6 Lisbon Tastemakers You Need to Know
Lisbon is fast-emerging as one of Europe's hottest cultural destinations. Below, six artists, designers and tastemakers who are making it all happen—plus, how to track down their work the next time you're in town.
Alexandra Moura, Fashion Designer
Alexandra Moura has been a notable figure in Lisbon’s fashion scene since early ‘00s. She studied fashion design at IADE and trained under designers Ana Salazar and José António Tenente before launching her solo career in 2002. Blending a bold, sculptural aesthetic with a real-world sensibility, Moura’s fashions have graced the runways of Lisbon Fashion Week, the Biennale Internationale du Design in Saint Étienne and the Belgrade Fashion Week. At her gorgeous boutique in Principe Real, one of the city’s trendiest shopping districts, browse her edgy fashions alongside funky art, stationary and accessories.
Maria Ana Bobon, Fadista
Fado is traditional Portuguese folk music characterized by its melancholy lyrics and heart-wrenching melodies. And there is no contemporary performer who better captures the soul of the genre than Maria Ana Bobon—one of her generation’s foremost fadistas. Taking her cues from other musical languages (specifically, jazz, country and pop-rock), Bobon has been credited as a progenitor of a new kind of fado sound. It’s no wonder she’s been a MTV-linked artist since 2013. Listen to Maria talk to the Corinthia Lisbon about the history of fado here.
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Luis Onofre, Shoe Designer
A third-generation shoe designer, Luis Onofre is beloved for his sexy, sky-high creations that are, by some great ergonomic feat, comfortable enough to be worn on Portugal’s cobblestone streets. Since the inception of his brand in 1999, Onofre’s designs have been spotted on the likes of Penélope Cruz and Michelle Obama, earning him partnerships with fashion juggernauts H&M, Jimmy Choo and Isabel Marant. At his flagship in Avenida da Liberdade, one of Lisbon’s toniest avenues, find over 300 pairs designed by Onofre himself and handcrafted at his factory in Porto.
José Avillez, Chef
In Portugal, José Avillez is more than just a chef—he’s a national celebrity. The mastermind behind six restaurants, four cookbooks and segments on popular radio and TV series, Avillez rose to international fame in 2014 after his fine-dining establishment Belcanto was awarded its second Michelin star—a first for a Lisbon restaurant. At Mini Bar, Avillez’s latest venture inside the São Luiz Municipal Theatre, tuck into foie gras-filled “Ferrero Rocher” chocolates, tempura-fried avocado spears and beef tataki with smoked fleur du sel.
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Raquel Prates, Tastemaker
TV host. Radio broadcaster. Art director. Model. One doesn’t know which moniker to use when describing multi-talented media darling, Raquel Prates. But at her new 39a boutique in Lisbon’s Principe Real, Prates has drawn upon each of her talents in creation of the vibrant retail space. Case in point: there are wide-scale murals and neon art alongside funky design finds (think: velour cowboy boots and fixie bikes) and local threads from Portuguese brands like KAOÂ and Manjerica. We dare you not to leave with at least two shopping bags in hand.
Joana Vasconcelos, Artist
At the 2005 Venice Biennale, Joana Vasconcelos made art-world headlines after debuting a large scale, 18th-century candelabra made almost entirely of white tampons. Titled “The Bride,” the installation was an examination of feminine identity and consumer culture (recurrent themes in her work), and catapulted the Paris-born, Lisbon-based artist into the limelight. She has since exhibited work at te Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Istanbul Modern and the Château de Versailles, where she debuted controversial sculptural works such as a pair of gigantic court shoes in the Hall of Mirrors. In Lisbon, catch her work in the permanent collections of Museu Coleção Berardo and Câmara Municipal de Lisboa.