Read the full interview below.
Q - Where did the name ‘A-Line’ originate from?
A - The term “A-line”, as you know, became recognized for Christian Dior's shape creation, which forms an ‘A’ from the waistline until the bottom hem. In fact, we work with the upper part of the body, which also forms an A when inverted.
Q - Why is practicing sustainability so important to the brand?
A - Practicing sustainability has been important to the brand since the beginning. From the start, we imagined a high-end product that would use good materials from certified suppliers. By doing this, we ensure that the end result could only be the best. A good quality product will look great and last over time. I recognize that sustainability is not just about the content of the material but rather the process behind it. It is also about the circular economy and the values behind every sector of it. In A-Line, we know we respect it.
Q - What steps is A-Line taking to a more ethical way of fashion for the environment?
A - When choosing materials and the partners we work with, we always make sure these are carefully selected. Our brand is certified by Oeko-tex Standard 100 and one of our rules is that our partners must be certified as well. This way we make sure everyone is using the best materials, free of chemicals or other harmful substances.
Q - How has Portugal and its culture influenced the brand?
A - We are Made in Portugal which means that there is a big tradition concerning textiles and craftsmanship. I have been in the business for over 25 years now and this made me move on with a women’s shirting brand, as I felt there was a gap on the shirting sector for women. Given this, ‘A-Line: Unconventional Shapes’ was born, to be something very special and unique.
Q - When in Portugal, where should we visit?
A - In Portugal there are plenty of lovely places to visit, from North to South! Our office is located near Porto, which is the second biggest city in Portugal. Porto is a beautiful city: the food is great and so are the people. It is also very small so you can walk everywhere and just let yourself wander around!
Q - What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about running a small team of designers and fashion enthusiasts?
A - Running a team is something very new for me. I used to work by myself and when A-Line was born, we started with around 4 people. We are up to 18 now! To grow well as a brand, we must hire the right people because only a cohesive team will do its job. It is impossible to build a brand alone. Human resources are really important and everyone’s contribution is essential for the brand’s growth.
Q - Who inspires you the most when it comes to fashion & style?
A - One of my biggest inspirations is Audrey Hepburn. She was naturally beautiful, simple, sophisticated, and stylish. On William Wyler’s movie ‘Roman Holiday’, Audrey appears wearing a white shirt. This is a great example of how versatile, simple, and sophisticated a white shirt can be! She won the Best Wardrobe at the Golden Globes for that movie and that’s actually amazing.
Q - What’s your everyday go-to outfit?
A - My everyday go-to outfit is basically anything that is comfortable. I am definitely not a tight clothes person and so I tend to choose loose fits. I love wearing sneakers, which are an essential part of my daily routine.
Q - Do you have a favorite fragrance? If so, what is it?
A - For years my favorite fragrance used to be Chanel Chance (and I still love it). But right now, my special one is Santal 33 by Le Labo. It is different and I have yet to be tired of it.
Q - How do you want women to feel when wearing A-Line?
A - By wearing an A-line shirt, women should feel sophisticated and comfortable at the same time. An A-line woman shines naturally because “simplicity meets sophistication!”
Q - What has been your highlight and your most challenging moment to date as a business woman?
A - I’m a business woman- but switching from working by myself for years to work within a team was probably the most challenging bit. Working with other people, sharing experiences, listening, and being heard is beyond important but can have its ups and downs. However, by the end of the day, a team is what makes a brand and I am beyond grateful for what I have.
Q - How do you maintain a work/life balance?
A - Maintaining the work/life balance is not easy, but I guess I got used to it. I’m a very focused, demanding person and sometimes I regret putting work in front of family. My husband is my partner in crime and he helps me a lot. I am lucky to have such an understandable person by my side all the time.
Q - Do you have any favorite self-care tips and tricks?
A - I would probably suggest not washing the garments if they are not dirty. Maybe hang them outside so they can get some fresh air. Personally, I would rather wash my shirts by hand, even if it is a piece that can be washed in the washing machine. Hand washing allows less erosion and twisting of the fabric, and also saves water and electricity. Only good things!
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:
Q - Coffee or tea?
A - Coffee
Q - Denim or trousers?
A - Jeans over suiting
Q - Sneakers or heels?
A - Sneakers
Q - Savory or sweet?
A - Sweet
Q - City or country?
A - Both. It’s nice to live in the country, but the city goes better for exploration, inspiration, and some fun!
Q - Vogue or Elle?
A - Vogue
Q - Dogs or cats?
A - Dogs
Q - Stay in or go out?
A - Both. I need to stay in after a hard week but, going out is what makes me run and inspire myself.
Q - Book or movie?
A - Movie
Q - New York or Paris?
A - Paris