Brand Up: from showroom to urban market
Brand Up: from showroom to urban market
In this 45th edition of Portugal Fashion, Brand Up brought a number of new features in comparison to the previous editions. This is because, for the first time, it was not just a showroom, but visitors could purchase items from approximately 80 national brands participating in the event.

Brand Up therefore took on an urban market role, with free entry and no invitation. "Also operating as an urban market, Brand Up was open to the city and was aimed at a more general public than the one that usually attends Portugal Fashion. This allows more people to purchase premium products made in Portugal, many of which, as for example designer fashion, are not always accessible to consumers", explains Portugal Fashion's project leader, Mónica Neto.

As usual, Brand Up payed special attention to designer fashion. Carla Pontes, David Catalán, Katty Xiomara, Pé de Chumbo, and Susana Bettencourt had some of their creations in the show, as do the young designers of Bloom, Carolina Sobral, ARIEIV, João Sousa, 0.9 Vírus, Unflower, Maria Meira, and Rita Sá. In designer fashion we also have designers and brands Opiar, João Magalhães, Duarte, Cristina Real, Archie Dickens, and Gracedition powered by ModaLisboa.

In the clothing segment, several national brands such as Meam, Concreto and Buzina were present in Brand Up, showcasing their ready-to-wear collections. The list of participants also included a significant number of footwear and accessories brands, namely Josefinas, Ambitious, Fly London, Gladz, J Reinaldo, Eureka, and Nobrand. The jewellery and goldsmithery exhibitors included names such as Eugénio Campos Jewels, José Santos Joalheiros, Sofia Godinho, CARLA_M.Jewellery, among many other brands and designers.

Another new feature was the Brand Up Sessions, a set of talks (24, 25, and 26 October) on topics of major interest to the fashion industry. Environmental sustainability, social networks/e-commerce and relations with buyers were some of the issues under analysis and discussion with national and international experts in the areas of fashion, marketing, branding, and social media.

The guest speakers on 24 October included, at 4 pm, business developer and entrepreneur Irene-Marie Seelig. She was selected in 2018 for the Forbes 30 Under 30 ranking in the "Building the products of tomorrow" category. Currently she is the global segment lead at Swarovski, playing a key role in the development of brand innovation, within sustainability standards. For her work with the Stella McCartney brand, Irene-Marie Seelig also received the Kering Award for Sustainable Innovation.

On that same day, 24 October, the Brand Up stage hosted a presentation of the COSME program, a community initiative that aims to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of SMEs in Europe and that this year will hold a campaign aimed at the textile and footwear industry.

On 25 October, at 4 pm, actress Rita Pereira, highlighted by Forbes as the most powerful influencer in our country, joined a conversation with international fashion marketing experts. On Saturday afternoon, 26 October, the highlight went to the renowned Italian fashion designer Marina Spadafora, winner of the United Nations' Women Together Award, and who has worked with brands such as Prada, Miu Miu, Ferragamo. She coordinates the Fashion Revolution movement in Italy.  Paulo Gomes, creative director of Manifesto Fashion and creative curator of iTechStyle Green Circle, joined this conversation with an integrating vision of the work that has been done by designers and industry in Portugal.

Between the talks there was Brand Up Music Sessions, with live performances by famous DJs, such as Miguel Rendeiro, João Dinis, and DJ Simone ft Barbarella. Also noteworthy was the presentation by Susana Bettencourt X Ana Guiomar (Saturday, 26 October, at 5 pm), which consists of a capsule collection for solidarity purposes. The purchase of these items could be made at Brand Up and the proceeds reverted to ATA - Associação Telefone de Amizade (Friendship Phone Association), which is dedicated to suicide prevention and support in situations of personal crisis.

Brand Up sales dynamics were reinforced by Portugal Fashion's partnership with the concept store Wrong Weather, which was present at the event with a touch screen connected to the respective online store. Celebrating 10 years of activity, during Portugal Fashion, Wrong Weather promoted a see now, buy now sales campaign with the collections of designers David Catalán and Inês Torcato.

Support from the entire Fashion sector
Brand Up worked, as usual, in parallel to fashion shows and presentations, and could be visited in this edition between 24 and 26 October, at the Alfândega do Porto Congress Centre. Around 80 national brands were present, covering all sectors of the fashion industry (designer fashion, ready-to-wear, footwear, jewellery and accessories) and also the lifestyle segment.

The support given to the event by most of the social and professional associations in the fashion sector contributed greatly to the diversity of Brand Up productsThus, in addition to the brands invited by ANJE - National Association of Young Entrepreneurs, Brand Up includes brands powered by ATP - Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal / Selective Fashion Association (through the Fashion From Portugal project), ModaLisboa Association, APICCAPS - Portuguese Footwear, Components and Leather Goods Manufacturers' Association, AORP - Portuguese Association of Jewellery and Watchmaking, and ANIVEC - National Association of Clothing, Apparel and Fashion Industries / CENIT - Association Centre for Textile Intelligence (through the MODAPORTUGAL initiative).

This range of institutional partners allowed Brand Up to cover, more fully, all sectors of activity in the fashion sector, from author's fashion to ready-to-wear, footwear and leather goods, including watchmaking, jewellery and lifestyle products.

"All these sectors are examples of the excellent quality of what is made in Portugal and they significantly contribute to adding value, boosting employment and increasing international competitiveness in the fashion sector. In addition to the quality of the raw materials and of the existing know-how, these are sectors that have in common a growing focus on design, innovation and internationalisation", underlines Mónica Neto.

The Brand Up organisation is the responsibility of Portugal Fashion and its promoting agent, ANJE, as part of the Next Step project, which is geared towards commercial promotion initiatives for Portuguese designers and brands, namely in international showrooms.