Sprawled across the banks of the Rio Douro, with gothic Lisbon to the south and the dramatic peaks of the Peneda-Gerês National Park to the north, Porto has garnered an interesting reputation. Once primarily known for shipbuilding and its production of port wine, this Portuguese coastal city has more recently become a cradle of design, with eclectic concept stores like Wrong Weather setting up shop in its winding streets.

Since its initial unveiling eight years ago, Wrong Weather, a cutting-edge men’s shop and gallery space, has revolutionised the concept clothing scene in Porto. In a place where mixed-use spaces – like the cake-shop-cum-disco Casa de Ló and the bar-bookshop Café Candelabro – are booming, this curated clothing store is changing how people distinguish between fashion and art, one pair of shoes at a time.

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Industrial chic meets statement fashion. All photos by Wrong Weather unless otherwise stated.

There’s no such thing as bad fashion, just the wrong weather”

The futuristic Wrong Weather brand was founded in 2009 as a solo project by João Pedro Vasconcelos – a graphic designer who worked with the likes of ModaLisboa in his early career before shifting sideways into fashion. Speaking to the concept of the store and the passions that drove him to create this multifaceted project, Vasconcelos tells us: This is a retail experience – a meeting of fashion, art and design.”
Just steps away from the iconic Casa da Música – Rem Koolhaas’ celebrated music hall and one of the city’s architectural gems – in downtown Boavista, Wrong Weather sits in a barrio that shifts with the times. A forebear of Porto brands like La Paz and Ayres Gonçalo, Wrong Weather set the scene for a whole new take on men’s fashion that saw the leather and textile industries repurposed for the image-conscious 21st-century man.

We’re located in Porto and we love this city, but Wrong Weather could be in any major city in the world,” continues Vasconcelos. We’re a truly international store with a strong online presence.” Indeed, last year Wrong Weather was singled out in WGSN’s Style Cities Guide as one of the most innovative fashion spaces in Europe.

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Minimalist accessories.

At the cross-section of art and fashion

Inside the Wrong Weather store on Avenida da Boavista exposed metal frames, angular clothing rails and bare fluorescent overhead lights create an industrial feel. Slim in-built shelves are backlit with blue strips that give the bags, wallets, belts or skincare products showcased on these geometric racks a futuristic glow.

Statement shoes sit atop staggered platforms in the centre of the space, while the walls are lined with select pieces from Vasconcelos’ collection. The brands Wrong Weather stocks are distinct and unique – from London-based Christopher Kane to the Middle Eastern-inspired Qasimi.

My brands of the moment are Raf Simons, Off-White and Bmuet(te),” Vasconcelos shares. Where the first two designers are city-driven and vibrant, the latter creates pieces with avant-garde silhouettes and dramatic cuts. This mix of influences sums up the vibe at Wrong Weather: bold, brave and provocative.This eclectic atmosphere leaks into the art space Wrong Weather opened to complement the store. The gallery, just inside the shop, is

This eclectic atmosphere leaks into the art space Wrong Weather opened to complement the store. The gallery, just inside the shop, is testament to Vasconcelos’ belief in fashion as an art form, exhibiting the works of both Portuguese and international painters, photographers, architects and designers. Thought-provoking exhibitions have included DSEX’ by Miguel Parma – displaying human bodies intertwined around and inside car parts – and I Look For You In Everything’ by Patrick Church, which saw therapeutic self-portraits explore battles with inner demons.

Realising a dream

Even in its initial conceptual stages, the Wrong Weather store was already being designed by some of the sharpest minds in the industry. The first ideas for the space were put together by Lisbon architect Nuno Paiva and then were added to by Francesco Moncada, an Italian designer who creates interiors for Prada.

We asked Vasconcelos about how the art space interacts with the clothing exhibition: The gallery is part of the store, but has its own personality,” he explains. The gallery and store also cross over with some artists like Patrick Church and brands like Qasimi, who will actually be creating an installation in September.”

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Browse Porto’s quirky independent stores. Credit: Juan Antonio Segal.

A shifting landscape

This spirit of enterprise is becoming even more prevalent across Porto. Jigsawed streets peppered with curated graffiti give way to the medieval Praça do Ribeira, which is lined with quirky independent stores. Waterfront restaurants like the quintessentially Portuguese Jimão Tapas e Vinhos and salt cod hotspot Bacalhau abound in Ribeira, and rustic port wine lodges lie tucked away on steep cobbled alleyways sloping up from the river. It’s a place where ancient practices combine with new ideas.

Porto’s contemporary design scene is gathering pace. The 1950s saw the rise of the city’s own architectural style, solidified by the foundation of the Porto School, which is now thought of as one of the most prestigious architecture institutions in Europe. Today, street art and bright, hand-painted azulejo tiles dot the narrow lanes (you’ll find some of the best at São Bento railway station), while traditional craft stores like Lobo Taste are found sandwiched between Moorish townhouses. Look past the historic buildings of the patchwork city centre to spot contemporary architecture punctuating the skyline – from the murals of anonymous artist Hazul splashed across Rua São Pedro de Miragaia, to the world-class Serralves Museum in Bairro Gomes da Costa.

Just like the artistic heritage that inspired it, Wrong Weather is constantly evolving. Daring and deeply passionate about sharing art with the world, it remains a staple of the Porto fashion scene, even as rival stores pop up all over the city. What does it come down to? As Vasconcelos explains, it’s simple: If I had to describe Wrong Weather in just three words, they’d have to be: exclusive cool style.” And style, as they say, is timeless.

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