10 Things You Didn’t Know About Marta Marques & Paulo Almeida

Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida are the innovative fashion designers behind the London-based brand Marques’Almeida. Known for their youthful, unrefined style and denim-on-denim aesthetic, the duo has achieved critical acclaim and found success on an international scale. But what is the story behind these groundbreaking designers? Here are 10 surprising facts about Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida that you may not know.

1. They Met in Portugal

Marta and Paulo both hail from Portugal – a country admired for its rich culture, but not traditionally recognized for its impact on the global fashion scene. They met while studying fashion and design at CITEX in Portugal before moving to London to further refine their skills. This shared heritage greatly influences their designs, lending the collections a unique Portuguese twist.

In their youth, both Marques and Almeida found passion in fashion, and upon meeting in Portugal, they quickly discovered their shared love for the craft, setting the foundation for a creative partnership that would evolve into Marques’Almeida.

2. Central Saint Martins Is Their Alma Mater

Despite beginning their studies in Portugal, Marta and Paulo completed their Masters at the universally acclaimed fashion school, Central Saint Martins in London. This revered institution is globally recognized as a breeding ground for innovative, boundary-pushing designers, boasting alumni including Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Christopher Kane. Studying at Central Saint Martins played a crucial part in honing their unique design sensibility.

The experience they amassed at the prestigious school equipped them with the technical expertise and conceptual know-how to launch their brand. Notably, Marques and Almeida also found inspiration in the creative freedom fostered at Central Saint Martins, which remains palpable in their work.

3. Pheobe Philo Was Their Inspiration

Legendary designer Pheobe Philo, best known for her work at Céline, served as a significant influence to the duo in their early days. This inspiration is evident in their choice of fabric and style. The influence of the formidable Philo, known for her minimalist yet compelling designs, can be seen in their work, particularly in the asymmetrical lines and effortless cool which has become signature to Marques’Almeida.

Equally, Philo’s commitment to championing independent, real women resonated deeply with the designing duo. It created a paradigm shift in their approach towards creating relatable, authentic collections that aren’t just about passing trends.

4. They Rally Against Fast Fashion

Marta and Paulo are among the conscious designers making strides towards sustainability. Their collections are characterized by quality and longevity, opposing the fast, disposable fashion model that has invaded the industry in recent years. Back in 2011, when they launched the brand, they sought to create a label that was about ‘doing it right’ rather than ‘doing it fast’.

This conscious approach extends beyond their design principles to all aspects of their business model. They are upfront about pricing, material sourcing and labour, fully embodying the ethos of transparency which is a cornerstone of sustainable practice in the fashion industry.

5. Winning the LVMH Prize Catapulted Them to Fame

In 2015, following years of hard work and steady growth, Marques’Almeida received the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. This award, coupled with features on Vogue Runway and securing their place as a notable brand at London Fashion Week, skyrocketed their fame and placed them on the global fashion map.

The LVMH Prize not only provided a significant financial boost but also included a year-long mentorship with notable figures in the industry. This was a game-changer for the brand, opening doors to opportunities and collaborations that would cast them further into the limelight.

6. They Launched a Comprehensive Resort Collection

Most recently, Marques’Almeida took a leap by launching an all-encompassing resort collection. Traditionally known for their apparel, this extended offering showcased a broader range of their design talents, featuring accessories, swimwear, and even homeware. The collection was a testament to the brand’s evolution and expansion into new realms of fashion.

Drawing from their iconic styles, this comprehensive collection catered to multiple aspects of a consumer’s wardrobe while still bearing the trademark Marques’Almeida charm. It stood as an epitome of their maturity as designers, reflecting a more focused outlook towards extending their creative prowess.

7. Marques’Almeida: ReM’Ade Line

Breaking new horizons, the duet launched the sustainable line ReM’Ade in 2020. The hallmark of ReM’Ade is its commitment to being 100% made from upcycled and recycled material, signifying a giant leap towards achieving complete sustainability.

This innovatively eco-friendly line showcases the designers’ commitment towards the planet and its future. It continues to make waves in the fashion industry, redefining the spectrum of design with every statement piece, all the while promoting a greater good.

8. They Advocate for Independent Women

Marta and Paulo have a longstanding history of championing independent women through their design. Strong women who defy conventional aesthetics and norms inspire their work, with their representation on the runway. They often say their design ethos is about creating clothes for the women of their generation whose style is an expression of their identity.

The duo has been a vocal advocate for the representation of real women, challenging standards of beauty in the fashion industry. They focus on delivering a message of empowerment through their innovative collections, often collaborating with non-models and people from different walks of life to represent their brand.

9. Their Signature Style

The brand’s signature denim-on-denim style has won them widespread acclaim thanks to its innovative execution. Using a deconstructed approach, they present a fresh take on the familiar fabric, playing with shape, texture, and fit. This style has earned them high regard among fashionistas and industry insiders alike.

Ripped edges, oversized shapes, asymmetric finishings, and highly distressed textures are some distinctive characteristics of their design. Their unique take on denim transcends norms and labels, positioning them as pioneers in the denim world.

10. They Value Authentic Connection with their Customers

Marta and Paulo place great importance on building and maintaining an authentic connection with their customers. They engage with their community via online platforms, physical pop-ups and even by working directly with their customers through project partnerships. Even more impressively, the duo is known to directly attend to customer queries and emails, emphasising their customer-centric approach.

The pair believe that authentic fashion is as much about the people wearing it as it is about the clothes themselves, and strive to maintain an open dialogue with their customer base. Their visions are born from ideas and conversations shared within this community, and customer feedback often directly impacts the brand’s evolution.

To learn more about Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, you can visit the official Marques’Almeida website here or follow them on Instagram here.