Recently I got a chance to talk to Nereida Valles and Graciela Razo, the two outstanding girls (and good friends) behind Urbane Menswear. Take a look at the interview below:
Urbane Inquiry presents…
Miguel Vieira of Beyond Fabric
We have been admirers of Miguel Vieira and his blog, Beyond Fabric, for years now. His style embodies classic menswear with his Portuguese heritage peppered in. Miguel exudes an effortlessness with his sharp accessories and timeless suits.
For 2013, Miguel brings a piece of Portuguese style to his readers with his traditional fur-collared coats and capes. The outerwear recently caught the eye of street style photographer Tommy Ton when he photographed Miguel and Alvaro Fernandes at Pitti Uomo for Style.com.
We had the pleasure of talking to Miguel about his introduction to menswear and what we can expect from him and Beyond Fabric in the coming months.
How & when did you become interested in menswear?
I would have to say when I was about 16… My older brother lived in London at the time and I flew there often, while drawing a lot of inspiration from whatever he was wearing. So, he was probably my first style icon so to say…I remember wearing Levi’s Sta-Prest in highschool which were “endorsed” by Eric Flat and featured a yellow furry back pocket; I had it stitched in every pair. You can imagine all the staring, comments and remarks I went through in highschool, but in a way I guess it encouraged me to wear what I really love and not think too much about third parties.
Tell us about your new Portuguese coats & capes line. How has your Portuguese culture influenced your style?
Although I decided to write the blog in English as a means to reach a global “audience”, I’m proud of being Portuguese and of our strong heritage and tradition in the textile and shoe industry. After starting the blog and leaving engineering behind, I started paying more and more attention to our national resources: everyone was producing in Portugal, from small independent brands to high-end luxury labels. Running Beyond Fabric and being Portuguese, it was only natural I should promote our national products and show them to the world, as I’ve done in several posts already.
For AW13 I’ll be delivering a line of traditional Portuguese coats and capes worn by shepherds for centuries in our country. These are statement pieces made to resist harsh conditions and keep you warm and can be made from wool or “Burel”, a national unique fabric produced only in two manufacturers. Originally, both jackets and capes feature fur collars and are a bit oversized, making them perfect to wear over a suit (photo of me and Alvaro at Style.com). My idea is to keep their essence while making them a tad more fitted with an exclusive lining, making them available worldwide.
What are your basic wardrobe staples?
I would say a white dress shirt, slim fitting jeans, slacks, cashmere v-neck sweater, brogues and an overcoat/peacoat. Ah, and accessories, always accesories… I think I’d be able to live on those alone, although I do have a big wardrobe.
What are you most looking forward to wearing in the spring?
Some basic essentials from my first Pre-Spring capsule collection FUSS (more on that later), everything linen and bare ankle, boat shoes and slippers.
What were some of the most inspiring things you saw at Pitti Uomo?
Pitti’s a blast in every way, you never know what to expect either from labels or the people roaming around. This time I got a chance to stay there for the whole event and snatch some nice pics of the atmosphere. So, besides the multicultural styles you bump into and are definitely inspiring, there was quite a selection of new brands with interesting products: 1st PAT-RN had really nice tailored knit blazers, Orley had unique waterproof knits and then some of the good old favourites who never disappoint like CAMO or Buttero.
What did you wear today?
Brown herringbone overcoat, striped blue spread collar shirt, navy/gold regimental tie, gray cashmere cardigan, beaten up Levi’s 511 and cognac leather boots.
What do you find yourself wearing most on a daily basis?
Right now, it’s chopped off shorts, a wrinkled old oxford button-down, and these new adidas sneakers I found on 14th Street and am obsessed over.
Wooster talking about his project
Sergei Sviatchenko for VS Magazine - trust the classics
A few commandments from the man behind Close up and Private…
Beyond Fabric @ Papercut Mag
I’ve recently been interviewed by Christine from Un-Stitched, for an article on Papercut Magazine, on the evolution of fashion blogging. The piece focused on the historical context of blogging and how it matured into nowadays definition. It also featured interviews with 3 bloggers: Ashe Mischief from Dramatis Personae, Samantha from The Column of Samantha Tyler and myself.
Check out the scans!
Ovadia & Sons
Ever wondered why that particular piece you envisioned is never available at stores? Ever wished you could place your personal stamp on the garments you wear?
Well, Shimon and Ariel Ovadia certainly did. Born into a family with more than 25 years of experience in the garment business, twin brothers Shimon and Ariel’s destiny was bound to fashion right from the start. Growing up in such an enriching environment, imbued them with the ability to recognize and appreciate values (fashion wise) such as style, quality craftsmanship, fit and timelessness, paving the way for their future steps.
Tired of the many tasteless and ephemeral menswear alternatives available at the market, they set out to establish their own brand, based on the premise of producing pieces they would wear themselves…and thus Ovadia & Sons was born. Their aim? Providing customers with luxury quality pieces made from some of the best fabrics in the world, exquisitely crafted to ensure a perfect fit and timeless design. Fabrics are obtained from the finest mills in such places as Japan, England or Italy and taken back to New York where their tailors work the magic.
I could go on and on, but who better to enlighten you about the label than its creators? I was fortunate enough to have them answer a few of my questions and here’s what they had to say:
Q: The Ovadia Family is no newbie when it comes to the clothing industry, with over a quarter of a century of experience. While growing up, did you see yourselves taking over the family business or was it something that happened later on?
A: I think that was always the plan whether we liked it or not, it was in our blood, it’s what we know and love.
Q: How challenging was it for two creative young men to enter such a competitive market?
A: It was challenging to get things started. All of the resources were new to us - we’re starting from scratch and we had to do a lot of legwork. Our knowledge and experience helped guide us and gave us a leg up to get things going. We often get asked “What fashion school did you go to?” - we didn’t. You can’t pay money for the hands on experience we’ve had. As far as competing with some of the other guys out there we were not impressed with what we were seeing in the stores with the exception of a very select few. We felt that there was a void in the market and the clothing we wanted to wear wasn’t accessible, didn’t fit or didn’t exist and that’s how the label was born.
Q: Your label has been all over the Internet and press in reference magazines, blogs and websites. Were you expecting this kind of exposure? What helped you put your name out there?
A: The whole thing was very organic.I guess people were simply liking what they were seeing. We’re very lucky and thankful to have had the support and exposure that we’ve been getting from everyone.
Q: What would you say sets Ovadia & Sons the most apart from other labels?
A: Were not trying to reinvent the wheel. Every single piece we put out is wearable - its real clothing. The fit, the quality, the design. We don’t look at what anyone else is doing or the trend of the season we just do what we like and what we feel like wearing at the time. There are no gimmicks or trends, you can wear our items today and in 20 years.
Q: I couldn’t help but notice your amazing logo comprised of two mirrored peacocks…Was the underlying symbolism taken into account when you chose the peacock?
A: We loved animals growing up and watched a lot of animal shows and still do. We wanted to incorporate that in our logo and we came up with the peacock- its very regal and elegant. There are two since we’re twins.
Q: Are there are statement pieces in your collection? Which do you think scream out Ovadia & Sons?
A: We love our double breasted suits. Our sport shirts and cargo pants as well. But it’s everything as a whole that makes it.
Q: Any advice for all the men out there?
A: It’s not really my advice but I’ll pass it along - ”Always do what you love and what you believe in, I was ready to walk then and I still walk away today” - Ralph Lauren told us that , it stuck with us.
Interview answered by Shimon Ovadia out of his New York apartment. Wednesday November 10th at 7:44 am over a cup of coffee and english muffins with cream cheese. National Geographic is playing in the background.
Some pics from their Spring Summer 2011 collection: