For this street style photographer-turned-fashion designer, the lure of native country Brazil simply proved too great. Fernando Frisoni called Sydney home for over a decade, during which time he ran his eponymous womenswear label, but has happily returned to make his home in the vibrant city of São Paulo. Now as the creative director at Attaché Creative, Fernando is more than happy to share his endless insider tips for experiencing the very best of this culturally rich and energetic capital.
For you, what defines the life and culture in São Paulo?
São Paulo is not a ‘tourist’ kind of town, it is a concrete jungle full of surprises and excitement. Brazilian lifestyle changes whichever city in Brazil you are. In São Paulo, the lifestyle is more vibrant, cosmopolitan, more party party party… We work hard and play hard here. And we are surrounded by culture, tradition and amazing architecture.
What are your favourite restaurants in town?
Due to the largest Japanese migration Sao Paulo have incredible Japanese restaurants, a classic one is Nagayama, marvellous things happens there.
Another Japanese restaurant I love is Jun Sakamoto. It has been described as São Paulo’s premier fine Japanese cuisine by many of Brazil’s most recognised chefs.
Talking a little Brazilian there is Mani and it is amazing, the place the food and the atmosphere is a mix fusion of Brazilian culture perfectly executed, for me the best restaurant in town.
Another good option for Brazilian fusion is EMA, the chef is good friend of mine, Renata Vanzetto, she’s a sweet heart and food represents her personality.
If you are in São Paulo you must try the famous cheese bread with an expresso at Pao De Queijo Da Haddock – the best cheese bread on the planet.
There is a new beautiful Mexican restaurant at the Copan building, named La Central.
Where are your favourite shopping destinations?
The Brazilian textile designer, Adriana Barra, famous for her vibrant and exotic prints.
Helo Rocha is all about party dresses in lace, velvet, and exotic fabrics.
Vanda Jacintho is a fashion editor, designer and consultant who works with some of the world’s most esteemed brands.
Virzi De Luca immerses in fashion, poetry and art. The duo’s beautiful jewellery pieces are infused with a seductive sense of fun and freedom of the imagination.
Pedro Lourenço is Brazil’s brightest young design talent.
Giuliana Rommano is one of the most sought after and prestigious new fashion designers in Brazil.
Cris Barros has already become a reference for elegant and distinguished women around the world.
Share your choice of ‘hubs’ to visit in São Paulo?
Every suburb is like a city. Every suburb has a mystery and an attraction. I like it all, from the richest the poorest.
Paulista Avenue: The main commercial center of South America, you’ll see many modernist high rises and the iconic MASP (Sao Paulo museum of art) designed by Lina Bo Bardi.
Higienópolis: Located near Paulista Avenue, Higienópolis is a very sophisticated and traditional neighbourhood with lots of restaurants, bars and some of the most beautiful modernist residential buildings of the city, designed by famous architects like Vila Nova Artigas and Atacho Jurado.
Jardins: A luxury shopping spot. Take a walk in Oscar Freire Street, you’ll see many luxury stores designed by famous architects. It’s perfect for people watching.
Vila Madalenakk: A bohemian neighbourhood with many bars, nightclubs and street art.
Ibirapuera Park: A huge park with Museums, Niemeyer and beautiful landscapes.
Centro: Downtown São Paulo has a lots of historic buildings including Niemeyer’s COPAN – this huge curved concrete high-rise. You can go up there for free and see the city from above. Also take a walk at Vale do Anhangabaú, a huge esplanade where you can see neoclassic buildings alongside modernist high rises.
Luz: This is an old industrial district where you can find da Mendes’s Pinacoteca museum, Museu da Língua Portuguesa and Sala São Paulo (concert hall). It’s not the safest place of the city, so I suggest you take a cab and go straight to those places.
Outline your ideal day in Sao Paulo?
Take an afternoon walking around the neighbourhood Higienópolis in São Paulo to see some of the famous architecture from the 1950s & 1960s, then to a lovely lunch to see a little bit of the suburban regions where real things happens.
What are your favourite places for nightlife?
Two of my favourites are Bar Numero and Baretto, but for me the really underground locations, that you can only find with a local, are the best.
- Bar Numero: The ambiance is chic and comfortable. Excellent drinks.
- Baretto: The place has a charm. Its romantic and you will meet the local style-makers.
For you, what defines the culture in São Paulo?
The madness, the traffic jam, the music, the way people enjoy life to a maximum. After 15 years living in Australia I needed to escape on the weekends because the city is intense. People here have an intensity to do things like there is no tomorrow. It excites me but it is also exhausting!
What is the best time of year to travel?
São Paulo is home to high-profile events such as the Art Biennale, The Brazilian Grand Prix, fashion week and the ATP Brasil Open. Many others too. Every day of the week there is something happening here, it’s a happening place, people want to go out and about all the l time. I love the Biennale time. Some history: The Bienal de São Paulo was initiated in 1951 and is the second oldest art biennial in the world, after the Venice Biennial, and happens every year at the same time as fashion week.
What are the must-see cultural landmarks?
Well, I think the all city is a cultural experience, but the Ibirapuera Park is a major urban park in Brazil. It has a large area for leisure, and walking, as well an intense cultural scene with museums and exhibitions. The Niemayer buildings nearby are pretty special. It’s importance to São Paulo can be compared to that of Central Park to New York City.
Best places to stay?
Hotel Fasano: A five-star hotel and my favourite
Emiliano Hotel: A gorgeous boutique hotel and top location
Hotel Unique: Striking architecture and unique design; the number one hotel in São Paulo
Tivoli Sao Paulo-Mofarrej: An upscale downtown hotel.
THE PACKING LIST:
625.00 825.00 745.00 2,365.00 425.00 425.00
You can find Fernando on Instagram at @fernandofrisoni