“Abaixo este brasil atrasado.”
The final catwalk-run by Brazilian designer Time Ellus (“Team Ellus”) featured a t-shirt slogan calling for the Brazilian government to catch up with the rest of the world by removing the inefficiency, corruption and lack of productivity that makes its traffic, airports, hospitals, schools and by definition its economy, so sluggish and slow.
Although it sounds like a call for a better society, the mission statement issued by the designer afterwards focused more on the fashion world and its problem with homegrown Brazilian designers being forced out of the market by cheap foreign imports “from poor countries”.
The slogan was never really about improving the situation for Brazil’s poor, who make minimum salaries of US$300 a month (in a country where an iPhone sells for US$1,250) and suffer terrible public schooling, transport and health systems, but about the fashion world getting better business breaks and tax-cuts.
Is there a problem with a rich, white Brazilian designer jumping on the “corruption/bureaucracy/failing public education and health sector bandwagon to promote her own personal commercial interests? A fashion designer who almost certainly went to a private school for her education, a private hospital when she was sick and travels the world in luxury, attending the most fabulous parties in the gentrified air of some of Rio de Janeiro’s best hotels?
A better writer than me has summed up the hypocritical issue of rich Brazilians complaining about Brazil’s social problems they themselves are financially and ideologically-intertwined within, so I won’t try.
Instead, here’s the statement “Team Ellus” released following the catwalk run for you to decide by yourself (Portuguese below):
Até para indústria da moda, exportar o nosso design fica difícil com todo esse custo, abrindo espaço maior para as importações de roupas e acessórios provenientes de países pobres, porque nós não temos condições de competir.
Precisamos desburocratizar, simplificar para motivar, avançar, abrir, internacionalizar, se não, cada vez mais, ficaremos isolados nas geleiras do Polo Sul.
Que Brasil é esse em que até as empresas e patrimônios públicos acabam destruídos?!?!
ABAIXO ESSE BRASIL ATRASADO!