Creator Spotlight: Pedro Monteiro, Founder of Litoral
Litoral (Porto, Portugal) is a menswear label that is accurately represented by the aesthetic influece of its surrounding land and sea. Season after season, Pedro Monteiro (Founder & Creative Director) presents a very consistent selection of timeless pieces made with premium, locally-sourced fabrics (some made exclusively for Litoral) and high attention to detail. As a label, Litoral demonstrates true Portuguese craftsmanship at its finest for elevated quality and comfort across all ranges. We had the opportunity to talk with Pedro about his creative process, brand genesis, and where the label is going.
This is an exclusive interview and was featured in the Revel iOS app for men's fashion (See Revel: https://appsto.re/us/fcUP7.i)
LITORAL. WHAT IS THE BRAND GENESIS?
Litoral was founded in 2015. "Litoral" is the Portuguese word for by the coast; the shore. For me, the coast of Portugal was my biggest influence. The brand is a translation of our environment here into the world of apparel. The brand name represents our headquarters and inspiration one in the same.
HOW DID YOU PUT ALL EARLY IDEAS TOGETHER TO CREATE A BRAND? WHAT WAS THAT PROCESS LIKE?
From the start, I didn’t have any experience in designing clothes and I had learn this process the hard way ... making some mistakes and trying to work as hard as I could to build a strong brand. Some of the best fabrics in the world come from very close by in Portugal and, luckily, connecting with these people worked in our favor distance-wise. Even early on we were able to implement premium quality because of our location in Porto.
WAS THERE ONE SPECIFIC DAY THAT YOU SAID "OKAY, TODAY IS THE DAY" TO START LITORAL? WAS IT INTIMIDATING?
I came from a management and hospitality background before starting Litoral - something drastically different from being in fashion. I knew building the brand was 100% my passion, so it wasn't hard for me change gears. I've always believed whole-heartedly in my vision and trust my ambition. Because of that, launching Litoral was a very natural step.
BEING IN HOSPITALITY / MANAGEMENT, WHAT DID YOU FEEL WAS MISSING? WHAT LED TO STARTING A BRAND?
For me, it really comes down to passion. Litoral was something that I wanted for so long and meant so much to me. Timing-wise, I thought it was the right moment for a new Portuguese clothing brand that could show the best of our craftsmanship. In fashion today, you can really see that there is a selection of amazing Portuguese brands that showcase well what we represent. We are happy to be in that conversation.
AS THE FOUNDER, WHAT WERE YOUR EARLIEST DESIGN AND BRAND GOALS YOU SET?
Our goal always is to have the best product possible. As a brand, we want to reach people that identify with the same values as us. Premium fabrications and quality craftsmanship represent our Portuguese heritage and brand direction.
HAS ANYTHING CHANGED SINCE THOSE EARLY GOALS?
It's important for us to uphold this component of the brand. Our hard work there will not change.
WHO AND/OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST AS A DESIGNER?
My biggest inspiration is our surrounding, our landscapes, our beaches, and our city here in Portugal. It provides us with all we need. Creatively speaking, it has the greatest impact on my creative process as well. Everything always starts with our inspiration.
DO YOU THINK LIVING IN PORTO ALLOWS YOU TO ORGANICALLY STICK TO THE ROOTS OF WHAT MAKES YOUR BRAND?
Yes, that's the major part of who we are. Its amazing to be able to live in such an amazing city as Porto... and a such country as Portugal. We have all the industry half an hour from us and we have a great relationship with the people that manufacture ours products. That is important to us. It reflects on the quality of our products and who we are as a brand.
FOR EACH NEW SEASON, CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE PROCESS OF HOW YOU CHOOSE FABRICS? COLORS? DESIGNS?
We always use Earth tone colors, and that comes from our country as an inspiration. I usually start the product design process with the materials I want to use then start designing. It can depend on our direction for that particular season, but our process usually originates the same way. It all comes down to our home here in Portugal. Portugal is the lifeblood of the brand. I think that for our Summer collections, the Portuguese coast is our biggest inspiration. For the Winter collections, we look to our interior and our national parks.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE BRAND?
We always want to grow in the markets we already work with, and continue to find amazing stores to sell our products. We are excited to move to the Japanese market next. Also, I am hopeful we will have our own store soon.
We want to extend a special thank you to Pedro Monteiro for his time. For more information, check the Litoral brand page on the Revel iOS app: https://appsto.re/us/fcUP7.i