In the last week of May, Fashion students of Antwerp Management School took off to São Paulo, Brazil, to visit FAAP University (Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado). This trip is integral to the Master in International Fashion Management program. It immerses the students into the Brazilian fashion industry, to shed light on its emerging fashion markets and understand its unique position, challenges, and opportunities.
Over five weeks, we followed various lectures such as Portuguese for beginners, Brazilian Arts & Culture, and business classes. We also had the opportunity to visit companies like NK, Lenny Niemeyer, Osklen, and other Brazilian fashion brands – ranging from favela-born brands to luxury labels.
Throughout the program, important topics were touched upon: the complex political situation, the threat to the Amazon, and the cultural differences in Brazil. Through various exhibitions that addressed these issues, we could develop an understanding of the different layers of Brazilian culture.
The fashion management students had the opportunity to learn about a country where the entire supply chain takes place, which is fascinating from a fashion point of view. The trip to Brazil offered many new insights through the cultivation of cotton, textile production mainly in the south of the country, and retail in metropolises such as São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.
“This trip was truly a unique opportunity, making this master stand out among many others. In Fashion, we often look at the big players and the finished products but forget to think about the supply chain and emerging markets. This trip has allowed us to follow products from plant to store. Moreover, we got to experience the beauty and hospitality of the Brazilian culture!” - Anna-Lena Müller, a fashion management student at AMS.
Travelling to Rio de Janeiro, experiencing a real Brazilian carnival, and joining a Caipirinha cocktail class, we could scratch this all off our bucket lists. We even had a ‘personal reporter’ to join us and capture the best moments. For one week, the actress and fashion influencer Angela Jakaj tagged along to create content and include a bigger audience in this international fashion adventure.
At the end of the trip, we were allowed to apply our gained knowledge by tackling and presenting four real-life business cases of Brazilian fashion brands. All in all, the experiences in Brazil broadened our horizons and allowed us to learn about different facets of the fashion industry and the challenges that come along with it. It proved that fashion is not only in the famous cities of Paris, Milan, London, and New York. In addition to what we learned and experienced, our networks expanded to the extent that will certainly boost our future careers.