Born from the passion for travelling, clothing and handicrafts from the four corners of the world, La Paz it's one of the most recent and exciting portuguese brands. Getting inspiration from the portuguese long maritime tradition, Portuguese Made range takes fishermen and sailors style to a collection full of pieces with a classic touch, great attention to detail and quality materials. O Editorial talked with André Bastos Teixeira, founder and designer of La Paz: How did La Paz started? La Paz appeared in 2003 with the idea of putting together two activities that i've always liked, clothing and anthropologie. In 2006 i decided to create La Paz Merchant' Studio, where i sold clothing and handicrafts coming from several parts of the world, brought from my travels and even from friends, that also brought stuff from their journeys. I always had a bug to develop a collection, and because i was sort of born in this field, that was always a goal. Then i started doing t-shirts for some years using prints always related with cultures and connected with humanitarian organisations, like the Wayufina t-shirt collection, that was made with motifs designed by Amazonia natives, and Not Made in China, inspired by my trip to Tibet and which all the profits went to an organisation that protects tibetan culture in Lhasa. Last year in a conversation with a friend, who also shares a taste for making clothes, we concluded that was the right time to create a brand with a portuguese heritage, be it in the image or in the know-how of the country's textil industry. We decided to use La Paz name because its image was very strong. The first collection was born in January 2012 and presented for the first time at Man show, in NY.
"My inspiration comes from the several years working in this field, from the streets diversity of dynamic cities like London, Tokyo, Paris, Porto and many more. Also from vintage markets, grandad's closet..."
Which traditional techniques and artisans were used to make the Portuguese Made collection? The first collection had a strong presence and collaboration with local artisans, but the second only had its influence, but with no doubt it's a factor that will always be present in our collection, if possible. The traditional techniques were used in fabrics like wool, making shoes and embroidery. The most important is to use this skills with creativity and adapt it the best way possible to our project.
And the factors you value the most when choosing pieces to Merchant' Studio? We try to make a balance, choosing products that are commercial and have an interesting story at the same time, its origin and how are made is very important for us. For some time we've cloths from Africa and central Asia. The most important thing it's the quality and the process authenticity, but it's hard to find this products at reasonable prices.
What was the trip you enjoyed the most when looking for artisans? The one that had more impact on me was a trip to Tibet in August 2007. I think that exists a great variety of interesting products there, that you can see and feel everywhere, and the tibetans use local handicraft in everything. Men, women, children and even animals use very strong products with rich colours.
What are your favourite places? Porto, London, Tokyo and Bombay, as well Piodão, Vicentine Coast (Alentejo, Portugal), Himalayas, Corumbau (Brazil) and Colombia. My favourite restaurants are Cometa (Porto), Haishya (Tokyo) and iranian Galleria (London). I also like to visit vintage and antiques markets.