<b> Frederico - Portuguese Designer and entrepreneur </b>

Frederico - Portuguese Designer and entrepreneur

Hanging Out With Frederico,

Portuguese Designer and entrepreneur.


Meet Frederico, a Portuguese Designer and entrepreneur. We met through mutual friends and connected over our common Professional area of Design. At 12 years-old, Frederico moved to Barcelona for 6 months where he found his two passions, Design and Skate. Since then he knew he wanted to be a Designer, and has worked towards that goal ever since. Today he is the founder of a successful lifestyle brand and the co-founder of a Design studio. Get to know him.

Can you tell us your story so far?

I’m from Coimbra, a city in the center of Portugal, I lived there until I was 18. I was born on the 30th of December of 1987, so my parents thought I was at disadvantage in comparison to other kids born around the same year, so they thought it would be best for me to take a year off. When I was 12, my parents proposed that I should go live with my sister in Barcelona for 6 months, where she was studying Interior Design, I mention this experience because I believe this was a life-changing period of my life. While I was there I found my two biggest passions, Design and Skate. I started going with my sister to her school and helping her with some projects, her Professor said I was very talented and that I should continue to explore Design in the future, from there I realized that was what I really wanted to do. I knew I wanted to be a Designer and I have worked towards that goal ever since, which was a big advantage in my Professional career. 

When I was in Barcelona, I didn’t always have to go with my sister to her University, so I spent a lot of time by myself. I walked around the city a lot and I found a spot called MACBA, which is the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, this place is one of the most important places related to skateboard in Europe, and I started going there every day. At the time I didn’t know skate at all, I wasn’t familiar with street skate culture. Soon as I came back to Portugal I began skating, and I did it for 10 years, never went pro because that didn’t exist in Portugal, but I ended up getting sponsored and was always riding a skateboard. 

At 18 I moved to Lisbon, around the time I also stopped skating, and started studying Design at IADE University, later I took a Masters degree in Visual Culture, more related to Graphic Design, and I also took a postgrad course in Web Design. After finishing my course I went to Rio de Janeiro, another life experience I had for 6 months, to see if I wanted to work there but I decided I didn’t want to stay in Rio, so I came back to Lisbon. 

I always had an entrepreneurial business side but always connected to the creative field. When I finished my course, I started doing freelance work mostly focused on branding and web design, which is my speciality. While doing freelance, I started founding companies, one was called Umami Box, a food delivery box service, which I ended up selling. After that I founded Vertty, a lifestyle brand that sells beach products, like bikinis, trunks, towels, and backpacks, I am still with them today. 

Two years ago I founded Eles with my friend Francisco Eduardo, which is this space where we are today, a Design studio. My partner comes from a background of Art, while I have a background in Design, we complement each other like this. With Eles, our main focus is on Art creation, artistic direction, events and Marketing, we also do some Design work on branding and web.

Next steps for you?

Right now my goal is to continue to grow Vertty, we sell mostly to the United States and we hope to keep the online experience as automatic as possible. I also want to stay here at Eles, our goal is not to make Eles a big scaled operation but rather an agency that produces good author work. Our studio was born from the necessity of developing Projects where we could present our creativity and be able to have control over the work we do. For me, it’s very important to be in control of my own freedom, I have always worked professionally towards building the lifestyle I have today. If I wanted to, I could go travelling tomorrow and work remotely from there, for me, this is success, the quality of life I lead today. So this is my goal, to grow the business and acquire new clients without losing this lifestyle I have built for myself. We want to continue to collaborate with companies and projects that we like and identify with, that share the same common values.

Best spot in Portugal for you?

Vila Verde in Braga near Gerês. I bought a place there with a friend of mine, João Manzarra, the area is full of Nature and is close to some waterfalls. We want to have this place to invite friends, go camping and make this into a Nature getaway location.

What does style means to you?

For me, style is about naturality, authenticity and not depending on what others think of you. This mindset is reflected in the way you dress and in everything else you do.

How would you describe your Design style?

I would say i'm more of a minimalist designer. I try to say more by showing less. My visual concept is clean, powerful and timeless always playing with empty spaces, good color contrast and looking for forms and elements with elegance and harmony.

What do you think of the creative landscape in Portugal? Are there other studios you admire?

I’ll be honest I don’t really follow the Portuguese creative landscape much, also because I don’t think it is such a strong Professional industry in our country. But if I had to say one of my favourite Studios would be Solid Dogma, by Alexandre Farto and Diogo Potes, Vhils’s studio. This studio has great creative power and is a big player in the Portuguese design market. For publicity, FunnyHow is a great agency also run by a few friends of mine, and it is probably the one we follow and admire the most.

What’s the Band / Music Style that inspires you?

Today I listen to everything except Trance and Heavy Metal (laughs). I think music depends on the moment, but lately, I have been listening to more cheerful tunes like Disco or Funk, more groovy music style, I’ve been on that wave. With my background in skate, I grew up listening to a lot of hip-hop, like Notorious BIG, Mobb Deep e Cypress Hill, but later I transitioned more to an Electronic music style. Right now I have been listening to these 2 songs a lot: Pais Nublado - Helado Negro and You and I - Caribou

Where do you find inspiration?

My inspiration is mostly related to Music and Travel. I go to a lot of concerts and music festivals, and I travel a lot. I think these experiences really broaden my mind and make me discover new cultural universes and visions. For my Design work, a lot of my inspiration comes from other artists and designers that I follow, all the visual culture I absorb, and have been collecting since I was 12.

Any guilty pleasure worth mentioning?

Nothing special, all I can remember is eating chocolate cookies on the sofa while watching some series on TV. Another thing could also be my Mother’s rich chocolate cake!

Photography by João Hasselberg.

Frederico was wearing

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