Brazil

As I was leaving Italy after Milan Fashion Week, I was chatting to Guglielmo Miani, the young-ish CEO of Larusmiani, a family-owned manufacturer of luxurious materials, when he let drop an interesting fact. Last week the Italian government quietly changed the law it passed in November that banned retail establishments from accepting more than €1,000 in cash. Surprise!

What changed?

Now, retail establishments have no limit on the cash they can accept from foreigners, as long as they take a photocopy of said foreigner’s passport. I’ll say that again: no limit. Italians are still restricted to €1,000. 

São Paulo has just wrapped up its 30th fashion week, predictably notable for both its bikini offerings and celebrity appearances – film star Ashton Kutcher made it, but model Gisele Bundchen did not. 

Barely one week into the new year (happy 2011) and already there’s a promising development on the fashion front lines: a new political spouse to get designer’s hearts a-fluttering and send consumers rushing into shops to copy her look. Forget Mrs O, Sam Cam, and Carla B. Think Marcela Temer!