Store Info: Barbour
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve recently been to Santander, Spain on work. Fortunately, I had some free time to walk around town (which is amazing by the way) and take a look at the traditional city center and its commerce. There I was, portraying the tourist stereotype as much as possible: camera on one hand, map on the other, roaming the ridiculously immaculate and organized streets on the expectation of finding something worth of notice. Being a tourist oriented seaside city, I was expecting fine shops of sorts, but I wasn’t ready for a fully stocked Barbour boutique.
Located in Calle San José (a perpendicular street to the main seaside avenue), it’s impossible to miss this uniquely designed store, whose aesthetic fits the outerwear and hunting rooted label perfectly. The space resembles a rustic mountain lodge, marked by a predominant use of timber and embellished with taxidermic motifs and hunting related paintings. Arriving at the entrance you’re greeted by the brand’s slogan: ”The best British clothing for the worst British weather”: if you’ve ever been to England you know how much sense it makes.
The entire store is dedicated to the British brand, with items ranging from its iconic waxed jackets to much more exquisite and hard to find pieces such as ties, gloves or cufflinks - all of which reek with the quality Barbour has got us used to. Among some of my favourite items were some amazing plaid shirts in flannel and heavy cotton, an amazing toggle coat and some regimental ties (counting out the outstanding waxed jackets, of course).
For a Barbour enthusiast such as myself it’s easy to get carried away, so just hold on to that wallet.
The owner, Edmundo González, also runs “Golf” - another great store on the same street worth checking out. If you ever visit Santander stop by!
Store Info: Santano
This weekend I’m enjoying a sweet getaway from the usual routine, as a way to enjoy my last days of vacation (Monday’s back to work). I traveled to Vigo to visit a couple of friends who have been living here for the last few years. Vigo is a small, beautiful seaside city located in Galicia, north of Spain, just a few hours drive from Porto. Despite having been here before in my early college years (mostly for it’s nightlife), I had never really enjoyed the city itself.
On one of those touristic tours around town I came across Santano, a great menswear store located in Calle Colón, in the city centre. Actually, I didn’t stumble upon it, my friend Gonçalo who was leading the way recommend the store to me and I’m glad he did (thanks Gonçalo!).
Seamlessly integrated in an amazing stone masonry building lies the store entrance…Once you go in you know you’re in the right place. The sheer amplitude and store design is spot on, allowing you to get a full view of the entire space from one end to the other. Incorporated in the store’s design you’ll find unique items (some of them antiques adapted to suit different purposes) such as cabinets, chairs and a beautiful hanging chandelier. Clotheswise, you’ll be spoiled by the latest collections from such renowned brands as Paul & Joe, Ralph Lauren, Ermenegildo Zegna, Henry Cottons, Brunello Cucinelli, John Smedley, Stone Island, Moncler and Lotusse.
The variety of pieces is outstanding and perfectly backed up by a carefully thought selection of high-end accessories (bowties, ties, scarves, pocket squares, cufflinks, etc.). You would do well to hold on to your wallet as you’ll face several temptations… To be honest, I had a hard time not splurging on beautiful ties, velvet slippers and a pair of amazing double monks (you really need to check Lotusse out). For those of you with a passion for bikes, Santano provides a wide selection of helmets by Zanella, sure to keep you safe while looking good (as good as you can look when wearing a helmet that is).
Also, I must stand out the 5 star service you’ll be treated to as all store employees are really nice and helpful. You can check their website here an be sure to pay them a visit if you ever happen to be in Vigo!
Store Info: Por Vocação
You might have noticed that I’ve mentioned Por Vocação in several of my previous posts. There’s a reason for it (besides being a personal favourite)…
Located in Porto’s main avenue, Boavista, near the iconic Casa da Música, a black overhang with the store’s name marks the entrance. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by one of the (if not the) best shopping window you’ve ever laid eyes on. Whichever installation they have on display is sure to blow you away:
Once you ring the doorbell, the store’s trademark scent invites you in: an inebriating fig essence liberated by a carefully concealed device, ensures the brand remains a well kept secret… And so your experience begins…
(The masked scent diffuser)
What’s in store for you is more than the usual garments: think of it as a haven for the modern man…from the finest clothes, shoes and accessories, to exquisite fragances, grooming products and scented candles (after all your place is a reflection of yourself). The name “Por Vocação” itself is a hint on what to expect: a carefully thought play on words with “Provocação”, which tries to express how their calling for fashion will entice and tease you (to buy that is).
On the back of the store, clients are allowed access to the “backstage”: here lies the storage room, office, and (taking it to a whole new level), two photo studios - one for clothing alone and the other for shoots with models.
I’m digressing…the main focus here is clothing. Expect to find the latest creations from the likes of Sir Paul Smith, Neil Barrett, Maison Martin Margiela, Raf Simmons, Boglioli, Aquarama, Acne, Buttero, Raparo..and their latest addition Adam Kimmel.
You can check their website at www.porvocacao.com and keep an eye out for the upcoming online store.
Store Info: Coisas d’Homem
Miguel Bombarda is easily one of Porto’s most famous streets, mainly due to the numerous art galleries which populate it. Fashion is often associated and inspired by art, so it’s no surprise that alternative clothing stores made their way into the surroundings. Nowadays, the whole area transpires of a young, trendy vibe which appeals to a wide public off all ages.
Within this context, Ricardo Rodrigues and Carlos Carneiro brought to life their love for menswear and accessories in the form of Coisas d’Homem. Located in CC Bombarda, the store presents a unique identity composed of a mix of retro and edgy design elements.
The concept is focused mostly on men accessories, aiming to fill the gap between the offer available to men and women. Hence, you’ll be able to find bowties, ties, scarves, braces, vests, hats, bracelets, rings, bags, spectacles…you name it. Most of these items are their own creations and only one of each is available, meaning you won’t stumble upon someone wearing the same. There are also pieces from selected brands such as Ben Sherman, Merc and Troop London, among others.
Accessories can make or break an outfit, so head to Coisas d’Homem and start building or improving your collection! Don’t forget to sign for a client account to take full advantage of the benefits provided.
Visit their website here.