Passion for all things Portugal
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.”
Elle et Lui owners Alda Ninasivinche and Samantha Monteiro.