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NEW YORK — Carlos Miele is not a household name here, but the Brazilian designer is doing everything in his power to break through the clutter during Fashion Week. The efforts include staging his first runway show here, on Sept. 21 at noon, at the Theater at Bryant Park; shooting an ad campaign with Patrick Demarchelier and opening his first U.S. store in the Meatpacking District.
Miele, who does $60 million in sales yearly in Brazil where he operates 93 stores, creates dramatic, often outrageous clothes combining luxury fabrics with native craft techniques. His show promises to be a cross-cultural extravaganza, with a theme that centers around Pombagira, a female goddess from the Candomblé religion, whom the designer said “is very seductive and makes love and has a lot of hot boyfriends and lots of clothes.”
Two female dancers will perform the roles of Pombagira and Venus, while a video installation of scenes from nature will play in the background. The models will be made up to look like birds with lots of feathers everywhere.
Miele’s show could pack some star power, although it’s too early to say whether fans such as J.Lo, Nelly Furtado and Lil’ Kim will attend. Britney Spears’ stylists, Kurt and Bart, recently called the designer asking to see his denim pieces and evening dresses.
“They said she’s looking for a new designer to create a look for her,” Miele said.
If all goes well with the show, Miele will have some name recognition by the time his store at 408 West 14th Street opens in February. Hane Hashid and Lise Ann Couture, the Asymptote designers responsible for the Hydra-Pier in the Netherlands and the renovation of the Guggenheim Museum in SoHo, designed the store with curvaceous, undulating fixtures and alcoves with seating and video monitors.
While Demarchelier’s ad campaign, being shot here next week, will be seen only in Brazil, his images, featuring model Caroline Ribeiro, will decorate the store and hang in its windows.
This story first appeared in the August 28, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.