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| By Manuel Serrão

'Portugal Fashion' the new model of national fashion

Portugal Fashion has just been associated with the Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit, as the highlighted brand at a party held by the international event at the Pátio da Galé, in Lisbon. The creative installation produced by Portugal Fashion at the event’s After Party involved five national designers in the luxury market (Alves/Gonçalves, Carlos Gil, Luis Buchinho, Miguel Vieira and Storytailors), presented as a means of promoting the entire Portuguese fashion industry and, more comprehensively, the ‘made in Portugal’ brand. In fact, this promotional activity clearly goes to show the evolution of a project that began precisely 21 years ago as a fashion event and in the meantime has proved to be a driving force behind the renovation and repositioning of the textile sector and of the Portuguese clothing industry, through a veritable change in model.

Portugal Fashion came about from a gap in the market: at the time, Portugal had a capable textile and clothing industry, which was doing well, but which had little to do with design and creativity. Spanning the gap between these two worlds was crucial, not only to help designers progress, but also for the benefit of the competitiveness of an economic activity that is so important in our country: the entire fashion industry. Today, Portugal Fashion continues to stand out in supporting the industry and companies specifically in the fashion sector, through ties to sector associations, and in particular the ATP – Associação Têxtil e Vestuário de Portugal (Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal), but also through ties with other sector bodies (as in the case of footwear and of jewellery, for example). 

In these two decades, Portugal Fashion has boosted the relationship between the industry and creators, promoting design as a critical factor in competitiveness; it has encouraged creators to take on, without jeopardising the aesthetic element to fashion, a business strategy for their activity; it has contributed greatly towards the renovation and revitalisation of national fashion, by launching new creators; and it has expanded the event into the various fashion sectors.

On the other hand, with the support of Portugal Fashion, some Portuguese creators have gone on to find success on international catwalks, finding in the industry a partner able to get their collections into the global clothing market.

Today, the event is of an importance for national fashion that goes beyond borders and its organisational, promotional and endorsement efficiency is recognised by industry agents, by public decision-makers, and also by public and published opinion.