Is there any Street Style in Sao Paulo Brazil?
This is the burning question. A lot of my international friends in the industry are always asking me. Is it really worth coming to Brazil to capture street style images? I’ll be honest with you. It is but…. you’re not going to see any high fashion like in Paris or Milan. But, this is true of most cities in the world. The language barrier also represents problems.
That being said, there are some amazing backdrops. The mishmash of old and new architecture around certain parts of the city is quite inspiring for one that doesn’t come from this region of the globe. This is where these latest images come into play.
I was asked by Levi’s to create content that the brand can use to showcase their products to the local market. In the last couple of years, I have discovered a niche in what I do and how I can use this in the Brazilian fashion industry. First and foremost is the fact that I speak Portuguese. This is certainly a necessity when doing business in Brazil for international brands wanting to expand in the market. Since my digital beginnings in 2010 and my ongoing global prospective, I have now become somewhat of a bridge for international brands and their connection with the Brazilian market. I have already worked with such brands as Tod’s and Tory Burch in Brazil to name a few. Today, I am now providing creative direction that is specifically designed for the local market. This content is created with a sophisticated aesthetic drawing from my international experience working with household names such as Samsung, Gucci and Gap in numerous content and consulting capacities.
I am also using this experience in the reverse. I work with local brands and individuals to produce targeted ideas and content. Once again, bringing my international inspiration and reproducing this to suit the local market. I have been consulting for well know local brand, Dona Santa and recently worked on a project with the shoe company, Vicenza. (Yes, the Brazilian shoe industry. That’s a whole different discussion for another time.) Due to the closed nature and language barriers of the market in Brazil, I found it was hard to find people with international experience to do this. There are people that do this in Brazil but I was craving a much higher standard and work ethic.
There was one question that was coming to me from Brazilians in general when I was visiting. Lee, can we collaborate to inject new ideas in our brand? Therefore, I decided to do this myself.
Now, one of the things that I do is produce packaged content and ideas for brands. This includes creative direction, photography, styling. I had numerous people telling me in the beginning. Lee, you can’t do all of this. People won’t understand. I have refused to fit into one specified category and today I am now doing what people told me in the beginning that I was unable to do.
The fashion industry in Brazil is huge but it is mostly designed and produced for the local market. Taste levels are very different and international brands need to adapt to this if they want to see success. Local brands also need to adopt a new way of thinking to make them stand out from their competition and create that “wow” factor. This is something that I am able to produce with ease due to my international experience and local Brazilian market knowledge.
These are a few of my latest images that were produced for Levi’s in Brazil. I was truly honoured to work on this project with them. With over 60 stores throughout Brazil, the sheer scale of this brands infiltration in the Brazilian market is immense. For this project, I provided the entire creative direction. This gave content that the brand can use in Brazil for marketing purposes.
From that borrowed camera 6 years ago that I picked up and started shooting as a hobby, to projects like this that I am producing today. This is my story.
I am one very proud guy right now. Thank you Levi’s :o)
Creative Direction/Photography/Styling : Lee Oliveira
Edit by JJ