Lara Resende of Brazil reports that this year, her business has showed no signs of a slowdown, this on the heels of 30 percent growth in 2008, and 50 percent growth the year before. “A friend once told me that there will never be a crisis for people who work with women’s vanity and men’s vices," explains the former postal worker turned lingerie business owner in an interesting piece in GlobalPost about one small town that is thriving thanks to frilly unmentionables. Located in bucolic coffee country in the state of Minas Gerais, cheeky billboards line the picturesque country road to Juruaia, attesting to its status as the lingerie capital of Brazil - where there is now one lingerie manufacturer per 58 inhabitants (141 of the former, 8000 of the latter). "Drive through the town's cobblestone streets, where open-air shopping mall meets small-town charm meets Playboy Mansion," notes Seth Kugel, who authored the piece. "It’s unclear which non-human population is bigger — scantily-clad mannequins or roosters."
While production countrywide dropped just over 17 percent in January and the Central Bank is slashing interest rates to try and stimulate a country battered by the international financial crisis, in Juruaia, jobs making frilly fabulousness abound. The main reason? Brazilians' insatiable love of sexy garb is living up to reputation: despite being a product that's cheap to ship internationally, most of the town's sales are domestic...with many local businesses expanding. (via GlobalPost)
- Lesley Scott
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