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Diogo Miranda
Diogo Miranda

2017 marks 10 years of career for one of the most prestigious Portuguese fashion designers. Diogo Miranda's collections today are featured internationally, including by the most renowned publications in the field (The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Elle are in his portfolio). In fact, his market is mainly international, bolstered not only by fashion shows, but also by attending international showrooms – he has participated in events in Paris, London, Berlin and in New York, where he has a permanent showroom.

A career that flourished

Diogo Miranda's venture into the fashion universe began in 2007. With a Degree in Fashion Design from Cenatex, the designer’s interest in fashion stemmed from his family’s connection to the textile and footwear industry, which he grew up around. "I was exposed to it from an early age, when they came home from trade shows and the first thing I did was see what they had brought me. My father used to take me to school, and I joined him at the factory where I could see what was being done”, Diogo Miranda told Maxima Magazine, in March this year.

He admits to having considered studying architecture or window dressing, but ended up choosing fashion as a career. His choice was validated when, after a traineeship in Seville, at Miguel Reyes’ studio, he took part in Portugal Fashion’s Bloom Contest – at the time called the Young Designers Competition. This experience provided him the opportunity to present the candidate collection in a fashion show at Portugal Fashion some months later. The designer doesn’t deny the importance that taking part in the competition had on his career, adding that it is crucial for young designers as it "allows them to display their work to a larger audience in order to move forward” in the fashion industry.

"Taking part in the Bloom Contest was where my career began, it was the first time I showed my work to the public and the press”, admits the designer. Yes: the designer who has seen his collections on catwalks across the globe, worn by the likes of Sara Sampaio – in a collection inspired by the work of architect Oscar Niemeyer -, Helena Bordon and Sonam Kapoor, took his first steps at Portugal Fashion, where today he regularly presents his seasonal collections.

It was on Portugal Fashion’s catwalk that Diogo Miranda made his name, leaving behind a stint in the industry, in particular at Inditex, the company where he learnt enough to invest in his own label and make it grow. He was born in Felgueiras, the same place where he settled his studio and store, where his newest collections are available, and where he, along with a team of ten people, provides personal tailoring for men and customized service to the public.

The move to the international market

But to what extent does it make sense to have the registered office of a label in a country that isn’t your main market? For Diogo Miranda, it makes perfect sense – because Portugal is the country where he was born, where he created his label and where he feels close to the fashion industry, which promotes strengthening of the brands in the industry. "As far as industry and production goes, we have everything”, states the designer, adding that perhaps this is the reason why several foreign labels are setting up in Portugal.

The internationalisation of the Diogo Miranda label occurred recently: in 2014, when he first exported his collection to the Middle East, the designer’s strongest market today; then in 2015, when he participated for the first time in Paris Fashion Week, with support from Portugal Fashion and ANJE - National Association of Young Entrepreneurs, attracting the attention of the international media. When asked about the most significant moments of his career, Diogo Miranda doesn’t hesitate when answering that the first exhibition in Paris was one of them: the collection, called "Paris No. 1”, had "austere but stylised looks”, with accentuated shoulders and well-defined silhouettes, in discreet shades of burgundy, black, navy blue, riviera blue, terracotta and white.

10 years of Diogo Miranda

The Autumn/Winter 2017/2018 collection is not an ordinary collection. It features ten years of work, dedication, creativity and elegance which define Diogo Miranda’s career. The designer decided to mark this special occasion with also special players: the ten women behind him and who have accompanied him on his professional journey, who reflect their various personalities and attitudes in the campaign, as well as their different perspectives and ties to the label – amongst them, actresses Ana Sofia Martins, Débora Monteiro and Sónia Balacó, models Luísa Beirão, Joana Castro and Margarita Pugovka, and fashion coordinator of Portugal Fashion, Isabel Branco.

This special collection was shown on the Portugal Fashion catwalk in March this year, where the public could enjoy Diogo Miranda’s proposals for next season. Extra-large ruffles, bows, voluminous shapes and copper shades combined with black are some of the key features of the looks presented, which in conjunction with hair, make-up and music (David Bowie) created an authentic atmosphere which goes back to the 1980s and the unique work of photographer Guy Bourdin.

The designer presents a creative overview of this career, since his first fashion show at Portugal Fashion: "it has been ten years of learning, progress, and even though the nerves and adrenaline before the show are the same as at the first time, everything has improved, the quality of my work, the organisation of the show and all the conditions offered by Portugal Fashion”, states Diogo Miranda. Regarding the future, the designer doesn’t ask for much – the growth and strengthening of the brand and the conquering of new markets.