Correio hosted Afro Fashion Day Salvador to celebrate one of the most important dates on the Bahian calendar: Black Consciousness Day, November 20. Our intent was to highlight and celebrate many facets of black culture, power, creativity, and beauty that we find in Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia.

We see it in the songs on the street corners, the musical notes, the call for equality, the cry for justice, the sad past and the battle for tomorrow, the living make-up and patterned turbans, the bodily movements.

At Correio, our goal was to create something that would go beyond protests that already spread throughout the city every year on this date, and Afro Fashion Day was an unprecedented cultural production.

The free Afro Fashion Day event included fashion, beauty, art, music, dance through parades, workshops, and a street fair featuring handicrafts and cuisine.

Correio’s free Afro Fashion Day community event showcases the beauty and power of Afro-Brazilian culture.
Correio’s free Afro Fashion Day community event showcases the beauty and power of Afro-Brazilian culture.

Afro Fashion Day was held in Cruz Caída Square in Pelourinho — the historical Center of Salvador, and a place that holds significance in black and Brazilian history. Attendees celebrated while enjoying one of the most beautiful views in Salvador — the first capital of Brazil – and had the sunset as a magical moment.

We engaged models and artists who are engaged with racial and cultural issues to participate in the parade. The parade featured clothing and accessories by local designers, with 26 brands outfitting 40 models.

Through this event, we also wanted to acknowledge the suffering experienced by the first black people brought to Brazil as slaves, and resulting suffering that is perpetuated to this day. We wanted to show the resilience and empowerment of black Bahian people.

Fashion was just one part of the multi-faceted cultural production, which also included music, dance, visual arts, craft and food vendors, and workshops.
Fashion was just one part of the multi-faceted cultural production, which also included music, dance, visual arts, craft and food vendors, and workshops.

“It was a really fantastic experience for me,” said Tony Salles, a singer with the famous band Parangolé. “It was the first time I participated in a parade, and for it to be on a date as important as this one makes it even more special. I was very happy. Congratulations, Correio!”

Leading up to the event, it was frequently highlighted in Correio’s print and digital media, in addition to social media. The turnout was excellent. More than 3,000 people attended, and the event lasted five hours.

“Congratulations to Correio. Keep up the good work,” said singer Magary Lord. “To all the collaborators in this party: It was incredible."

Actor Érico Brás was another celebrity with positive words about the event: “Holding an event like this, which values Afro-Brazilian cultural production, especially from Bahia — and putting it on stage with performers, people who will be on the worlds catwalks in the future, future artists who are extremely talented – its a positive initiative from Correio. I just ask that we can do it again many times.”

Of course, we will do it again.

It was a symbolic day of joy, and it generated a great response from audiences as well. We sold more newspaper copies than usual, and had a 10% increase in Facebook fans and a 400% increase in Instagram followers.

Correio made new partnerships that increased the reach and the mindshare of our brands. We believe that this first edition of the unprecedented event was a success not only for us, but for the whole community. We are now in the midst of planning Afro Fashion Day 2016!