on King’s Road. Alice picked several designers who are already well-established in Brazil, including Osklen, Cris Barros and Andrea Marques. I think that’s a clever move. Brazil continues to be on everyone’s lips and its Fashion Weeks in Rio and São Paulo are on the up, but Brazilian fashion brands are still few and far between in UK boutiques. Even here, The Shop at Bluebird has minimised risk. It hasn’t bought in the brands in the traditional wholesale model; it has simply offered a space in the store for the designers to sell their clothes. If they don’t, The Shop at Bluebird has no sell-through targets to worry about. 
But the space looked great, as did the collections. My favourite was a swimwear brand called Adriana Degreas (pictures: top row, right; third row, left). I liked the jungle print bikini and, in particular, the draped one-piece. I spoke to export manager Paula Rudge de Souza Aranha (picture: top row, right) who said the collection will be going into Harrods in November. Good work. 
I also spoke to Andrea Marques (first picture). “We came to stay!” she said, referring to her long-term commitment to the UK fashion sector. Andrea believes that her eponymous label can compete in the UK fashion market in terms of design and quality, but she admitted to having concerns over pricing. A beautiful silk blazer, for example, retails at £700 – a hefty price tag for an unknown brand in the UK. So, Andrea will consider other manufacturing options outside of Brazil.

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