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When we read about the huge amounts of profit successful entrepreneurs make, we are overwhelmed on the one hand and greatly disappointed on the other. The amounts involved and power they wield inhibit some startups.
For example, a fashion designing startup has a wonderful designing talent and great vision, but after reading the news of the likes of Nygard and Bacon, two popular billionaires in industry circles, their jaw drops and their heart sinks.
Alexandre Herchcovitch: A Brazilian clubber designer who designed ‘Beauty Denims’!
The other day I was trying to find the exact meaning of ‘cellulite’ on the Net. There were several informative websites popped up and one news item in particular caught my designer geek’s eye, which talked about a pair of jeans that is supposed to cure cellulite accumulation in women. I wondered who the scientist was, and to my surprise, it was not a scientist but a fashion designer who produced it. Well, I must find out more about this miracle designer, I thought to myself, and dug deep into the Net. And this is what I got:
Alexandre Herchcovitch is a paulistano, i.e. he was born and bred in Sao Paulo (Saint Paul), a large city in Brazil, South America, and as a paulistano, he followed the city’s motto: ‘Non ducor, duco.‘ meaning “I am not led; I lead.” and has been leading the Brazilian fashion arena since he was a child.
An Orthodox Jew Interested in Alternative Night Life:
He was born to Benjamin Herchcovitch and Regina Herchcovitch in 1971. Regina, who was a bank employee but had an interest in clothes, trained little Herchcovitch to learn designing and sewing clothes. It is said that she would wear the clothes he stitched to the local parties to popularise his designs in public and the passion for designing in him. Though he wanted to do his degree in designing (and almost did it), he dropped out when the Father of the Brazilian Fashion, Paulo Borges, invited him to work on the Phytoervas Fashion Show in 1994. And he never had to look back, being one of the three starters of Sao Paulo Fashion Show.
In 1994, he launched his own label with his trademark ‘skull’ which soon became an icon of Brazilian youth. In an article in the Style Image Examiner, April 21, 2014, it’s said Herchcovitch’s command of fashion as a language that interprets reality and the world, and quoted the designer’s deliberate move in using 29 male and female black models to show his menswear collection to showcase the racial bias in fashion world and the debate on the sexual ambiguity (androgyny) and the imitation work of one or more other artists (pastiche).
And his labels have gained so such fame that celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Rihanna were seen wearing Herchcovitch. In his article, 21 Sept., 2013, for CNN Travel, Duncan Forgan, wrote about Alexandre Herchcovitch being arguably Brazil’s foremost designer and his clothes at his store in Sao Paulo, the highlight of shopping in Brazil.
Alexandre ascribes the success of his brave, bold and contrasting designs which have been much lauded world over to the orthodox Jewish upbringing and his interest in alternative nightclub culture. He’s known to keep away from the Brazilian footprint in his designs; instead known to introduce international concepts with bright and contrasting colours.
In late 1990s he was called the ‘Marcia Pantera Stylist’ because he dressed the famous drag queen, Pantera, of Sao Paulo night clubs. Chico Felitti, a reputed journalist, wrote in his article that as a consequence, many prostitutes started calling on him at home to get them dressed. And from there he grew to be an international designer when he sold his company that he started in 1994 to “Inbrand” in 2011, which invests in well-known fashion brands in Brazil. And since then his designs have made their way to the runways of New York, Paris, London and Sao Paulo Fashion Weeks, and some of his labels are sold in the USA, Canada, England, France, Spain, Australia and Japan.
The Designer’s Name that Sells… Sells a Lot:
Alexandre has his eye on and finger in every commercial product. It’s said that he has done endorsements, licensing agreements and collaborations with about 50,000 products. Though the number may be exaggerated, there are certainly a large number of commercial products that have his name on and finger in them.
He sells his own fashion labels in his own stores in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, New York and Tokyo with an online service that takes in orders from all over the world.
Alexandre Herchcovitch Brand commands such influence on the fashion lovers that he has more products on his name than any other fashion designer in Brazil and the world over. His collaboration with Motorola brought out ‘Motovitch’ cellphones with his iconic skull pattern on them; his McDonald’s Brazil uniforms and round eyeglass frames are created in association with Mykita, showing up on catwalks in New York. His other products include: perfumes, furniture collection, Melissa sandals & footwear, table cloths, bed sheets, pillows and bath (towels) lines, mugs, glasses, Medicom toy arts, purses, cigarette lighters, band-aids, notebooks, backpacks and skateboards. He created such a strong Brand that it sells, whether the product is a clothing line or a sewing needle!
He has his artistic finger in technology pie also. On April 18, 2010, he designed a laptop called ‘dm1’ with a specially detailed gold lace pattern for Hewlett Packard (HP computer company), which, he said, took him 2 years to make, and promoted it himself along with the other series of laptops scheduled to be released in summer 2011 at HP product launch in Manhattan.
The Jeans That Promise to Burn Your Fat:
In 2013, Alexandre Herchcovitch, teaming up with Rhodia, a Solvay Group Company, and Canatiba, a reputed company, produced jeans, called ‘Beauty Denims’, using Emana yarn technology, which boasted anti-cellulite, the fat that is found around thighs and hips, priced at $3,000 a piece. Though the producers boasted it was the first of its kind, there had been another company, Miss Sixty, which produced ‘anti-cellulite’ jeans, trousers and skirts back in 2004, without much success. Now Alexandre Herchcovitch Brand claims that it has spent 5 years on authentic scientific research carried out by Rhodia with Kosmoscience Institute and invested millions of dollars on production, and so guarantees far better results. However, scientific circles discourage people by warning that there is no cure for cellulite and no clothes of any kind can make a person free of cellulite.
Besides, Herchcovitch also honors the bio-diversity and eco-chic fashion. His model in pink flower-studded hemp and silk long dress bagged impressive reviews from the media and the viewers. He is known to follow ethics and sustainable practices in producing his labels.
Designing Talent Combined with Acting Talent:
Alexandre Herchcovitch has won several awards, and in addition, having been shown on TV in connection with fashion shows, has acted in some movies and in a HBO TV series in which he acted as a gay designer with his own father acting as his movie father in the series.
Though much is not found in the media about this 43-year old designer’s personal or family life, rumor has it that he’s gay and has been living with his ‘husband’/boyfriend, Fabio Souza, a 36 years old dealer in used goods for seven years in a penthouse in Higienopolis, and that they both are planning to legalise their live-in relationship soon.
The question whether his ‘Beauty Denims’ burn body fat or not is left to the future, but his ‘skull’ brand designs and accessories certainly ignite the burning desire to wear in the fashion lovers not only in Brazil but also worldwide.
Ronen Chen: Became a fashion designer out of convenience!
While I was browsing the Net the other day, I came across Jewish News Online blog titled “66 reasons to visit Israel“, dated November 4, 2014, and was amazed at the inclusion of Ronen Chen clothing label ‘To buy clothes at Ronen Chen…‘ at number 19 in par with the most historical and Biblical landmarks and tourists spots, even keeping the items ‘To try skiing on Mount Hermon…‘ at number 23 and ‘To see where Elijah hid in a cave, … the holiest Jewish site in Haifa‘ at number 49 on the list!
As winter has set in, my wife and I have been busy turning up the central heating system, hanging thick curtains on the windows, checking on our vehicles’ heating devices and pulling out the duvets and rugs and mittens and thick socks from the closets to keep ourselves and the kids as warm as possible. According to the environmentalists, we are having severe winters as a result of the dreaded global warming. (Well, it’s not easy to answer kids’ questions about why winters are colder when the earth is getting hotter; not for me, anyway!)
Now comes the more important question of what to wear for outdoors. We have nice sweaters and coats from previous winters, but they seem to be out-dated. So, my wife and I have sat down to select the Brand from which to choose our this year’s winter coats and other winter related accessories. Even before I have started to suggest a Brand, pat comes the name from my wife: Massimo Dutti!
Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana – the Italian lovebirds that made a billion euro fashion nest!
he Fall of the Empire:
The other day while I was browsing the Net, I came across a news item about a couple of fashion designers being sentenced to 18 months for tax evasion. I became curious and tried to learn more about the case as I rarely come across fashion designers in tax frauds. Almost all the fashion designers openly announce the fruits of their labor, which in turn boost their personal and their companies’ fame.
And the case in question is about Domenico Dolce ( aged 54, worth 1.6 billion euros), and Stefano Gabbana (aged 50, worth 1.7 billion euros), the two Italian fashion designers who started their fashion business together as partners and gay ‘lovers’ in 1985. The charges being that they used Luxembourg holding company Gado to avoid paying taxes on royalties of about 1 billion euros to the Italian government.