Lisbon’s Sartorial Spirit
In Portugal’s capital, shopping local means embracing the luxury and heritage of homegrown artisans.
“But I have in me all the dreams of the world.”
So wrote Fernando Pessoa, the most celebrated Portuguese writer of the 20th century and a devotee of the Lisbon neighborhood called Chiado.
It’s certainly a district that encourages dreamy, sun-drenched wanderings and musings. Dating back to Roman times, the ’hood, Lisbon’s grandest, created its present look in the early 19th century when, after a devastating earthquake, shopping boulevards, chic cafés, opera houses and Baroque churches were built.
That artistic spirit is very much alive today. Here are four shops where you can see it in action — and take it home with you.
Luvaria Ulisses is one of the last bespoke glove makers in Europe. Quite astonishingly bijou in size, the store has been open since 1925 on Rua do Carmo, and manager Carlos Carvalho has overseen the interior’s 43 square feet for the past four decades. The atelier, where the techniques of cutting and sewing the gloves have remained unchanged since opening day, is less than a half-mile away. Carvalho is on hand to help customers find their size before guiding them through their choice of style, material (including peccary pig, deer and sheep skin) and color (from traditional navy to fuchsia to apricot). Further details, such as folded cuffs or cashmere linings, can be added. Most incredibly of all, though, the gloves are ready for collection the very next day. R. do Carmo, 87-A, luvariaulisses.com
Caza das Vellas Loreto
At Caza das Vellas Loreto, candles have been burning slowly and aromatically since 1789. The carved wood interior of the store is a suitably evocative backdrop to the workshop, located inside the store itself, where ancient molds are used to add new candles to the seemingly endless rows of multicolored varietals, emitting subtle wafts of roses, citrus and pomegranate. R. do Loreto 53, cazavellasloreto.com.pt
Cork & Co.
This near-century-old store turns cork into beautifully hewn wine coolers, umbrellas, wallets, key rings and more. (Portugal is home to a third of the planet’s cork oak forests.) The inventory is endlessly imaginative, extending to handbags, ties, cufflinks and even pens. R. das Salgadeiras 10, corkandcompany.pt
Loja da Burel
No walk in Chiado is complete without succumbing to the temptation to browse inside Isabel Costa and João Tomás’ alluring boutique collection of traditionally made bedspreads, homeware and rugs. Loja da Burel was created eight years ago with all the wool coming from a factory in the Serra da Estrela mountains to the north of Lisbon. Costa and Tomás are dedicated to providing opportunities to young, local designers, whose pieces fill the elegant stores. (There’s also a branch in Porto.) R. Serpa Pinto 15B, burelfactory.com
It’s doubtful the famously frugal Pessoa would have dared invest in such aesthetic delights. He may well have enjoyed the new generation of Chiado artisans bringing new colors and styles to this ancient neighborhood. As he once wrote in a love poem to his home city: “There are no flowers for me like the variegated coloring of Lisbon on a sunny day.”