By Fiona Hurrell, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Babilônia Feira Hype, one of Rio’s most eclectic markets, takes place at the Jockey Club in Gávea on Saturday and Sunday, December 15th and 16th. In perfect timing for Christmas, visitors can expect to find everything from clothing, jewelry, footwear and art whilst enjoying live music and delicious snacks.
First started in 1996, Babilônia Feira Hype has provided a platform for many of Rio’s hottest new designers and artists who have showcased their early work there and gained widespread attention.
Well known brands such as Farm, Via Mia, Espaço Fashion and Constança Basto are just some of the many brands who began at Babilônia.
Over 4,000 new names have been launched within the labyrinth of stalls at Babilônia, selling creations that have been hand made or crafted by a tight knit team of designers and producers.
One such designer is Argentinian born Micaela de la Arena who now lives in Rio and has used her new landscape as inspiration for her designs. Arena produces T-shirts printed with scenes and animals typically found in Brazil as well as famous Rio landmarks such as Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf).
Explaining the motive behind her designs, Arena says, “The first time I was in Brazil I became enamored by its landscapes, energies and how I feel every time I’m here. I love traveling, seeing new places and taking pictures, and always liked to customize my clothes, so I decided to put it all together to mount a project that allows me to live the way I like in this wonderful land.”
Like many other new designers, Babilônia Feira will provide the initial platform on which Arena will launch her designs to the public. She adds, “I am very anxious and excited. I hope you enjoy de la Arena!”
Situated within the grounds of Rio’s affluent Jockey Club in Gávea, shoppers can cover a great deal of ground visiting each individual stall and speaking to the creators and designers personally who may not all own stores but will often be able to give out business cards and information.
Alternatively, when shopping gets too much, people can enjoy a variety of snacks while sitting beside the racetracks, which may even be in use, providing another form of entertainment.
Throughout the day, live music is played by various bands who, like the designers and vendors, are hoping to attract new followers at the fair.
Unlike Rio’s other markets such as Ipanema’s Sunday Feira Hippie or Saara in Centro, which is a permanent fixture, Babilônia only happens seasonally but 15,000 people are expected to attend this weekends’ fair in order to seek out new designs and bargains.
Anyone wishing to shop at Babilônia is advised to take cash as most stalls are not able to process other forms of payment. Tickets to enter are R$10 and free for children under five, and half price under twelve years-old. To find out more about the fair and details of designers, musicians, artists and food vendors, visit Babilônia Feira Hype site for details.