In Lisbon in Us by Ana Raquel Duarte, this designer and creative entrepreneur reflects on her restless relationship with the city, how Lisbon influences her, and defines the values of authenticity and simplicity that she seeks to convey in her work. Imbued with a love for her fado heritage, this young woman inspires us with her story. Thank you, Ana Raquel!
Lisbon is a city that gives me mixed feelings.
Of all the places I’ve lived, it’s the only one that makes me question whether “do I truly want to stay here?” and at the same time, if “I truly want to leave?”
Although I have no plans to do so, this is an idea I live with daily. “So, what is this dilemma about?”
Perhaps the day-to-day routine and the lack of “touristing” in my own city bore me. Maybe 27 years of living in the same neighbourhood, the same streets, the same people, and the same places make me think of change. That’s where we’re at right now. In a relationship with a well-lived history, some disagreements, two temporary separations, and a current disagreement about the direction it is taking and its fascination with “namorar os franceses” (“dating the French”) as Amália Rodrigues used to say.
However, in this relationship, as in all others, what prevails are all the good times we’ve had and continue to have, all the nights in the neighbourhood, the friendships that have grown here, all of its culture and history.
It’s a city that embraces me, not in creativity, but in the soul. It’s all of its characteristics that keep me going and inspire me to create the RAQUEL KNITTING STUDIO brand. The antiquity of craftsmanship and handmade work that Lisbon has always offered us, from the Portuguese pavement to the tileworks, reflecting its simplicity and beauty in the pieces I create, the use of materials and the practice of humble prices just like the people that Lisbon puts in my path. Just as it conveys tranquillity and authenticity to me, the need to create a stockless brand emerged, with the aim of representing that calm and the unparalleled genuineness that is this city.
Bringing light to the world of Portuguese fashion, just as Lisbon illuminates us with an “embroidered” light, as Carlos do Carmo used to say, which cannot be found in any other city in the world. Perhaps it’s also because of the fado blood, inherited from my dear grandfather Alfredo Duarte, Ti Alfredo to his friends, and Alfredo Marceneiro, that there’s this eagerness to return to the old, recover, and adore the heritage that was left to us. To preserve our cultural richness.
I am currently reading a book called “Sostiene Pereira” by António Tabucchi, recommended by a dear Italian friend, whose friendship was born in the city of seven hills. It talks about my Lisbon in a passionate way, and while reading it, I share the same passion for the land where I was born. Lisbon is truly unique, and I am very proud to be a true “alfacinha” (term to denote a person from Lisbon).
|Lisbon in Us by Ana Raquel Duarte|
|Mini introduction||My name is Ana Duarte, I’m 27 years old, and I’m from Lisbon. I completed my degrees in 2021, obtaining a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Fashion Design from FAUL. Currently, I am embarking on a Ph.D. in Design with the aim of advancing the field of textile production in Portugal.|
I worked at a knitwear studio in Antwerp, Belgium, as a Knitwear Designer for a year, and it was in this city that my personal and professional project, which I am currently developing, was born. RKS (RAQUEL KNITTING STUDIO) is a bespoke knitwear studio. I also work as a Graphic Designer and collaborate on projects with Fashion Designers who wish to create knitwear collections or incorporate knitwear into their designs.
Apart from my passion for clothing, I also have a love for cooking and sports, especially surfing. I take great pleasure in sharing with you my connection with Lisbon and the influence of this wonderful city on my personal and professional journey.
Follow my work on Instagram.
|An inspiring place||My living room in the evening when the sun sets.|
|An unmissable visit||Graça during the Lisbon Festivities.|
|Her mouth waters with…||Alheira (a type of traditional Portuguese sausage) with egg and chips… and rice of course.|
|A song…||Luz do Seu Olhar – João Erbetta, Leandro Lima|
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