Karl Lagerfeld And Donatella Versace: How The Partnership With Fashion Designers Have Transformed The Brand Riachuelo

The Decade is 1930. One of the worst droughts ever recorded in the Northeast leaves no alternative to Nevaldo

Rock, only 12 years, Caraúbas, in Rio Grande do Norte, in search of a better life in Natal. About of 15 years later, alongside his brother, Newton founded the Guararapes, textile company that in 1979 the Riachuelo. Cut to 2015. Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most important names of global fashion, creative genius and icon of our times, design in your Studio in Paris, sketches of a collection with 75 pieces that the Riachuelo launches in São Paulo Fashion Week next Tuesday and arriving in parrots across the country on Wednesday.

The bridge to the unlikely encounter between two octogenarians succeed, one of the sertão, today the list of the Forbes billionaires among the largest in the country, and another in Northern Germany, top on the list of global designers, it’s called Marcella Kanner Martins de Carvalho and has 34 years.

Granddaughter of the founder, Marcella is the marketing manager of the company that celebrates the second international collection, the first was with the Versace, in 2014. The third generation of rock, Marcella works at Riachuelo since 20 years. Just sat out during the nine months when he lived in New York to study Fashion Business in the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Much of the recent turnaround of the brand, increasingly positioned in the market as a fast fashion, is due to the Marcella, who heads trading partnerships with fashion designers and work aligned with the uncle, Flavio Rocha, Riachuelo CEO, considered an ACE of the Brazilian retail sector.

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Met Marcella during a preview of the collection from Karl Lagerfeld to Riachuelo in the courtyard Batel Fashion Week in Curitiba last month. Shy and minimalist style, she easily give up the powerful character of the sets. Keep it down, but fast, reflection of the reasoning which flies, and look into the eyes of the interlocutor. There, Marcella talked to the press and special customers in one of three conceptual brand stores in the country, the Batel, patio where the giant luxury Mall popular with Dolce & Gabbana space divided, Valentino and Louis Vuitton. In anticipation for the launch of the collection of Karl in the SPFW next Tuesday, Marcella commented on the twist of popular brand of fast fashion Basic that between 2006 and 2015 opened 199 stores and had overwhelming 202.8% percentage growth in gross revenue.

Power To The Product

“The entire company submits to the product. We have a team of 145 people in the area. People in São Paulo, Natal, Fortaleza and Shanghai, where we have offices. We launched more than 100 models a day, gives more than 3500 models per year and 350 prints per month. This moment is very important for the Riachuelo. Along with the reinvention of the brand, we rebuilt our business model. We’ve always had the Guararapes, the largest factory of clothes industry of Latin America, which produced for the whole market, but who went on to produce only for the Riachuelo. She was a basic factory and turn 180 degrees to start producing fashion. It was a hard process of change of logic thinking to turn a fast fashion. ”

Consumer Desire

“We pulled production model (different from the concept of production pushed, pulled production is guided by consumption). In this way, we started the season with just 30% of the collection set. In the first week, we can get a sense of the reaction of customers and then built the collection on top of it. We can do so because we have factory and distribution center is the most modern in the country. We can send a small collection to store and there will only replacing what’s running, selling. Is a very fast model that responds to the current moment, which began with the young generation, millennials, too eager and impatient to wait six months for a novelty, and spread today. Everyone has a little bit of that, we want news, view on Instagram and already find in the store. ”

Turn Fashion

“It happened about 10 years ago, but came with more strength in the last five. Flavio (CEO of the brand) is very visionary and saw that we needed to change to stay alive since the public inside our stores was aged. From there, we improve the product with good price and quality. In this movement, won a new client, with much information sets, but who wants to pay a fair price. And many customers have reached the Riachuelo on behalf of partnerships. ”


“The first partnership of Riachuelo was the ‘ 80 with Ney Galvão, long before any brand. Or H & M had done yet. After we did with Raif Haten in early 2000 and later in 2010, with Oskar Metsavaht (Creative Director and stylist of Osklen). That’s when we saw a new customer reach. She came by the collection so delighted with other pieces. The folks at Versace, for example, sees this type of partnership as a great platform young. It’s a way for them to speak the audience that a day can be their branded consumer. I ended up specializing in partnerships. ”

Donatella Versace

“The partnership with Versace (released in November 2014) was the one that took some doing. We were more than six months analyzing the deal. Until we went to Italy for a request of Donatella, who wanted to see who were the people that work for two years. I was supernervosa, until I got a Versace dress to use (laughs). She went into the meeting and said she had a surprise. We went to another room and found five or six immense panels with the entire collection. I was very excited because I was there until the pieces of Gianni (Versace, Donatella’s brother and brand ex-estilista dead in 1997) which won a first rereading in our collection. ”

Karl Lagerfeld

“It’s a living legend. We had an old will do something with it, we get in touch and we heard that it was not the time. Later, when Versace launched at the end of 2014 with a superdesfile in the SPFW, his team called us the next day asking to talk. We went four times to Europe, two to Paris and two in Amsterdam, where are the offices, to approve modeling, tissues etc. He was very actively. We heard that he draws all the sketches of Chanel. Is a person of 84 years who has total control of what you’re doing. But the whole process was much faster than with Versace. Karl likes short projects and wanted it to be all in one year. He is very practical, wants to sell and has the commercial into a vein. We only did one request: to which he would incorporate color in the collection. He followed and put pink, blue and a touch of yellow. ”


“For being a northeastern company, the Riachuelo was slow to enter the South, but the region is our priority because we see the strong relationship of the people with fashion. We are investing a lot in the winter collections to meet this demand. I guarantee you we’re looking for the southern region with a magnifying glass and we want to open a concept store in Santa Catarina. ”

Eye Trends

“Of the 145 people in the area of style, 10 are all the time looking at what’s happening: parades, street style, novel, bloggers. In the factory we have a production cell called newness, which stands just waiting to get this news. If we see that a type of blouse fashion we bore line, produces, and in 15 days the piece in the store. We have elasticity and speed. If you were in a normal factory production process, you would enter a queue and only parts would arrive in the store in six months. That’s not fast fashion. ”


“We had the privilege of attending his box to what was happening in Brazil because we started this movement sets before and shortly after saw the brutal rise of class C and I think part of this locomotive of the class C is the woman. The revolution began when the woman entered the job market, she needed to dress better, started thinking about her and not only in the family, and your self-esteem increased. We improved a lot of product to meet this woman and, with that, we won a consumer superexigente that entered the Riachuelo. ”

Oscar Freire

“Flavio (rock, CEO) is superativo on social networks and he even broke the news that puts there. Daniela Hawk (Editorial Director of Vogue Brazil) repostou quickly and then we saw a lot of people praising and criticizing others, like: ‘ what are you doing on the Riachuelo Oscar Freire? ‘ After we opened (in November 2013), I never heard that kind of comment. We were able to break a little the Brazilian’s prejudice with the fast fashion, which does not exist in the United States for a long time. Who enters the shop think natural us be in that role and in that place. ”

In addition to the addresses of the gardens, patio boat, in Curitiba, and of Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, the Riachuelo prepares to open the fourth concept store in Iguatemi in Porto Alegre on Wednesday April 27, along with the collection of Karl.

Successes And A Dream

“The collection of Cris Barros (2011) tagged me too much. The Nag’s Bronstein (2015) was also special. A dream of partnership would be with the Valentino. ”

Personal Life

“Council work and family like all the other girls (Marcella is married to businessman Eduardo Martins de Carvalho Neto and is mother of Joaquin, 4 years, and Antonio, of 1). When did the mailing of Versace, was pregnant and I started having contractions. After that I was a time

institutionalized and Paulo Borges (Director of the São Paulo Fashion Week) were going to do to me in the hospital for arrange meeting about the parade. When Donatella came to Brazil, I couldn’t leave the House and kept solving everything by phone. The day after the parade, when I thought: “Phew, I relaxed, I can now have son Karl called asking to talk. We signed the contract on Friday and Antonio was born on Sunday. Both are supercalminhos and my husband is very partner and encourages my career, which greatly facilitates. ”


“I use parts of the Riachuelo (on the day of the interview she wore a midi skirt and a shirt of the brand). People think I won, but I buy all (laughs). My style is more minimalist, like good modeling and a stronger attachment. I love fashion, but I’m not a Turkey. “