Ricardo Almeida is a Brazilian fashiondesigner born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1955. He started working early for his parents, at 11, at the family’s household store, Casa Almeida e Irmãos. At 14, he stopped helping only at the end of the year and started working full time with his father. In 1974, when seeking sponsorship for his motorcycle races, he got a job as a sales representative for a clothing company. Shortly thereafter, in 1977, he started working in a shirt shop.
In 1978 he started a partnership with a prominent manufacturer in the Brazilian national market, and in 1982 he ended that partnership. Soon after, in 1983, he started his own brand. With the help of four more people, “Ricardo Almeida Indústria” was created. The brand initially only manufactured clothes for other brands.
In 1985 he moved to a larger location, bought new machines and managed to employ 100 people. The brand was already establishing itself and besides producing women’s and men’s clothing, it already worked with several other brands, such as Brooksfield and C&A. Their own clothes were sold only to multi-brand stores. In the 1990s, more precisely in 1991, Ricardo Almeida decided to open his first own store, at the mall Morumbi Shopping in São Paulo, he also stopped reselling his products.
Despite being a specialist and more recognized for his men’s clothing, the brand’s first successful individual piece was a women’s pants called A1. In 1991 it was also the year that Ricardo Almeida signed his first costume design, it was for the miniseries “O Sorriso do Lagarto” by Rede Globo. In 1992, the Shopping Iguatemi’s mall store was opened, also in São Paulo. In 1994 he decided to work only with men’s fashion and then, in 1995, came the participation in the soap opera “Explode Coração” by Rede Globo, in which he dressed the character of the actor Edson Celulari and from that participation came the presentation of the suit of three buttons, which became a success. At that time, the brand was considered a favorite by executives, advertisers and artists. The next step was to open a studio to serve clients and friends, for a more personalized service. That year there was also the first fashion show, at the request of SPFW’s creator Paulo Borges. In January 1997 came the second fashion show. And in 1998 he won the Agulhas de Ouro award, as best of the year in men’s fashion.
The brand continued to grow, and works as a celebratory fashion show in Switzerland for which he was invited to represent Brazil and partnership with the Brazilian designer Glória Coelho to make the uniforms of the airline GOL. In 2002 Ricardo Almeida was invited by marketer Duda Mendonça to reshape the image of the then presidential candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, which brought new clients like lawyers, bankers and executives to the brand. In 2005, the brand Hering began a partnership with Ricardo Almeida to develop t-shirts for their Breast Cancer project, and that same year Ricardo Almeida’s brand presented its first children’s collection. Another interesting partnership was that of 2008 with Rede Globo, in which he dressed the entire cast that covered the Olympics. In 2012 he decided to return to working with women’s fashion and opened the “For Special Ladies” line. And in 2014 he opened his blog, on the brand’s website, to maintain greater contact with customers and stakeholders.
The Ricardo Almeida brand remains a success without question and is one of the most important men’s fashion houses in Brazil.
Bibliography: Allan, Georgina O’Hara; Enciclopédia da Moda: De 1840 À Década de 90: Companhia das Letras, 2010.