The Fashion Folk S03 ep1 : Fatima Lopez, Lopez Fashion, [Lisbon]
Interview with Fatima Lopez
Fátima comes from the Portuguese island of Madeira. She was born and grew up in its capital city, Funchal. Since an early age she showed an interest in fashion and during her adolescence, unhappy with what the shops had to offer in terms of clothing, started to design her own clothes. Being fluent in English, French and German, she worked as a tourist guide for a local travel agency. In 1990 Fátima moved to Lisbon, where she believed she could better pursue a career as a fashion designer. With a friend she opened a boutique named "Versos", which sold mainly clothes from international designers. In 1992 the boutique changed its name to "Fátima Lopes" and in that year the Fátima Lopes brand was born. In September of the same year, she participated in a fashion show made in an old convent in Lisbon (Convento do Beato), where her work was widely applauded. In 1994 she exhibited her collection in Paris at the "Salon du Prêt-à-Porter Feminin". Two years later she opened her first international store in Paris, located in the famous rue de Grenelle. At the same time she began to diversify her collections by creating bags and shoes for both men and women.
I am a fashion designer. I think I have created my own style which is very feminine, it’s sexy, I
always like the clothes, the feminine clothes really, really very feminine, very glamorous, this is
what I do. I do clothes to make women much more beautiful. I like to create beauty.
My work, my job is to create beauty and I always design for me, so I only design what I really like.
What I only have, what I only feel like and this summer is really it’s sexy, very elegant,
glamorous, women are going to be really, really feminine.
I was born in a tiny island called Madeira Island so all my studies were for tourist at my passion,
what I really dreamed of was fashion so when I was around 23 I went to Lisbon and I jumped into a
world that was not mine but it was my real dream and I’ve decided that that would be my life
It’s art first of all but now I design everything, even jewellery and home decoration and I have all
sorts of articles now beyond fashion but my passion is really fashion. Maybe because I was born in
a place where you couldn’t find what I was looking for but when I went to Lisbon when I started
the fashion I couldn’t find anything that liked so I think it was a need search for what I liked and
that’s why for some time people say that this is … style because it’s mine, it’s really my soul.
Portugal is first start is very small country, has never been known for fashion for textiles and for
manufacturers never for fashion, but I don’t think there’s a Portuguese style, I think we are all so
different. There are many designers but all very different.
Eleven years ago I took a plane to Paris and I decided to be part of Paris Fashion Week and this
will be my 22nd fashion show because when I went to Lisbon I went in the search of a dream
because it was the capital of Portugal, when I arrived to live in to Lisbon very soon I found out that
it was too small for me also so I wanted to search for the world not for a small country which I
love, and I’m still living in Lisbon and I wouldn’t change that, Paris is the capital of fashion and
from here I have possibility to have the world.
When we are part of one capital we cannot be part of another one with the same collection, I only
have one collection so I could never show the same collection in London, in New York or in
Milan, I could show everywhere else and I am really very happy in Paris, it’s eleven years here, so
well treated so I’m, I feel at home in Paris.
To survive eleven years it means that I have dedicated my life to fashion, I already had two
weddings, two husbands, which is very difficult because it’s not easy because I really live for my
work, I work day and night, I’m always doing many different things, I really love what I do, it’s
not the job, it’s not something that I could be tired of, so I’m always on the search for another thing
for another project, this year I did open a discotheque, I have a models agency, I have many
different businesses related to the fashion so I really like to work, I’m someone who for whom
work is a pleasure.
Actually we have very good factories and manufacturers, that we have really very good, there’s not
a problem to produce is very easy when you say made in Portugal is even good quality, is even
better quality than if it was other European countries. So we don’t have a problem with quality, the
only problem is that only the dimension of the country which is very small. So from Portugal to the
world I can guarantee good quality.
In the past I used to go to Premier Vision and choose fabrics and everything would start there, now
it’s impossible because Premier Vision is almost connected to the show so it’s, I don’t have time
for that, but anyway when I design, everything starts with my own ideas, my own life. The travels,
the books, the … everything I do, my whole life, is what inspires me and I design for me. The
model who tries the clothes is me so I only put 10cm more and that’s it, what I do is that I design
the clothes, I try the clothes and then I have a big team for making the clothes but the design, it’s
100% mine and the model is only 100% mine which explains that everything is made for me.
Eight years ago was my beginning in Paris and everybody started saying that I was the only
designer in the world who could be a model at the same time so I said no, but they always said you
have to, you have to, and one day just for a joke I said only if I wear diamonds, so everybody
started looking at me and saying that’s it, so it was a summer collection and I decided to design a
bikini and it was gold and diamonds. At the time was $1M bikini to it was the first I’m in the
Guinness Book the first diamond … before Victoria’s Secret, actually it was sponsored and made
in Belgium in Antwerp, a company called Esedeen Diamonds and they thought the idea was
amazing so they said immediately we do everything and they really did something really special
and for me it was very important because the whole world talked about that and after that many
others did diamond bikinis, more expensive than mine, but I did the first.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Fatima Lopez, Lopez Fashion, Lisbon