Portuguese footwear makes its debut at London Fashion Week

Reve de Flo on Patrick McDowell’s catwalk

Portuguese footwear has just made its debut at London Fashion Week. The shoes of Reve de Flo, a company based in Oliveira de Azeméis that is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, were in the spotlight on the catwalk of Patrick McDowell, one of the most promising English designers of today, who, in the words of Ana Wintour, director of American Vogue, “seeks to reinvent luxury through a sustainable vision of fashion”.
For next summer’s collection, Patrick McDowell was inspired by the 1926 ballet “A Tragedy of Fashion” by Frederick Ashton. In collaboration with Rambert and the dance company Benoit-Swan Pouffer, classic dancers and models impressed on London’s main catwalk.

“As a clothing designer, submerging into the world of footwear was like a child discovering a new box of toys. Working with APICCAPS, the Portuguese footwear association, and Reve de Flo was efficient and inspiring”, says Patrick McDowell, who continues his international career after graduating from Central Saint Martin’s, one of the world’s most renowned fashion schools, which has trained the likes of Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, or Stella McCartney.

“I always look for the best craftsmanship, so I was delighted to explore the best of the Portuguese market, developing footwear models that reflect this season’s theme of dance”, emphasized McDowell.

For Pedro Ferreira, from Reve de Flo, “this was a unique opportunity” at a historic moment for the company that is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. The company, which specializes in the production of women’s shoes with high levels of quality to respond to “the requests of very demanding customers”, stands out by offering footwear from numbers 35 to 46 and various boot diameters. “It allows the brands we work for to present several solutions to their customers, according to the requirements of each body”, highlights the second-generation Reve de Flo entrepreneur.

Avoiding excess

This partnership is part of the Bioshoes4All project, led by APICCAPS with the support of the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan. Paulo Gonçalves recalls that “to be the international benchmark in the development of sustainable solutions while strengthening Portuguese exports from a highly competitive national production basis, based on knowledge and innovation”, is one of the main goals of Portuguese footwear. “In 2023, 24 billion pairs of shoes were produced worldwide. Nine out of ten pairs are produced in China. This path is not sustainable”, underlined APICCAPS’s spokesperson. For this reason, “the Portuguese industry is striving to make a contribution to a more conscious and balanced international market”.

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