Portugese design duo Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida take a trip back to their homeland with their young daughter Maria in tow. Describing the Marques'Almeida energy as “quietly defiant” the trailblazing fashion duo discuss the ethos behind their designs and why they continue to be inspired by M'A boys and girls around the world.
Where are you and what are you doing?
Paulo: In Lisbon staying at Marta’s sister place looking after our daughter and niece. Taking them to the beach every day and trying to work in the car when they’re asleep - not easy!
How would you sum up what you do in a sentence?
Paulo: Live, work and create around our people. Try to do the best for us and them whilst defying the system.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Marta: Paulo wanted to be an architect and I think I probably wanted to be a contemporary dancer or a painter or a filmmaker… I wasn’t very focused.
What did you do on your last day off?
Paulo: We went travelling to the English coast in Kent with our daughter Maria.
What's your greatest ambition?
Marta: To be able to continue to do what we love and make a positive difference in areas like diverse representation in fashion, girls and boys’ sense of inclusion and self image, sustainability and climate change.
Paulo: And build a happy family alongside it!
Do you have any phobias?
Marta: I have a stupid cat phobia… and there are a lot of fish restaurants by the sea in Portugal!
Paulo: Nothing serious but I don’t particularly like dark water.
Who do you most admire?
Marta: The young boys and girls we meet trying to make sense of themselves and the world they live in. It’s not an easy feat. There’s more freedom but there are also more dangers, more prejudices and more divisiveness. We’re not living in a particularly pretty stage of world history and this new generation is kind and caring and bold and aware - it’s really impressive to see.
What's the last dream that you can remember having?
Marta: I had a dream last night where me and Paulo had found the perfect name for a child - I’m still trying to remember what it was!
Paulo: I never really remember them.
If you could do anything without fear of repercussion, what would you do?
Paulo: Take whatever creative risks at whatever pace and not worry that it might have a negative impact on our business and ultimately not allow us to continue to do what we love. I guess we would love to be a bit more carefree sometimes.
If you could ask anyone a question, who would you ask, and what?
Marta: My mum - how to stay wise and sane whilst working and raising a family and thinking so much about everyone around you. I could ask but don’t know if there’s an answer!
Describe Marques Almeida in three words...
Paulo: Can we make it two? Quietly defiant.
What’s the most surprising thing we’d find out if we looked at your phone?
Marta: My “2018 was the year that... “ lists I do every year and keep on the notes on my phone.
Paulo: My random research of shoes for Maria mixed with screws and wooden boards and fashion pictures.
"Who do you most admire?
Marta: The young boys and girls we meet trying to make sense of themselves and the world they live in. It’s not an easy feat. There’s more freedom but there are also more dangers, more prejudices and more divisiveness… this new generation is kind and caring and bold and aware - it’s really impressive to see."
Favourite film character?
Marta: Everyone in ‘Little Miss Sunshine’.
The funniest person you know?
Paulo: Our friend Miguel and our daughter Maria.
One thing you can’t live without?
Marta: Family and friends.
Favourite thing to eat?
Paulo: Anything traditionally Portuguese - nothing beats flavours from home.
Least favourite thing to eat?
Paulo: I’m like that dinosaur trash disposal in The Flinstones - I’m happy eating anything!
Where do you go for a good idea?
Marta: To our M'A girls and boys, our team, movies and music. Looking around at girls on the street and emptying our brains.
The best advice you've ever been given?
Paulo: Listen to everyone and then when it’s time to make decisions shut the door and listen to your gut.
Marta & Paulo's Summer playlist:
Got To Keep On by The Chemical Brothers
Firestarter by The Prodigy
The Beigeness by Kate Tempest
Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill