Meet Yasmine Paranaguá de Orleans e Bragança, a Brazilian woman we met recently and were immediately smitten with. (What is it about Brazilian women?) The 29-year-old beauty from Rio de Janeiro is the creative director of Glorinha Paranaguá, the eponymous handbag label her grandmother started in 1990 to challenge the status quo of handbag styles at the time.
Thanks to Edit Lifestyle (and its boss lady Florence Lim), which is celebrating the Rio 2016 Olympics with a two-month pop-up, Vai Brasil, showcasing Brazilian fashion and lifestyle designers, we made acquaintance with Yasmine and jumped at the chance to get to know her and RDJ through her eyes. So, if you’re watching the Games and are fantasising about sunbathing on the Copacabana or Ipanema, well, you might find a few more slices of heaven in Yasmine’s personal recommendations.
How would you describe your style?
Yasmine: I wear a mix of styles depending of my mood on the day/season. Besides that, I do a lot of research, so I’m always willing to change and try something new. At the end of the day, however, my wardrobe has a lot of
feminine pieces and plenty of colours.
What are your daily essentials?
Yasmine: Yoga, family, work and food.
You’ve moved to Singapore for a while now, what’s your favourite thing about it?
Yasmine: Hard to say — I love the people, the culture, the weather and doing business here. We were previously living in Shanghai and Paris, where we had a lot of fun, but Singapore has the best package overall. Now, being a mother, I love how “easy” the city is, and the fact that my daughter will grow up in an international and diverse environment.
What’s your favourite Singlish word?
Yasmine: Ok lah and aiyoh. I use them all the time, hehehe.
What do you miss most about Brazil?
Yasmine: In Portuguese, we have a proper word for that — saudade. I have a lot of saudade for my family and friends, the outdoorsy life, browsing around the streets, the people’s spontaneity, the music, food and, of course, the beaches.
(Ipanema’s) sunsets are so beautiful that quite often you will see people clapping as the sun fades into the horizon.
Other than Gisele Bündchen, what five things should people know about Brazil?
Yasmine: Brazil is a huge country with a wide range of cultures and landscapes, beautiful beaches, incredible artists and amazing music. Last but not least, Brazilians are very warm and friendly.
What are the top three things to do in Rio de Janeiro?
Yasmine: Go up to Christ the Redeemer — it has the best view of the city. Also, don’t miss the Botanical Garden. Rio has the largest urban forest in the world and the Botanical Garden is where you see the best of it. After all that, you will need a good swim at the Arpoador Beach in Ipanema. Besides having the best waves in Rio, its sunsets are so beautiful that quite often you will see people clapping as the sun fades into the horizon.
Where’s your favourite place to (a) have coffee and chill; (b) have lunch/dinner?
Yasmine: For coffee, my favourite Sunday programme is going to La Biciclete at the Botanical Garden or Talho Capixaba before heading to the beach. A must-stop after the beach are the juice bars, a Rio classic. My favourite is BB Lanches in Leblon. Great food aside, don’t be surprise to see a shirtless surfer and an investment banker eating side-by-side.
For lunch, Aprazivel in Santa Tereza serves up typical Brazilian food with an amazing view smack in the centre of Santa Teresa — Rio’s most artistic neighbourhood. Guimas, Sushi Leblon and Gero are my picks for dinner.
Where are the best places to shop?
Yasmine: I like to shop in Ipanema — Garcia D’Avila is the best street. They have a diverse mix of stores such as Lenny Niemeyer (bikinis), Andrea Marques (clothes) and amazing jewellery from Amsterdam Sauer, which has the best selection of unique Brazilian gem stones.
After a hard day, Brazilians dream of a swim at the beach, drinking very cold fresh coconut water and just sea-watching and relaxing barefoot on the sand.
After a long, hard day of shopping, a girl needs a good pampering massage. Where would that be for you?
Yasmine: Spas are not as common in Brazil as they are in Asia. After a hard day, Brazilians dream of a swim at the beach, drinking very cold fresh coconut water and just sea-watching and relaxing barefoot on the sand.
Do you have a “secret” spot?
Yasmine: My “secret” getaway is Paraty, a colonial city between the sea and the mountains. We have a beautiful family house there.
Where is nice and chic hotel we can check in to?
Yasmine: Fasano Hotel in Ipanema is my favourite. Good mix of people, in
front of the Arpoador Beach. Copacabana Palace is a classic, like Raffles Hotel in Singapore. And Tereze Hotel in Santa Tereza, an edgier neighbourhood.
What are three things we absolutely need to pack when headed to Rio?
Yasmine: Bikini, Havaianas and a hat.
And finally, teach us a few words that would come in very handy when in Brazil.
Yasmine:Oi (Hello). Tudo bem? (How are you?) Por favor (Please). Obrigado (Thank you).
Obrigado, Yasmine! x