Estelita Mendonça
Estelita Mendonça

The first half of 2016 was auspicious for the young designer from Porto. After the presentation of his collection for next autumn-winter on the catwalk at the national Portugal Fashion event, which had good reviews in both the national and international press, Estelita Mendonça also went twice to London Fashion Week, earning an honourable mention from the International Fashion Showcase and an award at Prémios Novos 2015, in the Fashion category, presented by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

The recognition of the work done by Estelita Mendonça is now beginning to reverberate both at home and abroad. At the last Portugal Fashion in March, the young designer presented his autumn-winter 2016 collection, inspired by the refugee problem, with coordinates that appealed to the reuse of "materials such as tents and Papa blankets (Portuguese, 100% wool, handmade blankets)”. Pictures of the fashion show were published in the national press and also reached the social media pages of different specialised international publications, such as Vogue Italia, Fucking Young!, Superior Magazine (which was also present at the national event) and Brunch Magazine. The published news shows a collection that appealed to "ecology and sustainability” in times of crisis, mainly in the form of sportswear items, a style which is indeed part of the designer’s DNA.

In fact, the new year got off to a flying start for the designer. Last February, with support from Portugal Fashion, he was on a panel of Portuguese designers representing the country at the International Fashion Showcase, an exhibition that is part of the complementary London Fashion Week programmes. There, he received an honourable mention for the presentation he developed for the event, which is organised by the British Fashion Council.

Shortly afterwards, there came a new milestone in the career of João Pedro Estelita Mendonça, when he won an award at the Prémios Novos 2015 (Fashion category), promoted by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The annual ceremony is aimed at singling out new Portuguese talents, aged up to 35, recognising their input, activity and merit in different areas of culture, science or society.

Internationalisation on the horizon

More recently, he returned to London, this time not to take part in a collective exhibition, but rather to present a collection already looking forward to the warm season in 2017. This was Estelita Mendonça’s début at London Collections Men, which took place in early June. The work he did in the British capital will now continue at the counterpart men’s fashion week in Paris, from 24 to 28 June.

Estelita Mendonça completed his Fashion Design course in 2008, at the Porto Fashion Academy – Art and Techniques. He made his début at Portugal Fashion’s Bloom in October 2010. Two years later, he won an award at Fashion Awards Portugal (New Talent). In December 2012, he travelled to Madrid to present his designs at Matadero – Centro de Creación Contemporánea and to the capital of Austria for Vienna Fashion Week (2013). The ex-Bloomer has been on the main catwalk at the national Portugal Fashion event since March 2014.