McCartney, Versace serve up 'fast fashion' for Brazil's masses

SAO PAULO - This week, fashion stars Stella McCartney and Donatella Versace will launch collections with two department stores in Brazil - a country with consumers hungry for top brands despite an economic downturn.

The daughter of the Beatles legend is launching her second collection, this time just for Brazil, for international chain C&A.

Versace, meanwhile, has designed an exclusive collection for Brazilian store Riachuelo, which has more than 220 stores and over 20 million clients. Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima is fronting the ad campaign.

The launches - the latest in a series of similar high-low collaborations in the fashion world - come during the Sao Paulo Fashion Week, the largest such event in Latin America, which runs through tomorrow.

"These collaborations with C&A and Riachuelo show the maturity and marketing power of Brazilian fashion - its importance, scope and strength," Paulo Borges, founder and artistic director of the Sao Paulo Fashion Week, told AFP.

" 'Fast fashion' is a process which allows a greater number of consumers to satisfy their fashion desires," he said, referring to the trend to get designs quickly from catwalk to store shelves.

"Brazil is 10 years behind in terms of consumption, as compared with international markets. It will continue to buy a lot more," Mr Borges predicted.