Afro Fashion Day Salvador in Bahia puts black culture, beauty and fashion on center stage!



Note from BW of Brazil: OK, OK, so today’s story is a leftover from November’s Month of Black Consciousness events and celebrations, but with such vibrant colors, art, displays of Afro-Brazilian culture and entrepreneurialism, it’s a story that we felt needed to be featured here and it represents so much of what this blog is about. As Brazil’s top fashion shows such as Fashion Rio and São Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW) always bring an ultra Eurocentric physical representation on their runways, what went down in Salvador, Bahia a little over two weeks ago is an excellent example of black Brazilians using their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to make such an event happen. Similar to a separate event that was part of SPFW back in April, the event in Salvador put black beauty, black culture and black fashion on front and center stage! 

Bahian brands celebrate Black Consciousness with a show at an event held by Correio (news/website); see everything that happened in the Afro Fashion Day Salvador


The walkway of the AFDS featured 26 brands of clothing and accessories such as turbans and jewelry, which tool current looks to the runway

By Daniel Silveira


The day of November 20, 2015 will be marked in the history of Salvador fashion market as the day the city celebrated beleza negra (black beauty) with style. On Friday, in celebration of the Day of Black Consciousness, 45 models paraded Bahian brands in the first edition of the African Fashion Day Salvador (AFDS), which also took to the Cruz Caída square (Historic Downtown) makeup and turban workshops showing the strength and beauty of povo negro (black people).

2,500 people attended the event in Praça da Cruz Caída (Photo: Jardim 634)

For the mayor ACM Neto, the AFDS consolidated the influence of African culture in the city. “Salvador demonstrates with the event the pride of being afrodescendente (African descendant), pointing out our origins, colors and flavors through the production of fashion and gastronomy,” he recalls. The executive secretary of the Secretariat for Promoting Racial Equality (Sepromi), Adile Reis, stressed the relevance of the event. “It is an important opportunity for blacks, especially women, to understand that they can occupy all social spaces.”


The event featured 26 brands of clothing and accessories such as turbans and jewelry, which took current looks to the runway. In addition to 36 models, six guests brought more luster to the party night. Artists Denny, Magary Lord, Ninha, Tony Salles and Lincoln Sena and the cultural agitator Uran Rodrigues shared the runway with Bahian models.

The show also served for some brands to present new collections as was the case with Jeferson Ribeiro, Dresscoração and Meninos Rei. Others made unique pieces exclusively for the parade, such as Vinícius Cerqueira, Outerelas and Katuka.


The site was decorated courtesy of architectural firm GMF Arquitetos and was underwritten by Giuseppe Mazzoni. “We thought we’d take advantage of the beauty of the place, which has an architectural wealth and unite the rustic wood in the scenario with the granite of the square,” he says.

The African Fashion Day Salvador was organized by Correio (newspaper/site) with institutional support from the city of Salvador, the state government, through the Secretaria de Promoção da Igualdade Racial (Secretariat of Promotion of Racial Equality – Sepromi), Senac-BA and Hapvida.

The runway

Divided into five blocks, the parade brought together a conceptual and urban fashion balance. Just after sunset, warm colors dominated the market with the first block of the model parade, called Sunset, that took looks in shades of red, yellow and orange and was followed by the block Étnico, more graphic, with prints that referred to African culture and the use of turbans made with bindings. P & B also took a trend of the entire world’s catwalks to Cruz Caída, with visuals mixing black and white, followed by the many colors in the Black Power block, inspired by the 1970s movement. The show was closed with looks in white clothes, reminding of the religiosity of the culture of African origin. Responsible for bringing together pieces of 26 brands was the producer Fagner Bispo.



The beauty of the parade-show African Fashion Day Salvador was brigaded by Fagner Bispo, fashion producer of the event, and executed by Dino Neto, who led a team of makeup and hair professionals formed by Mario Moraes, Luiz Santana, Val O ‘hara, Yan Striker Romario Aragão, Joab Moraes Neto, Eliana Pimentel, Rose de Brito and Marcos Junquilho.

The five blocks of the collective parade were thematic and for each of them a different beauty was created. For the first, Sunset, the inspiration were the colors of the sunset. The models appeared on the catwalk mounted on Cruz Caída square shaded in fluorine orange and yellow tones, terracotta blush and coral lipstick.


The second block, Étnico, had beauty inspired by paintings of African tribes. “We use a gold remnants with white dots around the face and finalized with bronze lipstick,” said Dino. On the head, the models wore tied fabrics by Cristiele França, of Ori Turbantes.

The 1970s set the tone for the third block. “We created a beauty with brightly colored eyes and mouths and hair decorated with flowers and fork combs, which are symbols of flower power and black power culture, respectively,” explained Fagner.


A highlight of the parade was the final block, all white, that brought models with braids. “We use a very intense silver shadow so that the color has stainless steel tone, and clear copper lipsticks,” reveals Dino.


A fair with 17 of the 26 brands that paraded in African Fashion Day Salvador occupied the space of Cruz Caída Square before the models even stepped on the catwalk. Stands displayed and sold pieces of clothing, shoes and accessories such as jewelry and turbans. Designer Jeferson Ribeiro took the opportunity to release a new swimsuit brand: Mar “The inspiration came from the need to meet the contemporary man, who is not ashamed of showng his body,” he explained.

Outerelas already presented an exclusive collection for the parade. The brand of accessories brought pieces with an ethnic inspiration, with elements such as shells, teeth and African beads. Vinicius Cerqueira also decided to present exclusive pieces and presented a series of textures, prints and colors to the fair.


Also on site selling T-shirts of the project Eu sou Negão (meaning ‘I am a big black man’) was Instituto ComVida, an NGO that works with the formation of inclusion of young people between 15 and 24 years of age, residents of Camaçari, of the Catu de Abrantes region. The organization serves about 80 boys and girls who participate in courses and workshops.



One of the hallmarks of African Fashion Day Salvador was the appreciation of Bahian production. For Jeferson Ribeiro, a parade with only regional brands reveals the strength of the sector in Bahia. “This is important in a market that is increasingly dominated by large global brands,” he said. Carol Barreto also argues that the quantity of local companies proves that the market is there and is strong. “These are brands that can keep a business open within a disruption of the local clothing chain and this proves how they are winners.”


Many of the local brands that participated in the parade took raízes africanas do povo baiano (African roots of the Bahian people) in their identity. For Renato Carneiro, designer of Katuka, the realization of such an event is very important for fashion that is done in Bahia, especially the pieces made with inspiration in cultura afro (African culture). “With this event, we can bring information and promote contact with other aesthetic concepts that many even consider folkloric,” he explains. Accordingly, Carol Barreto celebrated the parade and emphasized the assume one’s ancestry.


“Coming out afrorreferenciado (African referenced) is essential for us,” says the designer who is preparing to parade a new collection in Black Fashion Week Paris on December 10, the only Brazilian to participate in the parade. The same idea is also supported by Jeferson Ribeiro, who understands the event as an opportunity to increase visibility, both for producers and for the models. “With African Fashion Day, we assume that our city has a black beauty that can be exported,” he concludes.


African Fashion Day also gave way to the local artistic production, starting with DJing DJ Mauro Telefunksoul. The musician, who has about 15 years experience in fashion shows, presented mixes of his recent work, a musical movement called Bahia Bass Music, which mixes electronic beats with rhythms from Bahia such as pagode, axé, ijexá and arrocha. In the opening and in the intervals between the blocks of the parade, three members of the Balé Folclórico da Bahia (Folkloric Ballet of Bahia) performed.


However, art wasn’t restricted to the catwalk, as upon arrival, the audience was welcomed with a work by artist Adenilse Romana, who constructed a panel with inspiration from pop art, using photographs of Alex Dantas, of Diferente Agência de Imagens (meaning ‘different agency of images’). The photos were done by the photographer in an editorial preparation for the event.

The visual artist Helen Mozão also took inks to the show, but not to paint screens. Helen painted the faces of participants of the AFDS with designs inspired by African tribes.


Clothes and accessories were not the only items for sale in African Fashion Day Salvador. Whoever went through Praça da Cruz Caída could also experience the richness of Bahian cuisine. The Dona Mariquita restaurant took the project Merenda de Tabuleiro and sold corn lelê, bolinho de estudante, milk acaçá and cakes. “These are foods that have been forgotten by the people and I’m researching to redeem and bring these flavors out again,” says Leila Carreiro, restaurant chef. Also participating in the gastronomic fair was Abará do Original, that took to the square, seasoned delicacies with various flavors.



In the afternoon, the women were given beauty tips in three workshops. Two of them demonstrated makeup tricks for black skin and was taught by beautician Regiane Ferreira, a professor at Senac. “Black skin has a special attention because it is generally oilier,” she explains. Regiane also taught how to do makeup for the day to day and for night. In another moment, the fashion designer Cecilia Cadille showed how to tie turbans and told a little of the history of the accessory, used also as a statement piece by the black population.

Source: Correio 24 Horas


About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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