BRAZILIAN DESIGNERS HIT MANHATTAN: The Ponto Zero Project, conceived in 2008 by the creators of fashion showcase Casa de Criadores and Mercando Mundo Mix, in partnership with the Brazilian Association of the Textile Apparel Industry and Sinditêxtil-SP, made it’s debut in New York on Tuesday with a runway presentation at the Hôtel Americano. The annual contest takes a group of aspiring designers and pairs them with the top minds in the fashion industry to nurture and develop each designer’s collection. The final contestants present their collections in a runway style competition, judged by a panel of fashion professionals, journalists, designers and industry executives. In addition to showing their work at Casa de Criadores, the finalists from each edition participate in Mercado Mundo Mix, a multicultural festival that takes place in Brazil and Portugal.

Collections from the second and fourth season winners, Cynthia Hayashi, Isadora Zendron and Lucas Devitte, were featured, along with collections from current stars of the program, Gabriela Sakate and Arnaldo Ventura. The styles ran the gamut from traditional printed blouses and jacquard jackets to modern leather dresses and coats and blended cotton and resin tops adorned with metal belts. Sakate said she currently sells in Brazil and Portugal, but hoped the event can spur interest in U.S. sales.

Organizers said this new initiative marks an important evolution of the international stage of the project, which is supported by the Brazilian Fashion Industry Export Program, developed by the ABIT in partnership with Apex-Brasil. Previous Ponto Zero events have taken place in Brazil, Lisbon and Colombia.

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