Alexandre Herchcovitch: 30 Years Beyond Fashion

20.04 a 08.09

20 de abril a 08 de setembro

Continuing its mission of exhibiting Jewish artists from Brazil and abroad, the Museu Judaico de São Paulo presents the unprecedented exhibition Alexandre Herchcovitch, 30 Years Beyond Fashion, the first one to showcase the career of the greatest name in Brazilian fashion.

The presence of fashion in museums dates back to decades ago, as it gained recognition as a significant cultural expression. In the 19th century, art institutions occasionally started to include clothing in their exhibitions, mostly limited to historical pieces. At the beginning of the 20th century, however, European museums began to acquire collections and hold exhibitions dedicated exclusively to the subject.

Ever since, retrospectives of designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Vivienne Westwood, and Alexander McQueen have occupied the halls of prestigious museums around the world. Although the presence of fashion in these institutions is still a minority, the fundamental role it plays in understanding the social and political dynamics of a specific culture and period is increasingly visible.

By exploring thirty years of Herchcovitch’s production, we are transported through various facets and moments of Brazilian culture, ranging from the underground of the 1990s to modernist architecture and São Paulo’s LGBTQIA+ scene, among other interests of the artist, all intertwined with contemporary cosmopolitan references. Often, these references lay bare his Jewish identity, as in the winter 2012 collection, inspired by the garments of religious Jews, of which Herchcovitch reissued five pieces especially for this exhibition, which will integrate the Museum’s collection.

Alexandre Herchcovitch’s irreverent, inventive, and versatile production has been shown on the main national and international catwalks, being commercialized in dozens of countries throughout his career, and becoming known to different generations. Yet, his success is not merely the result of artistic creation.

In a certain occasion, Herchcovitch revealed that the lining of clothes was as important to him as the outside, because it is the lining that establishes contact with the skin of the person wearing it. Similarly, in fashion, what is behind the production is crucial to the end result. In his case, a combination of technical mastery, tireless collaborative work, and a generous dose of chutzpah, the Jewish daring.

Curated by Maurício Ianês in a tight-knit collaboration between Alexandre Herchcovitch and the Museu Judaico de São Paulo, we hope this exhibition to offer a thought-provoking insight into the vast production of an artist who has inevitably contributed not only to the imagination of fashion, but to that of Brazilian culture as a whole over the past three decades.

Felipe Arruda
Executive Director
Museu Judaico de São Paulo