We know that you are a stylist but that is not the full expression of fashion in your life. What is the role, indirect or direct, of fashion in your daily life, in your work and in the way you live?
Fashion has been my home since I was 13. I signed my first contact when I was 13... so from a very young age this has been my reality and I know no other. Of course, when I reached the end of my adolescence and realised that I wasn't going to grow up any more it created a lot of frustration in me because I realised that I would never be able to model, however I forced myself to always reinvent myself. So, looking at all sides within the area, the fashion area, is in fact what I like the most, I have already touched so many areas within the mother area, I have already assisted in a catwalk show, I have already assisted a designer, I have already built a communication department for a Portuguese designer, 10 years after I thought that I would never be able to model for Moda Lisboa, I did! So I think it's not when we want it, it's when time allows it... but everyday fashion smells and sounds like home to me.
What was your journey, how did you get to where you are today and what was the role of fashion in creating who you are today?
This question is very interesting because probably if it had been asked two years ago I would have answered something else... I think that talking to national realities is unfortunately not yet the same as talking to international realities. And there was a time when I thought I could be everything and do everything with the necessary competence. I don't think that competence is in question, but we still live in a country where we can't get out of the box, we are tagged with an identity and we always have to be that one thing, because if we are not always the same thing, people find it strange, people think we want to overshadow them, people think we are mediocre because we want to do more than one thing. So I use fashion as my favourite form of expression. Do I use it today with all the potential that I think I could use? No, for a very simple reason... because I've used it and the bill I paid... I'm still paying for it today.
You are an active member of the LGBTQ+ community. Despite being a community associated with the fashion world, do you consider that there is still prejudice or struggles to be fought?
I think there are prejudices in my area, yes. Not in relation to the LGBTQUI+ community fortunately, I think it was the fact of realizing very early on that I was inserted in a place and in a community that opened its arms to me from a very young age, that made me never feel like an outsider. That is, even if at school they made me feel like a stranger, I knew that at the end of the day, when I went to work, when I went to Impala to photograph for 100% Youth or for Ragazza, for example... I knew that, that was a place of comfort. So fashion played this role in the fact that I respected myself above all else as an individual within the LGBTQUI+ community. Regarding the area I work in, whether or not it is a prejudiced area, it is a prejudiced area, it is an area that you can still be one thing, your talent is questioned when you try to do more than one thing, the bills you pay at the end of the day for trying to be more than one thing are very high and people have strangely very short memories.
What is the cause that you consider to be most yours? What is your voice and what is the message you try to transmit through social networks, through your work and through everything you do, whether it is in a work and creative context or in a more personal one?
The message is always, always, always the same. It's a very trivial and very basic thing that was passed on to me by my mother and my grandmother. It's whatever you do, the important thing is that at the end of the day you're happy. And this applies to every spectrum of our lives, whether it's personal or professional, whether it's within our den of friends or with a love relationship, what really matters is that you're happy because it's with you that you'll sleep every night for the rest of your life. Of course it's idiosyncratic for me to practice equality, I find it strange to still have to say we have to practice equality.... but it's true. It doesn't make any kind of sense to me why someone is marginalised because they have more pigment than me, why I am hierarchically above because I am a man, why I get paid more because I am a man, why I have to have difficulty finding work because I am part of the LGBTQUI+ community... all these questions are so bottomless and without content that for me they become so empty and I usually say that the day I have answers to these questions... then I will be as sick as the people who ask these questions.
How would you define modern Portuguese culture?
It sounds like growth to me, you know? It sounds and seems to me that we are increasingly drinking from around the world. I think that for a long, long time we were reluctant to drink cultures, to drink diversity, and I think that finally these barriers and these intra-prejudices that we ourselves stigmatize are falling apart. So I think that the world belongs to the world, and the most beautiful thing about being part of the world is being able to share culture. Nowadays we hear a lot about cultural appropriation and it's something that pains me a lot when it is used and misused... because cultural appropriation is effectively when we use a culture in a way that belittles it. Now, when we use a culture to dignify it... well, that's the best that the world has to offer us. It's sharing. And it feels so good to be part of the world which has its eyes open and is ready to receive that same sharing. I think the best thing about having is always worth sharing.
What do you see as the role of brands, like Overcube, in the voice that modern Portuguese culture should have when it comes to fashion, diversity, disruption, inclusion and so many other areas essential to development?
We are going towards my last answer. In other words, it goes towards diversity, which I like to believe is a path we are working towards. It goes towards equality. I admit that it still makes me a little confused, and I know it will take a long time to enter a website and see a men's section and a women's section... I really like to believe that in 10 or 15 years we will be able to enter a fashion platform and we will be able to choose without finding any kind of gender barrier. But I think it's crucial and fundamental that platforms like Overcube will source from national creators and on the same platform we have international brands. So it goes with the idea of drinking culture, drinking diversity and wanting to do more and better, never stagnating.