Discussing Fashion with Juliana Cavalcanti

By Carolina Dias | 2014/07/02 - 12:11:10

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Juliana Cavalcanti came to visit her best friend in Portugal for 15 days and never returned to Brazil, as she became addicted to Portugal.

As a fashion businesswoman, she claims that fashion was born with her. She started studying Law because of the “intellectual” prejudice of being a good student, but she eventually followed her bliss and went to the Anhembi Morumbi University in São Paulo to study Fashion Marketing. Today she works in product management with a fashion company in Oporto. “I'm loving handling product. I always worked more in fashion communication, but I like product management, the search for the collection, fashion hunting and buying." As a curator, she is also part of GLEAM, a trend app that is already in over 50 countries, with nearly two hundred thousand users and still growing.

Juliana, did you identified yourself from the beginning with the Fashion Marketing degree you pursued?
Actually I identify myself a lot with fashion, the course was good but I was very critic about it. I thought it didn’t pushed me enough. In the end, I feel it’s one of the best courses on this subject in Brazil. I made wonderful friends there, all of them are now working in the field.

Personally I think the Brazilian fashion market is less exclusive, quite more open and with a bigger range of themes. Do you agree?
Yes, I agree. But that’s something that has to do with the characteristics of the country. Brazil is a much bigger country, with enormous influences from other cultures, a range of ethnicities and consequently people with different tastes and different ways of expression. And fashion is a human expression.

What do you think about the fact that Portuguese Vogue has such an inferior number of contents when compared to Brazilian Vogue? 
I think it’s very natural. A magazine is a reflection, not only of the dimension of a country, but also of a market. Portugal is a smaller country with an economic crisis. It’s natural that there isn’t the same structure as there is in the Vogue edition of a country that is economically stronger, with a bigger consumer market, which means a bigger return from the investments in advertising and contents. But I believe that between possibilities and reality, Portuguese magazines make an effort to deliver good results. And I have faith that the economic crisis will change and the future will become more promising for everyone, including the fashion market (in which consumption suffers more). That’s what we expect. 
Portugal has a smaller geographic area than Brazil. Do you think Portuguese people are properly exploring the market? Should we invest more, who knows, in Angola?
In which sense do you refer to a bigger investment in Angola? Obviously Portugal is a small country so the dimension of everything, including the media, is smaller. Of course we are always critics and believe that is possible to do a better work, among the existent possibilities. I believe the national media does a good work. And we have to be realistic with this economical situation: without investment, without financial capacity, there is, unfortunately, no way to grow or expand. There is no way to invest in professionals, in magazine pages, in further and further challenging interviews and reports, in exchanges with the external market.

I don’t want and I don’t have enough bases to judge anyone. But I do believe there are great professionals in the market in the same way that there are others which I don’t admire, as it happens everywhere. I think Portugal is opening itself and absorbing more from the world… and that gives me great happiness, since I love this country and I feel that there is only need for a more open mind.

In Portugal, the culture just by itself is undervalued. Do you think that there is an even more undervalued culture inside fashion? Or is this just a moment that we live with a broader exposure in fashion?
I think fashion is glamorous for those who are outside the business. Fashion is esthetic, is vanity, consumption… it can be for a niche or a mass market. But what matters is that it reaches everyone and is consumed by everyone (in different ways, of course). For less, the person has resources in a way or another, for consuming, dressing, and obeying to the fashion in general. Of course, I am talking about a capitalist society/occidental in which we live in. That’s why fashion isn’t undervalued, just a part of the culture that becomes more and more massified, it’s a part of our day-to-day. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t happen with a big range of other cultural strands. So that’s how it ends as a more glamorous matter, with more vanity maybe. I believe in that because it is and it will always be something that messes with egos.

What do you think about the democratization of the media, in which fashion bloggers bloom and consequently increase the consumption of “fast fashion”?
I am very understanding, I mean that I comprehend the "why" about the phenomenon. Everything has to answer to lifestyles and, as always, there is the good and the empty one, in a more wicked way. On one hand, the market opened itself for everyone, anybody can have their way when expressing themselves and I was always in favor of democracy on any circumstance. But of course, as everything within society, it ends in another empty side… lots of blogs emerged and lots of them without any quality, with an aggressive exposure of private life. I think that a lot of them have no structure for so much exposure and neither it’s positive that it makes people egocentric, less real, playing a life for others to see. But I don’t judge, I believe that’s the result of the moment we live in. Maybe in the next few years, all this will end or there is a change, but then another social phenomena will come, as it always was in history.

What matters to me? The good professionals, the ones that make a good work, with knowledge and structure. And the fast fashion, it doesn’t bother me at all. On the opposite, I love to see more democratic fashion each day. And I still believe there is enough room for everything. And each trade has to find its own profile, its own market and make the best work it can provide. If it's a luxury brand, then make that luxury and work in that niche. If it's fast fashion, also great, as long as you deeply know what your consumers want.

There are lot’s of blogs these days and you actually used to have your own! But what makes you follow a blog? Is there any content that you think should be addressed with greater care in those blogs?
There are actually a lot. And in the end I get to know lots of them because it’s part of my work. Of course, most of them don’t spark a big interest in me. It’s pure exposure without any content. But they do succeed, of course, human beings are very curious and that’s exactly what they want to see, they are voyeurs… it’s just like a reality show. And of course, since the moment that a person attracts public and consequently has a lot of followers, the brands get interested in that person and invest to be featured in the blog because the result of blog communication is extremely positive. With guarantee of immediate consumption, it’s madness. Some bloggers have become real celebrities. But I do believe since the moment you become an influent person, it’s important to take care with what you say, specially because most of the public that follows bloggers/celebrities are young teenagers in a very delicate moment in life, when good examples are very important.

Do you think the industry won’t live without them in the future?
It’s actually very radical to say that the industry won’t live without them. History has been through many social phenomena and everything always changes, as we live in a world in constant transformation. For that, I believe this is the present. In the same way that we can’t imagine what will be up next, we only now that’s going to change, it always changes. 


  1. Carolina Dias2014-08-25 08:31:04

    Claire M. there is no appreciation in the contents and nobody cares anymore with formation! "Freedom of expression , of course yes, but control of quality is not censorship and should exist" by Sofia Aparício

  2. Carolina Dias2014-08-25 08:28:25

    Miss Pumps it's everywhere that's might be one of the biggest problems of society :/

  3. Miss Pumps2014-08-21 12:59:34

    It's like that in so many areas, not just in fashion blogging.

  4. Claire M.2014-07-06 17:42:30

    She's so right. It seems that the world of fashion blogging is all about showing off with no real appreciation for content. It really needs a good shake.

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