There’s more than ‘Made in Portugal’ catching people’s attention across borders. Marques’Almeida, Sara Sampaio, Frederico Martins and António Soares are living proof that our creative community is growing and doing very well out there.
Prize-winning designers, established names in international catwalks, household names in the biggest fashion houses – they are young, references in the fashion industry. And from Porto.
Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida
They are the duo that makes up Marques’ Almeida and the winners of the 2nd edition of the LVMH Prize. Having studied at Citex, currently Modatex, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida headed out to London right after completing their training with Alexandra Moura and Luís Buchinho. Central Saint Martins was the right place to carry on their studies, making it possible for Marta to work with the Vivienne Westwood atelier and Paulo with Preen. In 2011 they got together and founded Marques’Almeida.
A few months later they showed at Moda Lisboa, and then came the opportunity to show at the London Fashion Week. Opening Ceremony, Joyce and Topshop are among brands they have collaborated with. Nimble in their growth, acknowledgement is, however, nothing new to them. In 2013 they won the Emerging Womenswear award at the Designer British Fashion Awards organised by the British Fashion Council and, in 2015, the LVMH Prize, the biggest mentorship prize money awarded to emerging fashion talents.
© Sara Sampaio
Despite not commonly seen in the streets in Porto, Sara Sampaio can easily be found in any of the outdoors in the city. In 2007, following the Pantene hair competition, she took her first steps in a successful international career. It wasn’t long until he made the cover of Vogue, Elle and Glamour, and starred in campaigns for Calzedonia, Blumarine and Replay. Having taken part in the Pink photo campaigns for Victoria Secret, Sara made it to the angel catwalk in 2013, side by side with Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrósio.
She moved to New York six years ago, but her talent is acknowledged at home. Winner of the Best Female Model Golden Globe in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, she was also awarded at Vogue Portugal Fashion Awards in 2011 and 2012. To these prizes she can add the Hola Newcomer Model award in 2013 and the invite to be the first Portuguese in the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2014, Rookie of the Year.
© Frederico Martins
With a career almost 20 years long, Frederico Martins is one of the biggest references in Portuguese fashion and a professional who is more and more sought after internationally. Despite being rather popular across borders, his is a familiar face in the city. When not travelling, he likes working from his studio in the city centre.
Although having grown up surrounded by his father’s cameras, not much would lead us to think he would become an acclaimed photographer. Following a degree in Agricultural Engineering, during which he had his first photo jobs, he decided to take part in some of the Summer Courses at Saint Martins College of London. From then on there was no stopping him. Besides the pages of Portuguese Soul Mag, Vogue Portugal, Elle Portugal, Maxima and GQ, we can find his work in international magazines such as Dsection Magazine, Vogue Italy Accessory, Vogue Ukrain, Vogue India, Elle Indonesia, Myself Germany and Maxim USA.
© António Soares
António Soares’s illustrations wear Prada, Gucci, Loewe, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton. Drawn by hand, make-up meticulously applied and watercoloured, the different personalities the artist creates are proof of his good taste and technical mastery, and his very Portuguese name is acclaimed internationally. Unlike what is suggested by the wardrobe, the interest in illustration is quite recent in his life.
With a Painting degree from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Porto, António Soares started off by teaching and organising painting and illustration workshops. Informally, in several spaces in Porto. And then professionally and fashion-oriented at Citex. Somewhat by chance, the excellence of his work was acknowledged and, quite speedily, internationally acclaimed. And now, work orders arriving from all over the world are his companions in the late hours. Despite all his success, the teaching bug is still there. And that’s why António Soares still opens his door to all those willing to learn and master the paints and brushes in his workspace.
The potential of a bubbling creative community
These four fashion makers are just a sample of the potential of a bubbling creative community. Porto is still news in the international scene. Now, however, it is acclaimed as a fashion city, the city that has spawned talents that are making a name for themselves because of their creativity and mastery.