I was invited to the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina to explore the manufacturing plants in the region as well as to view the SCMC (Santa Catarina Moda Contemporanea) collections. The whole affair is about students getting support from manufacturers to create collections that promote Brazilian textiles and manufacturing. For this dispatch, I decided write a play by play of events for those 72 hours in Santa Catarina.
Thursday March 18th
2.30pm Arrive at Navagantes Airport. To go to Balneairo Cambriou where I’m staying for the next 3-days, you either have to fly into Florianopolis or Navagantes.
3pm Drive to Mercure Hotel in Balneairo Cambriou. Even though the water is not of the clear turquoise variety, I’m thrilled that the hotel is steps away from beach.
4pm Mad search for ATM, then lunch at Casa Lagosta
5pm Retreat to Hotel
8pm Dinner with Anita Delmonte my host from Abit. We go to a local spot right on the beach and I quickly learning that the food of choice here is all kinds of seafood breaded Milanese style.
Friday March 19th
Feeling a little wobbly from jetlag but this is not the day to feel impaired. Today is packed with visits to manufacturers.
10.30am Depart Hotel with a couple other journalists for Blumenau, the location of several of the factories in the region.
11:30am First stop, Dudalina, a menswear manufacturer. Rui Leopoldo Hess de Souza, one of the 20 children of the founders gave a spirited speech on the history of the company. We see the showroom, the factory and have lunch on site in the company’s cafeteria.
1.30pm We arrive at Hering, one of the largest and most respected brands in the country. It’s a 150-year old company and their executive proceeded to relay the entire history. I begged for a double espresso and I haven’t drank caffeine in months.
4pm Arrive at Tehnobleu, they make labels and tags and showed us some of the most innovative labels I’ve seen.
Between the tour and lectures, I’d been texting and calling Pedro Hering, a scion of the Hering dynasty, and a friend who took me around Florianopolis last year with his wife Janice. Time was limited but I couldn’t be in the region without meeting up.
7pm Get dropped off at Pedro and Janice Hering. After catching up for a couple hours, I was taken on tour around the different Hering compounds. One particularly impressive property was a 30-room mansion with amazing wood floors that the family plans to use as a school for German studies. Loving the tour but I’m starving. A reservation at Chez Raymond was made for 10pm. What’s Pedro thinking? Eating past 8pm is a no no.
10pm Arrive at Chez Raymond. The reservation is for an outside table that’s taking awhile to materialize and im having none of it. I’m famished and demand that an indoor table is set up to accommodate us. I hear Pedro mumbling that I’m a very important journalist from America with important ties and so on and so forth. A table was sorted and the manager was wise to steer me from the pedestrian bacalhau to the filet version and it was the best bacalhau I’ve ever had. Pedro and Janice know everyone in the area so it was like sitting with the mayor. People exiting the restaurant or the bathroom for that matter, stopped by our table to say hello and kiss the ring. I love Brazilians; they’re just nice.
12:30am It’s been a long day but en route back to the hotel, Pedro extended the tour. We popped by Warung, one of the top ten clubs in the world. It’s off-season and closed so we took pictures by the entrance and took a little stroll on the beach right in front on the club. Down the street, it was a hip hop night at Kiwi club. There’s so many hot young things entering the club, I kept spinning my head in every direction to catch a look.
1.30am Drop off at the hotel
2pm REM time
Saturday, March 20th
Before the fashion event tonight, we’re going to tour the local beaches. The day is overcast but hot and humid.
9.30am Flavia Mendonca, our Brazilian correspondent is also in town. We have breakfast together
10:45am Arrive at Laranjeiras beach. Took photos with a pirate. The rocks look exactly like the ones in Paraty.
11.30am Arrive at Taquarinhas. The beach is a nature preserve and it’s practically empty. Just the kind of beach I like. We took a couple pictures and kept it moving.
11.45am Arrive at Taquaras
12pm Arrive at Praia do Pinha, the local nude beach. I wished I could spend the day here but instead settled for picking guavas from a couple trees that were laden with ripe, succulent guavas.
12.30pm The heat is kicking in and we hadn’t swim up to this point, so it was time to go in. Anita and I took a short dip before heading back to the hotel.
12.45pm Back to hotel for a quick turnaround, then an official lunch with the press corps. Lula Rodrigues is there among a few other Brazilian journalists that I’ve met over the years. They’re accusing me of being a citizen considering how often I’m in the country.
1.10pm Arrive at Praia deos Amores for the official meet and greet SCMC lunch. A gorgeous seafood spread is layed out and I chowed down…lots of breaded seafood again. If I don’t take a nap, I will not make it to the fashion shows tonight.
3.30pm Back to the hotel
7pm The fashion shows are at Green Valley. I can’t think of Green Valley without the Jennifer Lopez “Waiting For Tonight” video poping to mind. It literally feels like partying in the jungle.
8pm The shows open with little kids wearing what looks like Oktoberfest costumes. The kiddies are cute. The clothing? Let’s see what’s more to come. Some are more successful than others. Read my report later this week.
10.30pm Post-show, we stayed on at Green Valley, danced a bit and watched as highly attractive throngs of young people flood the place. On our exit at 1.30am, the line of cars cued up to go to the club spanned about 2 miles.
Sunday March 21st
9.30-11.30am Two hours at the beach directly in front of the hotel sipping agua de coco.
12pm Depart hotel for airport
2.30pm Leave for Sao Paolo