Last week I was in Lisbon and enjoyed meeting with one of the most fashionable personalities of the city – Veronique Laranjo.
Véronique is the owner of self-named boutique “Véronique”, in central Lisbon, which she opened in 2010. It’s a multi-brands boutique that features international brands such as: See by Chloé, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, Vivetta, Paul&Joe, Orla Kiely. There is also the lovely Portuguese brand called Inês Telles.
Veronique previously lived in London and Paris, where she worked for Joseph, Marc Jacobs and Prada. She always wanted to open her own boutique and after falling in love with Lisbon, she saw an opportunity for a niche fashion boutique.
When you had the idea to open your own boutique?
The idea of opening my own boutique came in the mid 90’s when I was living in London and working for Joseph. I wanted to open a boutique of lingerie, a multi-brand, in central London, but I was a bit too young, not to mention the cost! But I have to say that my idea was a great one, as I saw many lingerie boutiques opening in the next years.
The biggest influence is my mom, when she was young, she used to make her own clothes,; She was always very nicely dressed, and she thought me the love of good fabrics and nice cuts.
My inspiration comes naturally, I have a radar type sense of what is the next trends in fashion and quickly spot great clothes for my clients.
The lesson that I learned as an entrepreneur is that success comes with dedication, love and long, long hours. I have a very singular vision, made from having lived in London and Paris, which is quite different from the Portuguese way of working.
I have to say that I am very proud of my clientele here in Lisbon. It’s a very specific kind of woman, clever, independent, and who chooses clothes that she really likes and that define who she is.
Many are teachers, architects, dentists, entrepreneurs, artists, web-designers and I have a few great husbands who often choose pieces more interesting than their spouse.
It’s always a delight to see my clients wearing the clothes they bought here, and many of them send me pictures of themselves with the pieces they bought! I love it. It makes me so happy, because to me it’s like sharing things that I like with people I like.
- Who are your favourite designers?
One of my favourite designer brands is Prada. I worked for this marvellous fashion house and I respect the vision of Muiccia Prada. I also really like Marc Jacobs, Orla Kiely for her quirky prints and Vivetta, an Italian brand that I discovered lately, very Schiarapelli!!
- A place that makes you dream?
The Azores are my dream place, I have there a house, and I love going there to get away from the civilisation.
- A coffee in Lisbon?
Coffee in Lisbon, I have several places, Café Royal next to the boutique, and a Manteigaria that also makes lovely pasteis de nata!!
- A good restaurant for a lunch with friends in Lisbon?
I like my neighbour French bistrot “La Parisienne”, Lumir and her husband arte of Paris here.
- If you had to choose a museum?
The Museum is the MUDE, they have a nice fashion section, and always do interesting expos, the last one was about Christian Lacroix, and they have the excellent Anabela Becho in charge of the fashion department there.
- The best place to walk
The best place to stroil is all over Lisbon!! to get lost in the little streets…
- A secret address…
A secret address: I like the roof tops in Lisbon, you get a lovely view of the city, and you can have a nice drink (hotel Bairro Alto, Park…)
- The best holiday?
Best holiday was in the States 2 years ago, we stayed in Malibu at a friend’s house, and travel to Vegas, Yellow Stone and San Francisco, it was a great road trip!
- Always return to…
Always return to my parents, in France, there’s nothing like your family
- Never travel without…
the spirit of aventure!! I love to get lost in places, not to follow the normal path, it’s when you discover amazing places!!
- A perfume?
I used perfume when I was younger, Marc Jacobs, Stella Mc Cartney, and my favorite one was and still is Helmut Lang!!
- An item from your wardrobe that characterises you?
An item from my wardrobe that characterizes me: my shoes!!!! I loooove shoes!!! Prada, Miu Miu, Viktor&Rolf, YSL, matc jacobs, Pierre Hardy, rochas, Nicholas Kirkwood and vintage ones.
- What do you do in your free time?
In my free times, I like to do small trips with my boyfriend, we take the car and go in the countryside, when it’s summer, we love going to Comporta, one of the lovelist beach near Lisbon
- A mistake in fashion: is to follow what magazines dictate!!! the It-bag, the It-shoe, it’s really for people who have no personality and no sense of style.
- What do you never wear? I never wear: clothes that are not for my body or age…
- Your P.O.F ? Ahah. (The place outside fashion where you like to go) A place outside fashion where I like to go is a good restaurant, and in Lisbon you have a lot!
- My anti-stress ritual: shoes, and chocolate, not together of course!
- Véronique seen by Véronique: well Véronique is a woman who has decided to fully be herself, in spite of the crushing weight of conformisme…
- Travessa do Carmo, n1
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