Interview with Ronaldo Fraga

Ever since Brazilian designer Ronaldo Fraga showcased his work at São Paulo Phytoervas Fashion in 1996, he’s been capturing audiences with his patterns and bright colours that capture the essence of Brazil.

His work has brilliantly infused Brazil’s culture in each and every fabric, pattern and design, making Fraga one of the country’s most renowned fashion designers in the last 18 years.

Fraga’s work continually expands beyond the idea of trends, as he works to close the gap between cultural differences within his country by advocating for the Brazilian way through each and every collection he releases. We spoke to Fraga about his way of working and passion for Brazil.

fluoro. Why and how was the label created?
Por que e como sua grife foi criada?

Ronaldo Fraga. I had lived and studied in London and New York. When I came back to Brazil in 1996, the fashion scene was sparkling and the fashion business was looking for new designers. By then, I had sent a collection to a recently created fashion event. That was when I was selected and invited to show my collection in 1996. That’s how may label began.

Morei e estudei em Londres e Nova York. Quando voltei para o Brasil em 1996, a moda estava fervilhando e o mercado buscava novos designers. Enviei um projeto de coleção para um evento recém-criado, fui selecionado, desfilei e recebi o prêmio estilista revelação de 1996. Assim nasceu a minha marca.

f. How does your Brazilian heritage affect the way your garments are designed?
De que forma essa herança da cultura brasileira interfere no resultado do design dos seus produtos?

RF. I use natural fabrics such as linen and cotton, which are appropriate to Brazil’s weather. In addition, the mix of colors and needlework that are used shows a certain knowledge that is being lost in Brazil.

I develop materials by using high technology with the help of a number of industries in Brazil. I also use handcraft materials developed by small groups of Brazilian artisans.

Nos tecidos naturais como o linho e algodão, próprios para o clima brasileiro. Na combinação de cores, nos bordados manuais que revelam saberes e fazeres em vias de extinção no Brasil.

Desenvolvo materiais envolvendo alta tecnologia com indústrias do Brasil e bem como materiais artesanais desenvolvidos por pequenos grupos de artesãos.

f. What influence does nature have on your work?
Qual a influência da natureza no seu trabalho?

RF. I would say in the use of natural fibers, in the diversity of colors, in the jewelry made by natural elements and in the work that I do with communities who live in the Amazon Forest.

No uso de fibras naturais, na cartela de cores, nas bio joias e no trabalho com comunidades da floresta amazônica.

f. It has been 18 years since your first collection was launched. How do you keep the label progressive?
Completaram-se 18 anos desde o lançamento da sua primeira coleção. Como você consegue manter o desenvolvimento da grife?

RF. I keep the label progressive, by always telling a new story and revealing parts of Brazil through my fashion. A country that many Brazilians still don’t know about.

Contando sempre uma nova história e revelando, através da moda, o Brasil que muitos brasileiros não conhecem.

f. Describe the person who wears Ronaldo Fraga.
Qual perfil de quem veste Ronaldo Fraga?

RF. Opinion leaders in a group, people who understand my designs and consumers from different and diverse expressions of the Brazilian culture.

Formadores de opinião no seu grupo, conhecedores e consumidores dos diferentes vetores da cultura brasileira.

f.  Gives us three words to describe your next collection.
Que três palavras poderiam descrever sua próxima coleção?

RF. Politics: both Brazilian and universal.

Política: brasileira e universal.

Translation: Maria Júlia Duarte Lledó.

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