Design Walking Shoes

The Portuguese footwear is modern and attractive. Its openness to the
increasing appearance of new brands with a creative out-of-the-ordinary
positioning and lines connoted with a less conventional style, has
allowed projects like Senhor Prudêncio, Xperimental Shoes, Nelson
Oliveira, Shoes Your Mood and Armando Cabral to appear in the market,
captivating a public who’s yearning for new ideas.

When choosing a new pair of shoes, why not consider buying a Portuguese brand with an avant-garde design or more stylized than normal? The brand Senhor Prudêncio, one of the five we are looking at in this article, appeared in the market in 2012, in the city of Guimarães, and is inspired by the 1950s. “Recovering the past can be creatively interesting. Nowadays we are increasingly desiring and appreciating items from the time of our forefathers. Senhor Prudêncio seeks the combination between the undeniable beauty of those times and the design of the XXI century.”, explains João Pedro Filipe. The quest for ideas that suit the increasingly demanding consumer, however more receptive to the difference, justifies the appearance of new 100% national brands that demonstrate they can satisfy the market and also compete with what’s best in the world. “Although the manufacturing occurs in Italy, I am Portuguese, therefore Armando Cabral is a national brand.

I just opened the first single-brand store in Lisbon, even though products are already present throughout the world: in Dubai, New York and Japan. This project has been gaining the public’s attention, men first and now women, due to its combination of daring with conservative styles, always with details that make the difference”, emphasizes Armando Cabral, who likes to make clear the fact that he uses international professionals is merely the “result of business circumstances”, although he has already announced that the brand will have ‘Made in Portugal’ labels soon. Living in New York, he combines the modelling career and the campaigns for the most important fashion brands in the world with a businessman’s life, managing them both, aiming to convey inspiration to his design team. “I adore shoes, I know what I like to wear and I know what I want this brand to be. For everything to go as planned, I like to have good professionals working with me. The brand Armando Cabral covers all the different masculine styles, is expanding into the female market and I soon aim to have a brand that will cover areas like accessories and clothing”, said the model to the magazine Portuguese Soul, when he was in Lisbon in October to inaugurate his first store in Espaço Embaixada, in Príncipe Real.

One step at a time is the strategy followed by Nelson Oliveira, who created a brand of footwear about two years ago, comprising two lines. In 2013 he was considered the ‘Hot New Talent’ of the year by APICCAPS and Footwear Design Academy CFPIC. His SS 2015 collection won the GAPI Young Talent Prize in Düsseldorf, awarded by diverse benchmark entities from the sector. “Receiving awards is good, it shows that we are valued and it encourages us to progress. I take a particular pleasure in working within the area of footwear design and I think I can manage to demonstrate the difference, and so I hope to captivate a public that likes to wear different models from the norm, without being too eccentric”, says Nelson Oliveira, who recognizes the long journey he still has in front of him, however seeking to be “pondered and obstinate” in order to conquer the national market, “at an early stage”, and the international markets, ”as a second phase”. He looks for inspiration in his own tastes, in the attitudes of the new urban generations and in the international trends.

And what if suddenly there was a brand that allowed your pair of sneakers to transform itself in order to look like their new each time you wear them? Shoes Your Mood is a Portuguese brand created about a year and a half ago out of the desire to create mutable sneakers, an “idea which allows the client to affirm and express himself according to his mood”. “A funny and versatile brand”, says Luis Marvão, one of the mentors of this project. The sneakers are already on sale in some stores from North to South of Portugal. “Like any entrepreneur, we want to grow and expand, although we also don’t want to disappoint our customers, given they already have understood that our aim is to be innovative”, confesses this young businessman, who goes through international fairs and cultural platforms promoting the brand, aiming to play with the ‘mood’ of those who like sneakers.

When two twins decid to get together, the result is Xperimental Shoes. Ana Margarida and Célia came up with a new brand three years ago, with the intention of being “irreverent, pioneering and the possibility of being able to shock those who discovered the brand”. However, as time goes by, the consumer’s reaction was surprising, adhering to the urban, coherent and global design without “finding anything strange about the proposals presented each season”. Xperimental Shoes, available in multi-brand stores in Portugal and abroad, counts with the participation of the businessmen João Koehler and Tim Vieira, who have a 35% stake of the company founded by Ana and Célia. After taking their brand to the Portuguese version of the North American program, ‘Shark Tank’, the two sisters managed to increase sales and set out new business strategies. “The idea was supported by both of uf and ended up by having an interesting and motivating outcome. What is important is not to jeopardize the concept of differentiation and to continue to surprise both the public and ourselves”, Ana Margarida noted.

By Catarina Vasques Rito at