An Interview with Portuguese Designer Hugo Costa

For innovative Portuguese designer Hugo Costa, designing collections is more than just a day job, it’s in his genes. The Costa family apparel and shoe production pioneers from the town of São João da Madeira just outside Porto. Here, Hugo developed an interest in style and a lifelong appreciation for accessories very early on. In 2008, he graduated from the School of Applied Arts of Portugal and two years later launched his namesake label in 2010 with an avant-garde point of view. The minimalistic brand began with a focus on sandals, and has since grown into sneakers, leather backpacks, as well as unisex pieces all with a classic menswear aesthetic. Costa’s seasonal offerings are consistently inspired by street culture, philosophy, and architecture, wanting to deliver smart apparel, accessories and footwear to the edgy, cultured urbanite. Hugo Costa is bringing attention to the up-and-coming Portuguese fashion scene by showing the global community notable collections filled with artful craftsmanship season after season.


How did your family’s background in apparel and shoe production influence your decision to pursue fashion?

Perhaps this experience makes me reflect about the importance of the accessory in the the collection concept and how it helps tie the entire look together


Did you inherit any aesthetic quirks from your family that you perpetuate in your clothes? Or are you a rebel?

No. I just feel that I absorbed the craftwork and industrial way of thinking. I know that every thing, or every step I made, is reflected in my work and that will continue to influence me because I am still growing as a designer and as a brand.


What goals do you have for your line?

For now, I am concentrated on improving my quality and my processes. Development of my commercial network is an ongoing project.


What do you wear most out of your own designs?

My sneaker line… I have a pair on right now!


Whose style do you absolutely love?

My biggest inspiration is Yohji Yamamoto! But I really like Raf Simons, Céline, and Craig Green.


What is your outlook on the future of fashion?

I hope to see the Portuguese fashion scene on the map. It’s exploding at the moment, but we need international journalists to take notice.


text by: Nicole Zane and Robert LiaBraaten

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