Note from BW of Brazil: Well I must say this is eye-opening! I had have a few friends that attended this year’s SPFW and while the event registered in my mind, I admit I didn’t really think much about it or even look much into it. As our most loyal readers know, this blog has consistently covered Brazil’s most prestigious, well known fashion shows, São Paulo Fashion Week and Fashion Rio and their yearly homage to the beauty of white-skinned women, for several years now. So, to tell you the truth, I wasn’t really even excited about reporting on this event and seeing only a handful of women whose features match the name of this blog. I mean how boring is it to continuously follow globally recognized events that consistently show they have no desire of exposing the beauty of Brazil’s black women, even when they have African themes.
But recently I began receiving reports about a show that featured the clothing line of popular rapper Emicida and the stage full of black models he presented and I thought I would at least take a peek and see what all of the fuss was about. And I’m so glad I did! Emicida went to the SPFW and brought the ‘hood with him! I know it would be a lie to say that I saw more black bodies in his presentation that than the last 10 combined, but I don’t remember ever seeing so many on the catwalk all at the same time! That is unless you count 2013 when SPFW paid homage to Soul Train!
Emicida presents his LAB clothing line at São Paulo Fashion Week
Anyway, this is how it has to be. One who manages to succeed reaches back and brings one, two, three or more with him or her. If you want representation, you gotta represent! And Emicida just did the damn thing!
In an historical parade, Emicida puts black and overweight models on as protagonists in SPFW with his clothing line
It took a rapper invading the catwalk to show the obvious: a parade with mostly black models is as or more beautiful than a parade of Scandinavian whites. There is no possible argument after watching the the LAB parade.
By Wendy Candido (Rap Nacional Download) with info from Ego, Vogue, Elle, M de Mulher
The second day of parades of São Paulo Fashion Week ended in a grand and exciting way, and certainly made history on Monday (October 24th) with the debut of the Laboratório Fantasma, the clothing line of rapper Emicida and his brother Evandro Fióti.
With a casting, comprised of 90% black models, the mission of the brand at the event was to bring the fashion world a more inclusive, democratic discourse, and, of course, representativeness.
The main objective of LAB, as the line is affectionately known, is to show the diversity and freedom from all knowledge of the struggle of black people throughout the world and the harsh reality of everyday life of the broken, very well known by the brothers Emicida and Fióti.
The collection, which is called Yasuke, the name given to black Samurais, had creative direction of João Pimenta, a renowned designer who participated in SPFW for years, and mixes Eastern, African and street influences. Under the blessing of Emicida, the pieces were presented by people of all types (black, fat, tall, short…) escaping from world standards of the catwalks and representing those who we see on the streets every day, that is, real people, who consumes a lot of fashion and often only don’t consume more because most brands bar offering offer sizes that go past 44. In short, the LAB parade is nothing like what the one is accustomed to seeing at the São Paulo fashion week.
Entre the looks, all in black, white and red, the singers Seu Jorge and Ellen Oléria also paraded in what was a great celebration of cultura afro and national rap.
In an interview with Vogue, Emicida detailed he how deals with the similarities between the creative processes in music and fashion.
“Creation is a blank sheet on all platforms. Creating a track or designing shirt, what I want is to tell a story. This is a delicious sensation.”
For its first participation in SPFW, the line came with a lot of maturity, full of innovation and authenticity – Watch the whole parade, complete with an Emicida rhyme.
Knowing full well the importance of the visual of his parade, the rapper and his brother explained the vision they had for the parade.
“We put on the catwalk ordinary people, who deal with reality. We see a many things, not only in fashion, that don’t reflect the reality of the country. We are showing what Brazil is,” Emicida said. When asked about the casting of the models, the rapper replied:
“In general, people look at the catwalk here and it seems that they’re looking at the catwalks of Sweden. We can look at the casting of our show through the lens of the occupation and also the representation of beauty, self-esteem and elegance. For a long time it was not associated with pessoas pretas e à periferia (black people and the periphery). What we are doing now is getting all this back. Evandro and I participated in the choice of each person to participate, we didn’t leave this decision in the hands of anyone. And we didn’t go only by the profile, we also exchanged an idea to know who they were.”
“We aren’t not making any kind of protest. Just portraying Brazil as it really is. Fashion has to be inclusive and not generate grief or destroy dreams,” Fióti said. “We want to show a Brazil rarely or never seen in this structure of the fashion week. LAB wins with the entry in the line-up and the SPFW wins with the veracity of our work. This may reflect positively in the minds of many people, hopefully act as a further help to change thoughts and attitudes of the entire ecosystem of the industry. That’s what I hope to garner,” he concludes.
The models celebrated. “The idea is very cool. Society needs to see that there is room for everyone. If it was the reverse, with mostly whites, no one would find it strange,” said Arthur Lopes. “I thought the initiative was incredible. In other clothing lines, when there are two black girls it’s a lot,” said Natiele Alves.
The challenge to a SPFW that’s usually lilly white was also not missed by Elle magazine:
“In Emicida’s show, he really wanted to reflect on the beauty of the streets, of the public using their clothes and not bending toward the standards. […] It’s clear that the rapper was keen to reverse the percentage and put on a beautiful display of 90% black versus 10% white to show how a more colorful world of fashion would be. And whoever saw it, knows: it’s beautiful, proud, with intelligent and desirable clothes.”
Are black and money are rival words???
By Bruno Rico
We must learn to recognize something historic, and this week something happened up for history, which was the launch of the brand Lab, by rapper Emicida and his brother Fióti, in the biggest fashion event in Latin America, São Paulo Fashion Week.
The launch was historic for many reasons, the parade managed to insert practically all the elements that everybody involved in militancy always complain of not having, and when it has it, here come people complaining, and that my text today is especially directed to this group.
First it is important to say that the Laboratório Fantasma has been around for a long time in the market, it functions as a record label, producer, cultural vehicle, etc.; I can say that I’m talking about a collective created to promote hip-hop, urban and black culture in general, in addition to other things, and of these things emerged a clothing brand, which until recently sold the clothes of its latest collection for the single price of R$14.00. All this already shows how Emicida was always a man ahead of his time, a born artist, a visionary entrepreneur, black with no strings attached, and he is more than right, as our ancestors were already tied up for too long, the equivalent of several future generations, and now this next generation is saying we have to be imprisoned again, this doesn’t cut it anymore!
In spite of already having done a lot, Emicida decided to go beyond, and from Laboratório Fantasma he launched a collection that comes with a new look, getting his foot in the door of the fashion market.
In my thirty years, I’ve never seen a black guy who rose from poverty to launching his clothing brand and already the guy launches it in an event that is a world reference in terms of fashion. If this isn’t showing off to you, for me, it’s a lot!
Another extremely important point of the parade, and for me the most important of all is the question of representativeness, because almost all models were black, not to mention the designer was also, and is this not what the guys are always complaining? In addition, the brand even bothered to put on overweight models, but I’m not talking about those chubby ones with no stomach that appear in most plus size fashion shows, I’m talking about gordo de verdade (the real fat ones), people who need 5G clothes, and with Lab they will find these cloths.
Mas Emicida and his brother Fióti could have just been around there, after all, a bunch of blacks together in a walkway was a lot of already, and already would be an achievement, but they still went further, as the brand even bothered to release prints with African themes, all connected to the history of Yasuke, a black samurai that I had never heard of, but that I learned about thanks to Lab. Look how sensational this was! You launch a brand and still convey culture with all of this; search for Yasuke, the parade was cool, there’s a cartoon and everything and all the kids will fall in love with it. Soon, I’ll release a book called Piye, which is already ready, only missing a publisher, and Piye, for those who do not know, was the first great black Pharaoh of Egypt, so I thought the history of Yasuke was sensational.
In the midst of such representation, we still had as models: musician Seu Jorge, actress Cris Vianna, rapper Karol Conka, Rashid, the former Globeleza Nayara Justino, who was practically fired from the post for ser preta demais (being too black), remember her? Well then, all of this crowd was there, among many others, including models who live in slums.
But all of this wasn’t enough, there were still a lot of people complaining, and gente preta (black people), because I didn’t see white people commenting on the matter, and even I saw them, it wouldn’t matter to me, because what bothers me most is when I see blacks criticizing blacks, especially when that black seems to concern himself with the evolution of the other black, because I can only understand it in this way, as in my Facebook I already questioned three siblings that were against to the show, I asked them to show me a solution, in regards to the problem they had submitted, only that so far no one has responded.
To be continued…
#Otempoéagora (the time is now)