A good shirt should be a staple of a man’s wardrobe, and you can’t do much better than Portuguese Flannel’s offerings. With the brand’s arrival at The Idle man, we speak to Portuguese Flannel’s creative directors, António and Manuel Magalhães to find out more about the brand.
With a history dating back as far as 1935, Portuguese Flannel has created heritage shirts using traditional craftsmanship, with family roots playing a huge part in the brand’s ethos. Stepping away from the fast pace of fashion, Portuguese Flannel prides itself on taking influence from Portuguese natives, the coast and the mountains to create timeless, yet contemporary designs.
At the head of Portuguese Flannel are brothers António and Manuel Magalhães – we caught up with them to talk about their latest collection and their designing inspirations.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?
We always do a morning briefing during breakfast time. After that we talk with our design team about what has to be done.
Where can we find you most of the day?
We don't have a specific routine for the day but normally we are in a creative process for the collections fabrics, prints and moods. It's something that is part of us, we are in constant search for new things, new styles, etc. It's something that is part of our personality.
We also go a lot to the manufactures for control production, it's something that we always need to be very aware of - it's a very demanding job - quality a alongside style is very important for us.
If we have the chance, during lunch time, we go surfing . It's something that we love and it's part of our lifestyle. It also helps in the creative process (laughs).
How did you first get into fashion design?
In a way it all started with our great grand father, who built a mill in 1935. With the next generation, lead by our grand father, the mill became into a big textile group. With the 3rd generation, that includes our father, the textile group kept growing, with him being in charge of the first mill. In 1990 our father passed away. It was something not expected at all because he was only 40 years old. In the following time of our father’s death, our grand father became so sad and devastated that he passed the companies to his brothers.
So, since 1990, we don't have a lot to do with textiles in a way, but, we don't know, it's something that it is part of us, it's in our DNA - the smells, the textures, the feelings of being in a mill and touching a good fabric as been in our mind for a long time.
In a way, that's why we created Portuguese Flannel. We felt an interior force compelling us to do something related to textile and fashion.
How important do you think a collage / university education is for designers?
For us, we think, it was not important because our brand reflects who we are, what we like and our way of living and absorbing the world and all the things around. However we think that for some more fashion design brands, a college degree it's probably important and essential. We don't consider Portuguese Flannel a fashion design brand. It's more of a lifestyle brand.
What inspired you to create Portuguese Flannel?
Like we said before, we have a strong heritage in textile. Family history and our love for fabrics, clothing and a genuine lifestyle played a central roll in the creation of Portuguese Flannel. Much more than the backdrop of creating an identity, we aimed to elevate our heritage, tradition and the simple life style to a place from where it was a bit forgotten - a place of value and authenticity.
What inspired the latest collection?
We try to relate our collections to something of the Portuguese culture or identity since our first one.
Our AW17 Collection was inspired by the Lusitans. They were a group of Portuguese natives who lived in what is today considered Portuguese territory until the roman invasions, which they resisted for a long time with bravery and courage.
They lived a very simple, outdoors life in the mountains of Portugal. So this collection is all about colours relating to mountain landscapes, with strong and very textured fabrics that somehow reflects the Lusitanians life style and their connection with animals.
Do you have any interesting facts about Portuguese Flannel?
Not really (laughs). We think maybe our heritage it's probably something interesting that only a few brands can be proud of.
What’s your favourite piece from the current collection?
It's a bit difficult for us to choose a particular piece.
António: I can probably highlight the Pinheiro jacket. It's a thick flannel chore jacket inspired by the traditional work jackets that were very popular during the mid 1900s.
Manuel: I particularly like the Bonfim Shirt, which is a blackwatch soft flannel.
What are you aims for next season?
That's highly confidential (Laughs). We are about to show our SS18 Collection to the buyers from June to August. We are very excited to start this trade show season. It is very demanding and exhausting but at the same time, we have lots of fun. It's great to see old clients who have actually become our friends, and also to meet old friends from other brands.
Who, if anyone, inspires most of your collection? Any particular muse?
It is a horse (laughs). Actually it's true. The Lusitans were a people very attached and bonded with animals, specifically with horses. They "created" a breed that today we call the Lusitano. It's a fantastic and beautiful horse. The Lusitano has been considered a symbol of strength and aesthetics. They normally are brown, chestnut, yellow bay and black. All this colours are well represented in our AW17 Collection.
Portuguese Flannel is brand new to The Idle Man, so go check them out now.