Fashion is a truly global language now. The most hyped designers right now are from the former Soviet Union, brands from Korea are killing it, and every month our Under the Radar feature spotlights brands from all over the world.
21st-century youths are harnessing the power of the internet and social media to scour the world for newness, while designers and brands use it to take their visions global. It’s created a globalized melting pot of culture, and it’s one of the most exciting things about streetwear in 2017.
With that in mind, we’re venturing further afield to get a little closer to street culture scenes all over the globe. Next up in our roaming series of reporting is Nuno Andrade, from Portuguese label Against All Odds.
I hit up Nuno to get the lowdown on what’s happening in the Portuguese sneaker and streetwear scene at the moment.
For more local insights, get the low-down on Brazil and Iceland’s thriving street culture scenes.
How is the streetwear and sneaker scene right now? How’s it different to the rest of the world?
The streetwear and sneaker scene is Lisbon is definitely growing, conquering new enthusiasts by the day. It’s seen a huge boom in the last couple of years I’d say, mostly due to great initiatives, stores, and projects such as Sneakers Love Portugal, a community of sneaker lovers that started as a Facebook group and has since grown into a website, with an annual event and merchandising.
There’s also All About, another Facebook group created with the purpose of sharing news within the streetwear realm and everything that surrounds it, and Against All Odds, our country’s biggest urban culture website, provided in both English and Portuguese.
Although this all helps the culture grow and raises awareness, unfortunately we are still limited to what the brands make available in our country. It’s getting better, but still isn’t a lot, so most of us have to resort to the internet for collabs and rare pieces, as well as some brands that cannot be found here.
Another big setback is Portugal’s low minimum wage, which doesn’t allow most enthusiasts to purchase the pieces they’re looking for, having to settle for other alternatives.
I’d say those are the major differences between Lisbon and the rest of the world, but we’re very resourceful, so we always find a way around it.
How do people dress? What brands are popular?
Well, speaking for myself, I’d love to see more difference and individualism in the way every person dresses, especially young people. I have the feeling that everyone cares a bit too much about what everyone else thinks.
Also, the point I made above about the wages obviously influences this factor, as a lot of people prefer cheaper alternatives, but we do have really good thrift and vintage stores.
Other than that, people that are into the culture and can afford pricier brands actually dress great and you’ll see diverse styles. I’d say coziness is a big factor right now.
As for the brands, adidas is definitely getting bigger in both footwear and apparel, then there’s Carhartt WIP, Supreme, Palace, Gosha, and when it comes to sneakers you’ll see a bit of everything, from Nike to New Balance, Reebok to Vans.
What local brands and designers should our readers know about?
As I mentioned, these past couple of years have been great and there’s a lot of young brands/designers coming up.
Some of my favorite brands right now are Selva, a very young brand, currently on its second season, OSF, a brand that’s been around for a few years and shows great evolution and Litoral, a menswear brand from Porto actually, but I had to mention it – great product, everything is made in Portugal with amazing details and fabrics.
There’s also Slumdog, another young brand that’s in touch with street culture and is constantly evolving with amazing pieces, Hugo Costa, a young Portuguese designer with great products with a bolder aesthetic, and João Barriga — he won last season’s MODALisboa “Sangue Novo” award.
What are the essential places for visitors?
This is a tough one, as there are countless cool places to check out but I’ll do my best to sum it up.
The Baixa/Chiado/Bairro Alto/Príncipe Real area is a no-brainer, filled with cool stores, restaurants, and great views.
We also have amazing museums and exhibits, and some great places to check out are MUDE, the Underdogs gallery, Centro Cultural de Belém, and the recent MAAT.
Belém is a great area, as is Cais do Sodré, and you should definitely check out Castelo de São Jorge.
If you want the very traditional experience, make sure that you walk around Alfama.
Where’s good to shop, eat and party?
When it comes to stores, we do have a great selection, and the ones I visit the most are SLOU, a high end menswear store that focuses more on brands like Comme des Garçon, Norse Projects, Stone Island, etc., and Impasse, which has a great curation of brands that you can’t find anywhere else like Fucking Awesome, Nanamica, Rip N Dip, and Raised by Wolves.
There’s also Son Of A Gun, a store that’s more in touch with streetwear brands like 10.Deep, Stussy, BornxRaised , and also has its own brand.
Nothing beats traditional Portuguese food, and for this I recommend staying off the course of city guides, etc, but if you walk around Alfama or Bairro alto, you’ll surely find great spots — go for small and discreet!
If you want something a bit more “well curated”, some of my favorite restaurants are La Brasserie de L’Êntrecote (great meat), Pistola y Corazón (Mexican food), and Frankie (an amazing hot dog place that’s very affordable and cozy).
If what you’re looking for is a cool night out, I recommend Bairro Alto — a large concentration of bars and people, some crazy — and Cais do Sodré, which is similar to Bairro, but you can also party until later in the night/day at the clubs. You can specifically visit Lux, the biggest and coolest club is Lisbon, and Park, a rooftop bar/club with a great view and great music. Unfortunately, hip hop parties are scarce, but you can always find something and there’s a lot of great events going on.