As we dive deeper onto second day of the Luxury Design and Craftsmanship Summit 2018, the time has arrived to get in touch with the amazing stories behind luxury designs branding. We all know the concept, but can we actually grasp it? The panel, moderated by Mónica Seabra-Mendes, which is the head of the Luxury Management Program at the Lisbon Catholic University, is composed various greatest brands representatives by Carlos Santos, head of Carlos Santos Shoes, Jorge Martins, from RomBoats, Marco Costa, Boca do Lobo’s Creative Director and CEO and Carla Graça, Marketing Manager at Vista Alegre.
The story of Carlos Santos Shoes starts the same as those of many other giants of international fashion. Created by Carlos Santos, it grew with him, fueled by the ambition of a young man who took his first steps in business when he was only 14 year old. With over 70 years of history, Carlos Santos Shoes is one of the greatest brands of male footwear luxury brands. Made in Portugal, the birth country of the brand and its founder, Carlos Santos Shoes exports the bulk of its products and is renowned all over the world. ” I was a mere employee at the beginning until I started to acquire the company’s shares” he stated. Carlos Santos. The company had many names throughout the time, until 12 ago, where Carlos achieve his longtime goal: running the company and stamping his name on it. Carlos made a very important point, which is the much-deserved recognition of the Portuguese design. ”If Carlos Santos Shoes was stamped with ‘Made in England‘ we would be at the top of every chart” de designer stated. Even though the Portuguese Design is starting to get acknowledged, there’s a long path yet to walk.
Nowadays, Vista Alegre is more than a mere industrial unit. It is also part of the Portuguese heritage, boasting buildings of undeniable architectural interest, and a repository of social and artistic memories essential to the building of a Portuguese identity. And Carla Graça, Marketing Manager, told us all about it. For Carla, Vista Alegre is more than a fine china brand, Vista Alegre is a lifestyle brand. ”Vista Alegre is more than a luxury brand, it’s a prestigious brand,” she said. For her, one of the brand’s biggest pride is the fact that, on their products, there’s a Made in Portugal stamp. That’s the brand’s biggest propeller.
As we know, Boca do Lobo’s furniture is truly an exclusive emotional experience, a sense of belonging and a state of mind. The brand strives to encourage sensational experiences by creating beautiful and soulful pieces which are passionately inspired and handcrafted in Portugal by a staff that loves what they do. The brand’s designers possess an undeniable talent for composing pieces which stir emotion in their admirers. The artisan’s wisdom, accumulated from years of experience, is instilled with love and dedication in the art that they perform. No detail or element is overlooked as they offer the best at the frontier between design and art. ”Since I was a boy I got attached to craftsmanship” stated Marco Costa. Marco is more than just a designer. He’s both a thinker and a maker. For Marco, the word impossible doesn’t exist. For him, and by his hands, anything is possible, and we can see that in Boca do Lobo’s pieces.
”When do I become a maker? When the actual makers say it’s impossible to do something”
ROMboats, headed by Jorge Martins, is a Portuguese company focused on the rehabilitation of old recreational boats. From old, decrepit boats to floating jewels, ROMboats is taking the naval business by storm. With the help of several prominent designers, the company’s boats are unique, sumptuous and, above all, an aesthetic poem. As Jorge explained, ROM stands for Rebuilding Ocean Motivation, as an ode to everything the deep blue as to offer, from resources to leisure activities. ”The Italian boat-makers often order the wood and upholstery from Portugal and the boat’s skeleton from Poland, but the shipyard is Italy” said Jorge, as a way to explain the value of Portugal’s know-how. For Jorge, there’s no one better than the Portuguese craftspeople, and the world is starting to see that.