The Imaginary Brazil in Contemporary Film, Fashion and Design

Headshot 2013.png

Brazilian-Texan entrepreneur with a focus on design, culture and real estate.

Adriana has built a reputation as a fierce project manager who delights in managing complex analogue and digital projects, legal transactions, exhibit design, digital research, and public speaking. She is able to apply the discipline and drafting skills developed as a corporate lawyer to cultural, real estate and tech-related projects.

Adriana worked for the Obama Administration as the Senior Advisor to the Senior Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Prior to that, she was a Curatorial Assistant & Digital Strategist at the Museum of Arts and Design, Teaching Assistant at Parsons The New School for Design, Curatorial Fellow at the Cooper Hewitt Museum, and Acting Assistant General Counsel at the Guggenheim Museum. Prior to her life as a design entrepreneur, Adriana was a corporate lawyer at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, focused on Brazilian IPOs.

A leading expert on the use of references to the Brazilian slums in the branding of luxury items, Adriana is the author of Favelization: The Imaginary Brazil in Contemporary Film, Fashion, and Design, a book originally published by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. She is currently working on a new book, Rebranding Pot, about the changing aesthetics of the cannabis industry.

Adriana has been a featured speaker at SXSW 2018, Museo Amparo, Brown University, Parsons The New School For Design, Queens College/CUNY, General Assembly, The Line, Zona Maco México Arte Contemporáneo, University of Hong Kong, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

She received her BA from Brown University, JD from Georgetown Law Center, and MA from Parsons The New School for Design.

Adriana grew up in São Paulo, Brazil and now lives in New York City with her husband and dog, a Havanese named Cachaça. Her hobby is managing her Airbnb rental, Olivebridge Cottage. She is fluent in Portuguese, English and Italian and is known for having a healthy disregard for the impossible.



Background image by Adriana Kertzer. All rights reserved.