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Move Over, ParisPorto Is Europe’s Hot New Shopping Capital

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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.

Porto Travel Guide – Bloomberg Pursuits

Clothing

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 .
Photographer: Vtor Leite

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.

Instagram: Instagram photo by Ayres Bespoke Tailor

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.

Daily Day store in Porto .
Source: Daily Day

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.

Accessories

Scar ID – a treasure trove for Porto-based design .
Source: Scar ID

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.

Merchandise for sale at Burel Factory
Source: Burel Factory

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.

Home Dcor

Inside A Vida Portugesa’s Porto store .
Photographer: Fernando Guerra

Near the iconic Clerigos Tower, youll find A Vida Portuguesa, a chainlet of well-known theory stores with locatings in Lisbon and Porto. Its stock of Portuguese handicrafts stimulates it the perfect stop for such clever souvenirs as vintage-looking toothpaste, beautifully wrapped homemade soaps, and represented books about Fado, the melancholic musical style that’s part of Portugal’s cultural identity.

The home dcor items are equally worth picking upwall hangings by local artist Bordalo Pinheiro, aluminum water jug, and wooden cheese platters.

Instagram: Instagram photo by @miguelcunhadesign

Make your larger purchases at Casa Almada, a two-floor design destination in downtown Porto that focuses on midcentury furniture from all over Europe. Youll find vintage brass sconces and reframed Erik Kirkegaard arm chairs, as well as limited-run goods from Stimulated In */ Casa Almada, a collaborative effort between the store and local contemporary decorators. Lately on offer were cork-and-paper mobiles by Miguel Cunha and wall lamps by Pedro e Ins. The latter are induce with ceramic tiles that resemble fish scales.

Where to Stay

Porto doesnt have very many big-name hotels, but a lot of smaller properties offer a boutique, plugged-in vibe. The new Flores Village Hotel& Spa, a renovated townhouse with a pool and spa, is a rarity for downtown accommodations.

A room from Pestana Vintage Hotel in Port .
Source: Pestana Group

Youll get a picture-perfect location right on the Duoro river if you stay at the newly renovated Pestana Vintage Porto, whose rooms overlook the famous port cellars.( The hotel eatery, Rib, offers killer steaks and a tightly curated menu of Portuguese wines .)

The Yeatman Spa barrell bath at night .
Source: The Yeatman

You can also opt for the romance of Portos hilly countryside without being too far from the heart of town. The municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia is just across the river( you can easily stroll or take a quick vehicle ride to the city center) and home to one of the areas most luxurious stays: the Yeatman. Its not new, but it has spacious, British-inspired rooms and a Caudalie spa, along with a Michelin-starred restaurant and exceptional positions of downtown Porto.

Where to Eat

Instagram: Instagram photo by Bebes.Comes

At the moment, the most sought-after restaurant in Porto is Cantina 32 on the pedestrian-only Rua das Flores. Make a reservation ahead of your trip-up to snag a seateven if youre going for lunchand order from a mix of traditional and internationally inspired dishes. Save room for dessert: The caramelized banana cheesecake is served in a bloom pot and topped with Oreo crumble, to resemble grime. The kitchen even sticks foliages in it to complete the fantasy.

Chef Rui Paula in his Porto restaurant .
Photographer: Nelson Garrido

Youd also be remiss to plan a trip-up without making up celebrity cook Rui Paulas newest outpost, Boa Nova, in a building designed by Pritzker-winning architect lvaro Siza Vieira. It couldnt be more beautifully located, right next to the Atlantic Ocean in the fishing village of Matosinhos. The seafood-obsessed restaurant upgrades classic Portuguese dishes to a fine-dining level, such as delicate pieces of eel with marrow and pata negra ham or oysters topped with dashi and trout caviar.

Read more: www.bloomberg.com

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