LCF MA15 graduate Ana Duarte, MA Fashion Design and Technology: Menswear has recently shown her designs at Lisbon Fashion Week.

LCF News caught up with Ana to find out more about her experience and the wonderful feedback she received…

Image credit: Gonçalo M. Catarino

Backstage at Ana’s show, Image credit: Gonçalo M. Catarino

LCF News: How did you get involved with Lisbon Fashion Week?

I applied to the “Sangue Novo” competition. It is a platform for new designers to present their work. In the end I was selected along with 9 other brands.

LCF News: Tell us a little bit about your experience there…

It was very good to present there. It’s a big honour to show in my country and get to do it at such a big event. I had to attend a few meetings just for them to see the work I had done, they did the model casting but gave us all the freedom to do everything else (such as choosing the song, the order of the models, the styling).

Image credit: Gonçalo M. Catarino

Image credit: Gonçalo M. Catarino

LCF News: What are the inspirations behind your designs?

The human body, nature and technology.

LCF News: How did it feel to see your work on the runway?

Incredible. I found it rewarding to see everything coming together with the models and music. It was especially good to see that the models enjoyed wearing my clothes and felt confortable in them. Fashion is nothing without people.

Image credit: Rui Vasco

Image credit: Rui Vasco

LCF News: How important do you feel project management skills are when designing?

Project management was something I learned due to course leader Darren Cabon. He motivated me to always look further and to make new contacts within the industry, in order to create what I had envisioned. In the end I discovered how much I enjoyed coordinating so many different people to work well and together. I managed to get all of my materials from Première Vision, and then contacted different factories and professionals – three of them ended up sponsoring me. For the shoes, for example, I established the contact between the shoemaker and my leather artist, so that the shoes have the same metallic leather I used throughout the collection. I think everyone that helped me felt happy with the final result and that is very important when working on a project together.

LCF News: We heard you had excellent feedback after the show, can you tell us about that?

I have been contacted by many different people. Some of them are people that watched the show and came to me wondering how they could buy the pieces. I always thought my collection was destined for a specific public but it turns out that all kinds of men and even women enjoyed it and relate to it, which makes me very happy. They also recognized that my designs are destined for the luxury market and encouraged me to continue moving forward. Also, some magazines, stylists and shops came to me to talk about future projects and partnerships. As a first collection I think the feedback couldn’t have been more positive!

LCF News: What are your plans for the future?

I definitely would like to have my own brand in the near future and I am working towards that goal. Meanwhile, I would like to work in a big known company such as Tom Ford, Versace, Armani, Fendi (among others) in order to gain some experience.