Recently we’ve been seeing fashion influencers wearing more of a very specific colour combination: yellow, green and blue – the same palette of the Brazilian flag. Characterized by the Brazilian soccer jersey, casual jeans, sneakers or flip flops (like the classic Havaianas), this so-called aesthetic is known as “Braziliancore” and it’s been on the rise these past few weeks, raising awareness to some very important cultural and political issues.
Wearing the Brazilian flag colour scheme, soccer jerseys and flip flops has always been a thing here, specially in lower-income neighbourhoods, so it’s never really been out of fashion. Which raises the question: why is it that only now that we have white, rich fashion influencers following this “aesthetic”, it’s considered a trend?
Fashion Revolution Brazil points out in an Instagram post that cultures all over the world (but especially the ones in countries that have been colonized in the past), are being appropriated into fashion items in order to make profit out of them. That happens when elements of a culture are displaced from their context and meaning, so pieces of clothing or accessories that were once considered tacky, ugly or even vulgar on non-white bodies, become a trend when worn by white people. This is one of the main issues regarding Braziliancore.
Since 2013, when strong political protests erupted in the country, the Brazilian soccer jersey, alongside the yellow, green and blue colour scheme, was considered a symbols against corruption. However, as the years passed, these features became more and more associated with far-right movements, which is why they’re still very popular with president Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters. Therefore, on a more positive note, it seems that Braziliancore is an opportunity to redefine our national symbols.
Brazilian fashion influencer Marco Quadros proposes some reasons to explain why this “aesthetic” became so popular recently. Firstly, this year we’ll have the FIFA World Cup and even though Brazil hasn’t won since 2002, it’s still known as the “country of soccer” and the best in the world, with five titles, so people are excited to cheer for their nation. Other than that, he mentions that sportswear has been very popular in the fashion world, with brands like Balenciaga bringing jerseys to the runway and Nike releasing the Dunk Low “Brazil” in 2020. Finally, Brazilian brand Misci debuted their collection “EVA – Mátria Brasil” at São Paulo’s Fashion Week last season, as a tribute to Brazilian mothers and as a way to redeem national symbols.
It’s important to remember that, in 2022, Brazil will also hold its General Elections in October, which will decide the future of the country’s democracy. It’s more urgent than ever for us to rescue Brazilian national symbols from far-right movements and bring back pride for our nation.
While it may be good to see the Brazilian “aesthetic” being celebrated again – far from ultranationalism movements – it cannot be ignored that Braziliancore is also related to elitism and racism, since it has always been around in lower-income neighbourhoods, that are mostly populated by non-white people. So when praising or following this trend, don’t forget where it actually started.