Pas­sion for all things Por­tu­gal

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Fashion - By BELINDA CIPRIANO

FOR­GET Milan and Paris, Por­tu­gal’s Porto is where it is at when it comes to fash­ion.

While the rest of the world is com­ing to dis­cover the coun­try most re­cently made fa­mous for its UEFA Euro 2016 win, sis­ter-in­laws Alda Ni­na­sivinche and Sa­man­tha Mon­teiro have been im­mersed in the coun­try’s style for years.

The duo, who opened their de­signer bag and shoe store Elle et Lui (Hers and His in French) on St Quentin Av­enue in Clare­mont six months ago, said they were ex­cited to share one of the fash­ion in­dus­try’s best-kept se­crets – Por­tuguese leather goods – with Perth shop­pers.

“Sammy and I are pas­sion­ate about de­sign and fash­ion; this is one of the rea­sons why we de­cided to bring some of Por­tu­gal’s renowned designers to Perth,” Ni­na­sivinche said.

“Not many peo­ple are aware of the rep­u­ta­tion that most Por­tuguese prod­ucts have and Por­tuguese shoes in par­tic­u­lar are the world’s best kept se­cret.

“They are num­ber one in shoe man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nol­ogy and hence some of the big­ger high­end fash­ion houses are now pro­duc­ing their col­lec­tions in Por­tu­gal, in­clud­ing brands like Prada, Moschino and Bally just to name a few, so for us to be able to carry some of these elite de­signer la­bels is a priv­i­lege.”

Born and raised in Harare, Zim­babwe, but with an­ces­tors from Por­tu­gal, Greece and England, Mon­teiro said they were proud to show­case a lit­tle bit of their her­itage while in­tro­duc­ing some­thing new and fresh to the Aus­tralian fash­ion mar­ket.

“Although we are new to the in­dus­try in Aus­tralia, this has been a big part of our fam­ily for many years,” Mon­teiro said.

“Alda’s fa­ther has owned and run a shoe fac­tory over­seas, man­u­fac­tur­ing hand­crafted shoes, all led by a sea­soned Por­tuguese shoe­maker.”

With their de­signer shoes planted firmly on the ground, Ni­na­sivinche said qual­ity over quan­tity was what was most im­por­tant when look­ing for designers to stock.

This in­cludes vis­its to Por­tu­gal to meet designers and hand­pick the very best.

“One of the la­bels we carry has been around since 1943 and most of our designers have worked in the in­dus­try all their lives,” Ni­na­sivinche said.

“We do have the priv­i­lege of work­ing closely with each de­signer and of­ten meet with them on our buy­ing trips to Por­tu­gal.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d456221

Elle et Lui own­ers Alda Ni­na­sivinche and Sa­man­tha Mon­teiro.

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