Donata Meirelles

Work hard, and follow through. Without hard work, the best idea on the planet is doomed to failure. With proper hard work, a good entrepreneur can make anything succeed with the right audience.


Donata Meirelles is a fashion expert, and one of the biggest fashion influencers in Brazil. Turning 50 in 2019 marked 30 years of experience in the fashion industry for Meirelles, having started her first job very early in her twenties. One of her most prominent early positions was as an International Buyer for Daslu. This position earned Donata worldwide recognition, where she would go on to be named one of the 5 best international buyers in the world by a French fashion magazine, L’officiel.

This global experience in fashion and Donata’s global fashion network at the time led to a new job opportunity with Vogue Brazil in 2012. Donata Meirelles would become Style Director for the next 7 years, where she helped build the brand into one of the world’s most recognized international editions of Vogue.

Donata Meirelles is also a founder of the Women in the World Foundation, which supports several NGOs, including Gerando Falcoes, amfAR, and the Brazil Foundation. Meirelles has been honored by both amfAR and the Brazil Foundation for her active work on behalf of both organizations. In 2014 amfAR presented Donata with the Humanitarian award for her public advocacy on behalf of people living with HIV and AIDS.

Donata Meirelles remains a popular fashion figure in Brazil and continues to influence local trends with her enormous Instagram base of more than 460,000 followers.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

A lifelong interest in the fashion industry. One of the challenges of the industry is staying on top of current trends as they happen in real time. With the proliferation of cell phones and social media, trends rise and fall faster than ever, and how we market new products is dramatically different today, from how the fashion industry operated even just 10 years ago. That makes fashion a very engaging, and ever-changing 24-7 type of career.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My day seems to have 24 hours of constant movement. I try to balance it between my work, my family, my health and my community.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Traveling, having contact with other cultures and updating myself with all possible new fashion trends and content from magazines and internet influencers.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The breaking of standards and the more inclusive approach that the fashion industry is currently going through. Most global fashion brands realize there is a lot of progressive change happening, in relation to the breaking of old industry patterns, and this has been reflected not only in the collections but also in the choices of models and everything that surrounds the fashion universe.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Watching and listening while dedicating my complete attention. When you are aware of what is being spoken, you absorb and connect more quickly. I pay attention to life.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be brave, ambitious and never settle down

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Chocolate is healthy 🙂

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Work hard, and follow through. Without hard work, the best idea on the planet is doomed to failure. With proper hard work, a good entrepreneur can make anything succeed with the right audience.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Be attentive to what pleases the consumer and be aware of the upcoming trends. You have to know your consumers, understand what matters to them, and what they expect from your business. Staying on top of trends is also vital in fashion. If you don’t change with the times, you become obsolete overnight.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Build a brand with real purpose. Something that the community needs, or can gain something from.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I bought 10 wonderful magazines with rich ideas and information on recent trends. The knowledge that this $100 provides has the capacity to become at least 10 times more valuable to my marketing strategies, and business plans.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Blinklist. It’s an app that gives me a summary of several more technical books that I do not have time to read it in full. A great resource to glean new knowledge, even if you don’t have the time to fully become entrenched in a new subject.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

21 lessons for the 21st century. Yuval Noah Harari. A really thought-provoking collection of essays on how the modern world and rapidly changing technology is affecting humankind.

What is your favorite quote?

“Each dream you leave behind is a part of your future that will no longer exist”- Steve Jobs

Key Learnings:

  • Fashion is ever-changing, and your business has to be prepared to adapt if you want to survive.
  • Staying informed is key to understanding the changes in your industry before they happen. Being on top of a trend is so important if you want to remain an authority.
  • Always devote your full attention to what you are doing, so that you can get the most productivity out of the time that you have available.