Sao Paulo, Nov 16 (EFE).- The Meninos Rei clothing brand kicked off Sao Paulo Fashion Week on Wednesday with a runway show that highlighted Brazil’s diversity, the creativity of its urban areas and the country’s African heritage
Designers Junior and Ceu Rocha’s “Where Art Is Born” show featured the vibrant colors characteristic of the suburbs of Salvador, a northeastern Brazilian city that is home to the country’s largest Afro-Brazilian population and the birthplace of the two brothers who co-founded Meninos Rei six years ago.
The creations that made up the collection were notable for colorful prints, geometric designs and clear references to Africa, while the show featured a diverse cast of runway models, including Jojo Todynho, a plus-size singer and TV host; Deborah Secco, a popular white actress; and Dandara Queiroz, a model of Tupi indigenous origin.
“This representativeness is important so any person who sees us can say: I also belong there. The brands are becoming more open and are giving people a voice,” Todynho said of the diversity of the Meninos Rei models.
Brazilian diversity also was reflected in the music that served as backdrop to the fashion show, a selection highlighted by the rhythms of Bahia state, whose capital is Salvador.
A brand that began as a small sewing workshop in Salvador selling products to the brothers’ friends, Meninos Rei rapidly achieved success in the market and this week earned a prominent place in “Latin America’s preeminent fashion event.”
The Rocha brothers’ work is characterized by designs that pay tribute to African culture while also showcasing the creativity found in Brazil’s suburban neighborhoods.
Their brand already made a big splash at last year’s event when it screened a video that denounced the “genocide” of the black population in Brazil.
Meninos Rei participated in Sao Paulo Fashion Week in 2021 as part of the Sankofa Project, an initiative that brought together eight Afro-Brazilian-run fashion brands and was aimed at encouraging the inclusion of black designers in a traditionally white-dominated event.
A total of 50 runway shows will take place at this year’s Sao Paulo Fashion Week, which will run through Sunday at the Iguatemi shopping center and the Komplexo Tempo events complex.
One of the most highly anticipated will be a special presentation organized by the Ellus fashion brand to commemorate its 50th anniversary. EFE