By André de Atayde

You start off one foot in front of the other, stumbling like a child taking their first steps. You use your hands to grab out at anything to stop you from falling. The first unsupported steps you take are greeted with joy, cheers and a “hooray” from everyone. We walk. Alone. Like we own the world, even if we might not feel that way.

From the first baby steps to adulthood, the years fly by quickly. We live, we learn, we sometimes try our luck and sometimes fail but often succeed. We do it for ourselves and for others. We take a lot of first steps. Once again alone, but filled with the desire to go further.

Every now and again someone learns to walk faster than the rest. Someone who stands up, fixes their gaze on the road ahead and walks without fear, unafraid of falling, of failing, because they know the route must be taken. Sometimes you take a risk and you get lucky, but the merit will always be yours.

Gonçalo Peixoto is one such person. The 20-year-old who grew up quickly. Who went from Vila Nova de Famalicão to Porto and then to London, and who now has the world at his feet.

The boy who absorbed his mother’s love of fashion and who just a few months ago presented his creations at London Fashion Week. The invitation was a giant leap forward – or three clicks of the heels – for Gonçalo Peixoto.

If life is chronological, Gonçalo’s has been no exception. At the tender age of 15, he attended a technical fashion course in Guimarães; now, just five years later, he is finishing a fashion design course in Porto. By the time he arrived in London he already had eight collections of his own.

There is always a degree of provincialism in Portugal, where there is a tendency to place more value on what “comes from outside”. Gonçalo has left the country to conquer the fashion world, and his starting point was one of the world’s most important capital cities. Today his name is on everyone’s lips, both in Portugal and abroad. His world is now where everyone wants to be. Without borders.

Gonçalo Peixoto has grown up and started walking alone without seeking permission. He is now a man and can walk alone.