Creative minds with feet upon national ground but with international ambitions. The Portuguese fashion isn’t a closed world anymore. The national fashion proposals are in the spotlight on an authentic tour around intercontinental runways.
From a distance of a 15h journey from Portugal and 1500 meters from the sea, Plaza Mayor in Medellín received, last July, the solid steps of the national footwear. Colombia’s Fashion Week is already accustomed to the 15 national brands, which usually step on the Colombian ground with their creations to present their collections on the most important runway of Latin America.
However, it is on the other side of the ocean where the magic of fashion happens. The lights of the brightest city shine for the exceptional international guests. For a week, Paris is the stage for a Portuguese revolution. From Eiffel Tower to the National Library, the Portuguese creators already made it clear of what the national fashion is made of.
Luís Buchinho needs no introduction in this city. For seven years, the designer from Oporto has been feeling very much at home in Paris. From the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts to the French National Library and most recently the Paris Descartes University, the creator has chosen emblematic buildings of the French capital to present his collections to the world. The concern about the chromatic palette and shapes remain essential details for the creator, who accurately chooses the locations of his runways.
Diogo Miranda follows the example. The designer found a loyal public in France and presented his collection for the third time, on the Fashion Week, last March. Diogo represents a new generation of young national creators who are betting on the international reinforcement of author brands with regular presentations in the specialty fashion markets.
In the ‘City of Lights’, Fátima Lopes has also been raising the bar on emblematic spaces. The creator has a history with Paris for over 20 years. It was on the French capital that she opened her first store abroad and where she keeps active a showroom. Since October 1999 that the runway lights are the most importante moment for Fátima Lopes, where clients and the specialty media have a privileged contact with the designer’s proposals.
In Italia, go down the Corso Commo can be a round-trip through the world of the great international brands. However, on the Fashion Week all roads lead to Milan and the runways become living windows of trends. Known as the capital of fashion at an international level, the Italian city has been a home for the most haute couture brands. Miguel Vieira and Carlos Gil, who already experienced it, set the pace on this race towards success.
September 2015 marked the debut of several creators in the Italian city. In The Mall the creators opened the exhibition of the national pieces in Milan, in the most important week in the fashion business. The Portuguese representation in the hustle of this days is a crucial milestone for the sector external promotion.
To Carlos Gil, the route did not end here. Integrated in FashionPhilosopgy – Fashion Week Poland, ModaLisboa invited the creator to present his Spring-Summer 2016 proposals, in November. This was not the first time of the national fashion in Polish ground: Miguel Vieira has already walked the runways previously in four editions of the event.
A few hours away from the Italian capital and on the other side of the English Channel, London it’s already starting to establish itself as one of the most influent fashion cities in the world at the moment. During London’s Fashion Week, the Portuguese fashion has been represented in many ways.
Starting with the duo Marque’s Almeida that have been gaining prizes and distinctions in the United Kingdom. Added to this is the assiduous participation of the young Portuguese specialty creators in showrooms. On the last day of the event, Brewer Street Car Park’s showroom received the proposals of Alexandra Moura, Carla Pontes, Daniela Barros e Susana Bettencourt. Even though they didn’t walked the runways, the four young creators were able to show their work to a more restricted public (specialty media and buyers) and enter the market by being closer to a commercial reality. Hugo Costa is also present in several international squares.
From Europe to Africa, the national fashion has encountered an inspirational market along South African cities. Miguel Vieira, Roselyn Silva and Micaela Oliveira left with bags and baggage to Mozambique last December. Integrated in Mozambique Fashion Week, the three national creators presented their collections in a double strategy. On the one hand, the collections were exhibited in commercial showrooms, near international sales channels. On the other hand, the creators had the chance to see their outfits walking down the main runway of the event.
Many more cities are gradually showing vitality signs. Júlio Torcato, for instance, recently participated in Madrid’s Fashion Week and Fátima Lopes found a possible entry point on the Middle East's difficult market in Abu Dhabi Fashion Sustainability Experience.
The main Fashion Weeks concentrate in February and September but the national path is an authentic route throughout the great European capitals. Latin America is already on the radar. New York is lurking as the most predictable national investment (after the runway of Katty Xiomara in 2014). Africa profiles itself as a target market for the national creators, with new clients. A world being won by the Portuguese fashion that has still a lot to conquer, notwithstanding the recent past efforts.