With all the offerings in today’s fashion industry and the power of marketing and branding, we’ve grown accostumed to shop for reputed brands in well known retailers. Throughout the years the impact of branding on our subconscious has led us to associate major labels with quality (and status). This never-ending debate will be the subject of a future post, but it makes for the perfect introduction to what I’m trying to get across…
With all the fuss about high end brands, it’s easy to overlook local labels and craftsmen which often prove to be outstanding. Be it traditional pieces in touch with current trends or a local store with an inhouse label of exceeding quality and design, there are great findings to be had.
Keep your eyes open when walking around town and you may be in for a treat. Of course you have to make use of your fashion sense and trend spotting ability, but it will be worth it and on the plus side you’ll be supporting local economy and development.
A few examples of this “revival” fashion in Portugal are the traditional scarves from Minho (used by Portuguese designers Storytailors in their women’s collection), gold filigree jewellery and Nazare’s fisherman shirts. All of them can be easily worn by fashion forward people.
Besides these culture imbued items, there are amazing bespoke stores in Porto, some of them are family businesses almost a century old (check out Gentleman located in the building of Mercado do Bolhão). You’ll be able to order custom/bespoke pieces at a great price/quality ratio.
I recommend you do some research about your social and cultural heritage and try to come up with fashionable items to incorporate in your wardrobe. Go local!
Above: traditional scarves from Minho (photos from Lenços Regionais); traditional Portuguese jewellery: Arrecadas de Viana (photo from Viana Social e Cultural) e Contas Minhotas (photo from Catarina Jóias)