NYFW: Designer Carlos Miele Turns the Runway Animalistic

Brazilian clothing designer Carlos Miele showed his Spring/Summer 2013 at Lincoln Center this week to a rapt audience of buyers, bloggers, and fashion press. Celebrities like Vanessa Williams, Paula Abdul, and Daisy Fuentes were in the front row keenly watching as the flowing, chiffon, and animal-print kaftan frocks descended the runway.

Inspired by a recent trip with his 2 ½-year-old son to the zoo, Miele says, “I loved the way the birds moved and was inspired by the strength of the large cats.”

I loved the way the birds moved and was inspired by the strength of the large cats.

- Designer Carlos Miele

Showing mostly dresses in maxi lengths, some more body hugging than others, the way the clothing moved, you could almost smell the ocean air or a tropical breeze blowing through the stage.    

Known for the movement and opulence of his clothing, this line was no different. With embroidered-beaded belts and shoes, bejeweled necklines, leather fringe handbags, and long chiffon pieces trailing behind gowns, Miele is high-fashion drama. Meshing his commitment to the craftsmanship of his fellow Brazilian artisans into his red-carpet couture gowns.

Difficult to imagine where a woman might wear his blue, green, and chartreuse yellow dresses (designed after the colors of the Brazilian flag), he says “I like to keep things happy and upbeat. It’s like a party in the jungle.” And what a party that would be.  

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Miele himself looks like Roberto Benigni—the actor who won the Oscar for his performance in Life is Beautiful, yet he’s soft spoken.  He lost his voice after several interviews following his recent runway show, and though he endured the lights, cameras, and microphones in his face, he was more at ease when a friend came by with her toddler to congratulate him.

His constant inspiration, Miele’s collection was everything one thinks of as quintessentially Brazilian—unabashedly sexy, outrageously colorful, soft as silk, all while still firmly planted.

Miele has stores in both New York and San Paulo.  He has also created an international project with the Rainforest Foundation – US, started by Sting and Trudy Styler in 1989. He invited supporters such as Scarlett Johansson, Michael Roberts, Camilla Belle, Rachel Zoe, and Diana Picasso to create special T-shirts. Proceeds were donated to benefit the Foundation’s supported rainforest preservation programs in Brazil.

Rebekah Sager is a writer and editor for She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @rebekah_sager.