Graziela Sousa

sponsored’ly ever after


It’s been three weeks since one of the biggest Instagram events ever. Yes, The Ferragnez! This marriage between two celebrities came to mark a critical moment and deserves attention in our history. If not, it strongly affirms the power of influencers and what they represent to brands.

But I can’t really speak about this without having contradictory feelings.

On the one hand, it fascinates me how this great influencer (Chiara Ferragni) works with the brands that invest in her, a true entrepreneur with an incredible structure of competent managers and marketeers which generate unprecedented values ​​of brand turnover.

On the other hand, there’s something about it which makes me feel unconfortable. I often remember the movie ‘The Truman Show’, where we could foresee all this.

We were suddenly able to spend the day peeking at her wedding, seeing Leoncino playing, knowing where the groom is, how the bridesmaids are dressed, what people are eating at the party. In a little while will sure be able to smell the flowers and hear the songs live. Maybe, to be there in VR. Who knows?

I question how much of that is made up, how much is actually be true. A sponsored truth? A sponsored life? A sponsored happily ever after?

An influencer as such makes her life her profession. And this is as astonishing, because it alters many of the previous paradigms, as it is scary.

The world has turned with the Queen of Instagram but I really don’t know if I want to ‘keep up with the Ferragnez’.

fast, digital & personal


Hello from a new year!

Despite this sort of crazy beginning, let’s all try and make it a good one, in our life at least, shall we?

Well, being a fashion news’ worm, it’s sort of predictable hat I am fascinated by the Global Fashion report that Business of Fashion have put together with McKinsey, and can’t really believe I haven’t come across it sooner. Lately I’m really into this sort of contrasts that the fashion industry keeps showing off:

_while there’s a great push towards digital and online presence: AI, VR, Automation, fast/immediate acquisition – like see now buy now or Alibaba’s Pay by Nod, – and this is fascinating, it’s Blade Runner/Matrix all coming to our fashion and consumer’s lives;

_there’s also a push towards what is personal and tailored and specially crafted, even made by the same companies – e.g. Burberry made their SNBN revolution but also opened up a concept store in London which celebrated craftsmanship.

And this wonderful contrast is something that will definitely set a tone for the upcoming years of the industry and will be on one hand what the consumers, specially Millennials, desire (not sure if it’s about their needs) and on the other what will drive companies to change, develop and evolve in several sectors: production, distribution and marketing, keeping in mind the needs of their audiences and also the hugely difficult combination of making it still personal. Which will surely be attained through data analytics and also some psycho-sociological, experiential approaches that might guarantee consumer satisfaction – by pleasing and making them as special as they Need, Want or Desire.

words from last week #2


I’ve been dwelling on a few reads about online vs. offline experiences.

Given our industry’s rapid/ever-changing pace, it is quite often said that the future of the industry is online. True fact, everybody is buying more and more from online shops, specially Millennials, with social media transforming radically the way we get to desire, look for and acquire our new garments. There are also many opportunities opening up thanks to the world wide web since it is enabling sharing, renting and even creating under new and unprecedented paradigms – like Chic by Choice and Awaytomars are doing.

But as soon as you think of it or discuss it there’s always someone pointing out the tactile character of fashion and clothes, the importance of trying on stuff and of course, the full experience of retail. So as I was doing my daily reading routine (btw I’ve now added Racked, Loose Threads and Quartz to my long term relationship with Fashion REDEF and The Business of Fashion), I came by this one which excited me particularly – it offered a great insight about how online business are migrating into offline without trouble and, more interestingly, with many advantages given their background.

It is of course of great pride that I mention the fact that Farfetch (founded by the Portuguese entrepreneur José Neves)  is actually doing something pertinent on the other side, which is saving traditional boutiques by making their products available online, not to make them just online businesses but in order to build a global marketplace keeping physical stores open and profitable. I’ve also become quite excited with this post about the Secret Catalog which brings small brands/designers to your place in a printed catalogue just like the old days of La Redoute, as many other European girls in their 30’s (like me) might recall and relate.


All this pieces also made me reflect about  my experience as a producer of Pop-Ups for our students at FA-ULisboa: I’ve produced two editions of this event, regarding it as a way of promoting the school and the students while having a professional approach to the challenges of the fashion design industry and a learning experience at the same time. But the importance of Pop-Ups goes way beyond schools and students/emerging designers, reinforced by Melissa Gonzalez’s (from the Lion’esque Group) talk at the American Fashion Podcast, it is important to underline that Pop-Ups are a growing and pertinent trend for many industries, specially fashion – they offer a brilliant opportunity for brands (fashion or not, new or established) to showcase products among new places and audiences, something specially thrilling for online businesses, either as a marketing/PR strategy either as a way to attract new costumers, recognition and profit of course.

I’d say fashion will always need the personal experience: hands-on, while fitting, touching, smelling and feeling the products, so I guess to sum up this insights I’d just go back to the 80’s and go along with it…

Is it getting PHYSICAL again?


Words from Last Week #1


With such an overflow of information from last week, and every week actually, I decided to make a little summary of the reads I found most interesting as a way to train my synthesizing abilities and an effort to connect a few dots from different sources.

3 Fashion Start Ups Tapping Tough Categories, highlighted the fact that success might be in the special things you can deliver to consumers – sizing, special occasions, universal design – it comes clear that addressing people’s needs and listening closely to your friends’ desires, and the problems they find in their fashion choices and consumption – everyone matters and an innovative business might be hidden in the niches.

Once again got amazed by the work of the BF+DA, Debera Johnson is a voice to be heard about incubating fashion businesses, she reinforces that it is crucial to have a sustainable approach and to deliver the proper resources/advice regarding scalability, local production, technology and innovation.

Given my curiosity about millennials as an educator, this article about beauty products and their marketing issues towards Gen X’rs made me wonder about what we should consider while catering to certain audiences and therefore, possibly shoving a few others away. I also related it to this interesting discussion about beauty standards, sizes and a general need to democratize the images that fashion is producing – while accompanying the fact that social media is in fact (thanks to the Millennial generation) showing who are the real people, not photoshopped, not skinny, not white, not ‘idealized’.

And last but not least the launch of the wonderful John Sterner brand by the fascinating mind of mr. Stutterheim – I’ve been watching the process through his IG account and I love to tes

timony the success and all the correctedness of the whole thing: refugee knitters, following the path of our product from sheep to sweater/tag. It’s what we’re all aiming for. And he DID it!


Of course, as a woman (and a person), it is impossible not to mention Michele Obama’s speech about Trump’s latest scandal and express my support to Amal Clooney who did not have a tantrum. It’s still a man’s world, and it will get a scary one, if the American people elects a man who says such things.

The word in my mind to wrap it up… DEMOCRACY: everyone has its place in a free globalized world and let’s keep it and grow it that way!


street art image. Montmartre, Paris. 2016