Portugal fashion

Portugal’s fashion industry is gaining momentum, thanks to his talent as a designer and textile manufacturing


It’s a scene that’s all too familiar during certain weeks of the year: trendy crowds sitting in venues ranging from minimalist to extremely opulent, models strolling the catwalks in the latest designs. . From March 25 to 28, designs ranging from avant-garde to elegant were presented in Europe, but it was not in one of the European fashion capitals. The occasion was Portugal Fashion, the national version of Fashion Week. A fashion scene is preparing for it both in its capital, Lisbon, and in Porto, the second largest city in Portugal. As Portugal Fashion, the country’s own fashion week, has marked 20 years, so it’s clear that a fashion scene has been brewing for years. Portugal has an abundance of textile and leather factories and producers who are among the leaders in the country’s exports, thanks to their high quality products and lower costs.

As one of the largest textile exporters in Europe, several fashion brands that you know are looking to Portugal for their fabrics sourcing. One of Portugal’s oldest and most respected textile manufacturers is Riopele, which is about a 36-minute drive from Porto to Pousada de Saramagos. Companies like Zara, MaxMara, Calvin Klein, Versace, Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss are just a few of Riopele’s international customers thanks to its innovative techniques and high quality synthetic fibers. According to Joao Costa, president of the Portuguese Textile Association, there are some 6,353 textile companies providing 123,463 jobs in the country. The industry exports 4.283 million euros, or 9% of Portuguese exports.

Even the London publication Business of Fashion has an eye on Portugal. A recent article explained how “Made in Portugal” is on the rise, citing the growth in its exports of leather footwear and accessories: “In fact, from 2006 to 2013, the local leather footwear industry grew. its exports by 213%, from 36,510,000 pairs. to 114,387,000 pairs, according to the Portuguese Leather and Footwear Association Associação Portuguesa dos Industriais de Calçado, Componentes, Artigos de Pele e seus Sucedâneos. The article also states that Portugal accounts for “3.8 percent of world trade in leather goods (about a quarter of Italy’s 16.5 percent) according to the International Trade Center”.

With such an abundance of materials, Portugal might be the perfect place for a designer to settle down, but there are still challenges. “It’s quite difficult because we don’t have quantities, but the good thing is if they work, if they have their own label, and if they work for other labels, they can have a great approach with manufacturers, so it can give them more opportunities to develop things there, as well as in Copenhagen and Berlin, ”said Miguel Flor, Creative Director of Bloom, an initiative that supports designers emerging in Portugal by offering them catwalks and placing their creations in a concept shop based in Porto. Rising menswear designer Mafalda Foncesca agrees with the challenges a young designer faces due to their need for fewer materials. “It’s not really nice to be a young designer in Portugal because we don’t have any financial benefits, but we try,” she said. “We are fighting to get out of Portugal, but it’s also important to be present in Portugal.

This does not mean that success in Portugal is impossible; Alves / Gonçalves, the duo of Manuel Alves and Manuel Gonçalves have been in the fashion business for almost three decades, counting the women of the country who eat breakfast as their main clientele. Alves also designs uniforms for Portuguese airline TAP and says he sources the fabrics from Portugal. The key, he says, is finding your niche. “It’s good to be a fashion designer,” Alves said. “You are not that stressed, you are not that stressed. You live more with less, we have time to have lunch, we have time to spend time with our friends, we have houses to spend with our holidays, so life is good in Portugal. Designer Luis Buchinho, who recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of his eponymous brand, adds: “We are becoming a very strong industry with names that are slowly becoming known.

Meanwhile, labels like Marques’Almeida and fashion companies like Farfetch – the e-commerce site that connects independent boutiques to a mass consumer market founded by Portuguese entrepreneur José Neves – have demonstrated that it is indeed possible for Portuguese fashion talents to go global. As word spreads about the amount of materials and design talent, Portugal may well gain an advantage over Paris or Milan.


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