Born in Belo Horizonte, Ronaldo Fraga graduated in fashion from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. He then headed for post-graduate studies at Parsons School in New York and then on to Central Saint Martin’s in London, where he studied Millinery.
The Ronaldo Fraga label announced its’ arrival in 1996, with the creations that stepped onto the catwalk at Sao Paulo’s Phytoervas Fashion in the “I love chicken hearts” collection. With wit and daring, Fraga brought colour and fun as a counterpoint to the prevailing discrete elegance. The differences between the private and public worlds as depicted in prints on the clothes caused an immediate stir.
Having picked up the “Best Newcomer” award, his regular appearances at Phytoervas Fashion eventually opened the door to Sao Paulo Fashion Week, the biggest fashion event in South America. It was here that his “Who killed Zuzu Angel?” collection was nominated for the Abit Prize in the best womenswear category of 2002.
Fraga is now considered one of the most important names in the history of fashion in Brazil. He stays true to himself instead of being a slave to trends. He appreciates comfort and subtle sensuality instead of more obvious and clichéd eroticism. And above all, he has a unique way of telling moving and unusual stories through each collection.
Sewn with poetic lines, printed with a smile and put together with good music, Ronaldo Fraga’s clothes reflect his time. Looking to the past as a reference whilst always moving forward. His collections owe their existence to the research of an inquisitive mind, to his desire to express vast emotions, pertinent reflections, and to escape from the obvious, not only conceptually, so to speak. Fraga does not simply abandon his chosen subjects and themes at season’s end. They take on a new lease of life, away from fashion’s spotlight, sometimes as social projects, sometimes in the form of a book, an example being “Fashion, Clothes and Time – Drummond selected and illustrated by Ronaldo Fraga”.
The unexpected is his tool of choice when it comes to each new collection. Cenography, soundtrack and collection always in perfect harmony. Examples are plentiful. “Ruth-Solomon” (Winter 2001), depicting the love between a Catholic and an Orthodox Jew was treated with sensitivity; “Who killed Zuzu Angel?” (Summer 2001/02), a memorial to the Brazilian fashion designer murdered during the military regime; “Corpo Cru” (Winter 2002), where the models were replaced with wooden mannequins rotating around a specially-built structure; and “Everyone and no one” (Winter 2004), a promenade through the poetic universe of Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
Away from creating his collections, he teaches at universities, as well as leading workshops in which he uses fashion as the launch pad for discussing identity, creation and the means of stimulating the economy. He has designed the wardrobe for the music group Pato Fu, the production of “Santagustin” by the celebrated ballet company Grupo Corpo, as well as other shows by Projeto Sambalelê, the social project of the Associação Corpo Cidadão, which helps children, teenagers and their families living in the favelas of Belo Horizonte.
His label, with the unmistakable logo of his black-framed glasses, is sold in its’ own stores in Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo, and has representation throughout Brazil. Autumn 2007 sees the label travel further a field with representation in place in both Japan and the United Kingdom.
Ronaldo Fraga www.ronaldofraga.com.br