By  on March 7, 2008

SAO PAULO — Designers at Brazil's two main fashion events set off in strikingly different trend directions, and, coupled with a wide range of prices, offered retailers a bounty of choices.

The upscale São Paulo Fashion Week features pricier apparel than the more commercial Fashion Rio. But at both editions, cheaper, lesser-known brands that offered something fresh caught more buyer attention than some of the bigger labels, in part due to the stumbling worldwide economy. Foreign retailers at SPFW, in particular, shunned expensive designers because of high dollar-based export prices — a result of the dollar having depreciated against the local currency, the real, by 50 percent since 2003 and by 13 percent since mid-2007. The exchange rate has stabilized in recent months, however, and the dollar's depreciation appears to have stopped.

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