A visit to La Paz

After our day in the mountains, we arrive in Porto late in the evening, when it is already dark. Our apartment is right by the sea. From the window, we can see the lighthouse and the reflection of the moon in the water. The surf is strong and with the windows open, you have to speak a little louder to make yourself understood, the Atlantic is roaring.

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In daylight, the view out of the window is of a long beach where all kinds of people are already out and about. An elderly man is fishing, a woman is throwing her dog a stick, two men are looking for shells or crabs in the stones that the tide has released. Here and there, people sit in the sand and read or chat. On the wide sidewalk behind the beach, people are jogging or on their way to work.

First we have breakfast, black coffee and pasteis, a sweet egg pastry, as is customary here. We wonder what it must be like to grow up so close to the wild Atlantic. We are no longer surprised that the Portuguese simply sailed off in search of what lies beyond this endless sea.

La Paz is one of 2 Portuguese labels that we carry in our range alongside Portugiese Flannel. André, one of the two founders of the brand, has actively supported us in organizing this trip over the last few weeks. We meet here in Porto in the Foz do Duro district, where we live. André grew up here in this district, which is located just outside the city center right by the sea.

La Paz recently opened their second store in Porto 100 meters from our apartment. The Atlantic Ocean, the people who live on its coast and their traditions are the inspiration for the men's label La Paz.

We meet in a coffee shop with a view of the Atlantic. We want to find out more about the history of La Paz from André.

Before La Paz, André ran a concept store in Porto. After the economic crisis of 2008, the Portuguese government encouraged people to export more instead of importing. And so André decided to set up his own brand together with his friend José. Both are passionate surfers. And it was clear from the start that the Atlantic should somehow be part of the new company.

As a first step, the two began to study the textile traditions of Portugal. They came across some very interesting traditional items of clothing, such as the typical Nazaré shirts, the "capote" from the Alentejo or the woolen sweaters and socks from the Serra da Estrel.

They started to find out about production possibilities, visited old factories and archives and found amazing things. Today, they work in the best factories in the country to produce timeless and long-lasting clothes under the La Paz label.

PAZ means PEACE in Portuguese. This peaceful spirit should be behind their project and the relationship with their employees, customers and the environment from day one.

And it is this good spirit and open attitude that we have felt since our first contact with André and José at a trade fair in Paris and that has accompanied us throughout the week in Portugal.

We meet André and José later in their beautiful store in the center of Porto for a portrait and a shoot.

We would have loved to stay longer and accompany them on their visits to the many exciting local manufactories.

Pictures by Raffael Waldner