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Interview with João Pedro Filipe of senhor PRUDENCIO

They say you can learn a lot about a man by observing his shoes. Relying on such sartorial cues have become more problematic due to the recent explosion of creativity within the men's accessory sector. Flouro trims, clashing prints, trainers with suits, and colour-blocked soles are now de rigeur amongst the most stylish men, suggesting that not only do the cues need to be changed, but perhaps we should rewrite the rule book.

Against this background, Portuguese accessory brand senhor PRUDENCIO confidently presents collection after collection demonstrating this new creativity combined with traditional craftsmanship.

Founded in 2012 and headed by British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur Award winner João Pedro Filipe, the brand strives to incorporate techniques of the 50's shoemaker with the needs of today's man. 

I had the opportunity to catch up with Joao ahead of LCM to find out more about the his story, his top shoe picks and key pieces of advice for pursuing a career in menswear.

What story did you want to tell when you launched senhor PRUDÊNCIO in 2012? 

"In 2011 we were in the middle of this huge crises and a lot of people were trying to find new ways of working. By that time I remembered that during the 50’s and 60’s people were unemployed but they all had jobs that came from a specific artisan know-how. At this time my grandfather – sr. PRUDÊNCIO - was a shoemaker in a small atelier and I realized that this was a good match of what I was living and what I wanted to do. As a designer I always searched for inspiration in ancient craftsmanship methods, trying to bring them to contemporary products. The Portuguese shoe production is a very healthy industry and being in the middle of it made me get involved. I decided to create a brand that I could produce in this area."

How does senhor PRUDÊNCIO differ from João Pedro Filipe Studio? 

"JPF studio is a design studio focused on shoes and accessories. In the studio we develop collections for several brands, from product design until the sales season. senhor PRUDÊNCIO is the main brand of the studio and here we have a bigger involvement; we deal also with communication, sales, production and distribution, allowing us to have a more global vision of the fashion industry and a more personal approach to design and strategy."

Who is the typical man who wears senhor PRUDÊNCIO? Do you design with anyone in mind? 

"We focus on an urban and mature man with a high sense of mobility and an exquisite taste for collectables and tradition. A man that is aware of fashion, but also sensitive to the contemporary cultural scene in its different aspects, someone that takes care of himself and that likes to look good! I do design with a lot of people in mind – no one specific – it depends a lot on the collection I’m working on and what this “people in mind” can bring to it."

What are the 5 shoes every man needs in his wardrobe and why? 

"I think that every man should have a great list of “basic” shoes to fit all the looks he may need in his daily life such as a good pair of high-top sneakers or some nice white sneakers, or even a high quality Goodyear Welted Oxford are good examples, but I believe that you can look really good in the same pair of shoes combining them in different ways enhancing your own personality." 

What should a man look for when choosing a shoe, that perhaps the everyday man does not know? 

"I believe that no man likes to throw away an object that he really likes, so I would say quality and durability."

Your previous collection involved a collaboration with Rita Roque; Do you have any collaborations on the horizon for SS15? 

"For the SS15 collection we developed our Bicycle Case in collaboration with Foffa Bikes. This is a special edition of the bag we have been presenting since our first collection redesign in accordance to aesthetics and philosophy of both brands. It is now available for sale through their website."  

Do you have any advice for anyone interested in pursuing a career in menswear? 

"Be creative and original, work hard, know the men you are working for and always be loyal to yourself."


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