October 25, 2016
Last month I was invited to travel to Portugal to visit a number of menswear factories and attend Mod Tissimo, an annual textile manufacturing trade show in Porto. The northern city is known for its menswear and leather shoe manufacturing, as well as its striking tiled buildings and interiors.
While the brand has manufactured almost all product to date in San Francisco, we've embarked on a project for Spring that required us to search out a high quality men's suiting resource. We were opened up to the capabilities of Portugal, a country known for its rich tradition of menswear manufacturing and craftsmanship in leather.
I had never been to Portugal before so when I landed mid morning in Porto, I was pleased to experience a city not unlike San Francisco; with majestic bridges and a Northern California style climate. After a quick nap, I took a run down by the water and ended up at the futbol stadium across the street from the hotel for a Sunday matinee featuring the local Boavista team.
The next few days were spent visiting a variety of factories outside of Porto, driving through wine country and manufacturing towns alike. The northern countryside reminded me of Sonoma and Napa counties: hot and dry with low scrub brush and gorgeous vistas. The Portuguese factories we visited were some of the most well run, cleanest, organized and professional factories I had been to since starting the brand a few years ago. Particularly exciting was the level of specialization we found in each factory. A lower end factory will often tell you they can make whatever it is you'd like - this isn't necessarily a good thing. Each factory that we visited focused on one or two things, or doing them extremely well.
Starting in 2017 you will see us begin to produce items in Portugal beginning with a re-launch and re-architecture of the original product we launched with in early 2014. We're excited to show you the quality, care and craftsmanship of our new partners in Portugal and to continue to unveil the story of a country rich with pride, history and menswear tradition.