Name: Alana Ruas
Age: 27 years old
Born in : Teófilo Otoni, - Minas Gerais (MG)
Lives in: Rio de Janeiro
Profession: Fashion designer, blogger and occasionally work as a stylist.
Tell us a bit about your journey coming to live in Rio de Janeiro
I came to Rio as a 15 year old, with the goal to study design in the city later on. In the town that I grew up there were no university courses that offered design, it was only traditional courses like medicine, law and business studies.
I entered university at age 17 to study Product Design, however after 5 semesters I switched over to Fashion Design. My way of drawing was more related to fashion and luckily my professors observed this. After coursing a few subjects in fashion design I was already hooked.
How would you define the Carioca (Rio Local) style?
I see a lot of diversity in the carioca style, but it’s obvious that the carioca values comfortable clothing. It’s a bohemian casual style and sporty at the same time. There are those who have a more underground style and like darker colors, but these also seem to value comfort. Flat sandals, flip flops and sneakers are surely part of the carioca wardrobe.
What’s the biggest difference between the carioca and the mineiro (person from Minas Gerais)?
The mineiro likes to dress up more than the Carioca. Women from Minas love to get all worked up and dress well for any occasion, while the carioca definitely has a more casual style.
I noticed the difference once when I went to a BBQ with people from school in Rio right in the beginning. I came all dressed up with high heels and lipstick while everyone else was wearing flip flops, summer dresses and flat sandals. They asked me where I was going since I was all dressed up and it was quite a funny situation
After a while I decided to adopt and immerse myself in the more comfortable cariocan style. I love wearing sneakers for everything nowadays and I’ve even wore it to nightclubs (the cariocas use them a lot). I also love wearing sneakers when dancing, as high heels tend to get me tired too fast.
What inspires you?
Wow, a lot of things. Music, video clips, street styles, nature, fashion editors and I love photography. It really depends on the small stuff that I observe in my everyday life that could inspire me. I love anthropology; I love studying people’s behavior as I consider the essence of fashion to come from these studies.
Knowing that you have lived in Holland. What is the main difference between the European and the Brazilian way of dressing?
In men’s style I’ve noticed a big difference. The European men get dressed up way more than the Brazilian men. In Holland I noticed that the men even dress up more than the women. The girls would usually have a more casual and basic style, with no or little makeup and be more natural in general.
The majority of Brazilian men are quite macho and don’t like to dress up too much as they might be afraid to be mistaken for being gay. For some, being well dressed might be associated with being gay. These men always use shorts, a T-shirt and flip flops or basic sneakers. I believe that this is gradually changing, but the majority of Brazilian men unfortunately continue to think this way of because of it they don’t show any creativity in the way they dress.
When it comes to the Brazilian women, I believe that the majority enjoys looking after their appearance (sometimes even too much). For some Brazilian women it’s crucial to go to the beauty salon every week to get her nails and hair done. On the other hand European women are much more practical, they don’t use a lot of time in saloons and tend to show less skin than the Brazilians. Brazilian women also tend to like wearing tight clothes that emphasize certain parts of the body.
What's your favorite spot in Rio?
That’s a hard one, because there’s so many places I love. Lately I’ve encountered peace at the Beach Reserva. It’s calm and I love biking by the shore of Barra Beach. When I lived in Copacabana I loved going to Arpoador and to Parque Lage.
What are your plans for the future?
One of my plans is to try to export my clothes abroad.
Live in another country again to study.
Become fully vegan.
Have children and travel a lot getting to know different cultures.
5 items you cannot go without this summer
- Top Halter
- One piece bathing suit
- Cropped Top
- Plastic platform Sandals