For all the popularity Lisbon has amassed over the past few years as a sought-after traveling destination, Porto is still overlooked. But it shouldnt be: Portugals second city is the countrys real criterion setter when it is necessary to design, thanks to its heritage as a manufacturing hub through most of the 19 th and 20 th centuries. Now its gaining traction as a shopping mecca, too, filled with locally induced items by emerging designers who cant be found elsewhere.
Even the Lisbon designers commonly come to the Porto area to produce their designs because all the industry is here, says Andre Ramos, founder of Scar ID, a lifestyle boutique that specializes in Portuguese fashions, accessories, decorative items, and more. In fact, so many producers have set up store in formerly blighted production studios that Portos artisans are now sprawling beyond the city limits.
Heres how to navigate a shopping spree in the up-and-coming shopping capital.
One of the most popular attire brands to come out of Portugal is La Paz, a hip Porto-based menswear label which places emphasis on modernise traditional Portuguese fisherman’s garb. Stocked in trendy boutiques worldwide( from Whittmore in Los Angeles to Le Bon March in Paris ), La Pazs storefront in the Ribeira neighborhood is perfect for trying on its entire inventory of chunky cotton sweaters, seahorse-print button-front shirts, and hooded anoraks.
Wrong Weather in Boavista stocks high-end designer menswear, from silk jackets by J.W. Anderson to Marni leather sneakers, but its owners also create a collection of cut-and-sew shirts, tissue-thin graphic Tees, and perforated leather belts.
For your black-tie requires, schedule an appointment with Saville Row-trained tailor Ayres Gonalos atelier for a sharply cut suit or tuxedo as well as a bespoke pair of suede loafers or doubled monkstrap shoes.
The award-winning designer Luis Buchinho has a flagship in the city centerand it’s the city’s best spot for womenswear. Bunchinho is one of Porto’s earliest pioneers, but his latest collect proves that hes still on the pulse of whats covetable: leather coats with origami details and mix-pattern transformation dresses.
A few minutes away is Daily Day, a new shop that carries mostly Portuguese brands. It’s the place to go for mens garb, from indie label La Paz( noted above) to funky footwear from Weekend Barber( shearling covered loafers) and folio-style clutches from Noise Goods( a leatherware producer in nearby Leiria ).
Also look out for Daily Days lately launched in-house label. The men collect is strictly focused on classic outerwear, such as wool pea coats and duffle coats in a range of colours, including whimsical canary yellow. Women will have more to choose from, such as silk drop-shoulder coats, drop-waist denim dress, and expertly draped wear-everyday blouses.
Amid the galleries that fill the Porto Art District, Scar ID is a treasure trove for Porto-based designs( though some pieces hail from other parts of the country ). Its best if youre looking for exclusive items, since the store is often the only retail outpost for a lot of the product lines it carries. Everything from way, to skincare, to home decor is represented, but accessories are your best bet.
Our favorites: TelmaDAs architectural jewelry, from modular necklaces to striking, geometric earrings; handmade tortoise shell sunglasses from Darkside; and Freaklosets unique lace-up boots, which are made mostly of leather but amped up with contrasting neoprene backs.
Stock up on wintertime accessories at Burel Factory, a producer are stationed in the mountains of Portugal. It has just opened a store in Porto filled with scarves, jackets, hats, and purses, all made with a thick woolen textile called burel , which was historically used by sheep herders.
Then pay a visit to Ideal& Co.s downtown office to learn more about Portuguese craftsmanship.
The brand was launched a few years ago with a line of leather satchels, briefcases, totes, describing tubings, knapsacks, and more. But grab a complimentary glass of Port wine, hang out on the lounge, and let the designers tell you more about a special type of cotton canvas theyve lately manufacturedits raw and refined, like Japanese selvedge denim, but unique to the Iberian peninsula. For now, theyre use it as a base for messenger suitcases and knapsacks that could easily attach to your bike.