The coastal capital city of Lisbon in Portugal has always been home to plenty of traditional luxury retailers, marketing to a more mature generation. But in February this year, omni-channel concept store TEM-PLATE opened, blessing the trendy district of Marvila with some seriously high-end style. Customers peel back a huge, sunny PVC curtain to enter the broad white gallery space, exhibiting a selection of carefully-curated clothes: welcome to Lisbon’s first ever fashion concept store.
The converted warehouse, designed by architects Gonzales Haase, stocks an eclectic assortment of millenial-dream designers, from refined luxury to avant-garde streetwear. It’s the lovechild of ex-fashion directors Korean Dane Rune Park (previously at HenrikVibskov’s Copenhagen and New York shops) and Belgian Robby Vekemans (formerly of SN3 and CHANEL).
Combining their extensive buying expertise, Park and Vekemans are the first to sell such a range of labels in Lisbon; their buy traverses established labels and emerging names. In fact, Vekemans tells ORDRE: “A high percent of our stock was not presented or sold here [in Lisbon] before, for example: Richard Quinn, Maison Margiela, Comme des Garcons… we’ve had so many thank-yous for bringing them over.”
“A high percent of our stock was not presented or sold in Lisbon before.”
But TEM-PLATE isn’t only saving those airmiles for Lisbon’s locals buying their favourite designers - with plans to bring Celine in soon - it’s focusing on limited editions, exclusive drops and collaborations, showcasing a small selection of the stock sold on their online store. Amid talks of collaborating, Park can’t hold back from mentioning an exciting project on the horizon, “We can’t say the name yet but in the second half of this year we have a really exciting emerging designer that we are going to launch. All I can tell you is that it is one of the best emerging designer brands around right now!”
On discovering talent, Park and Vekemans say travelling shapes their impressively on-the-mark taste. They attend fashion weeks from Seoul to London and name-check cities like Tokyo as a font of inspiration. Vekemans says, “We try to network as much as we can. The Paris showrooms are always really great, you discover so much there.”
This championing of new talent extends to the physical space too. Every month, both creatives and designers will be invited to re-imagine the store interior, with young local talent on their radar as well as international. It seems this isn’t just a platform for supporting design, but a study in new, experiential retail. So, it’s no surprise when Rune describes their customers so far: “We’ve mostly had people from creative businesses coming in, younger people. A lot of architects, designers, artists and gallery owners.”
Artistically presenting such a mixture of international talent is undeniably refreshing Lisbon’s fashion scene, fitting seamlessly into the famously creative Portugese city.