otiblog

Coming to Portugal

I have finally decided to share my adventure as a fashion entrepreneur with you through a blog, so as to be able to exchange directly with you and give you all the details of the DNA of Otinguema, and the process of creating a collection in different countries. Each country brings its own challenges. Each country brings some intense ambition as each one has something so special and exceptional that gives to Otinguema’s design a new turn every time.

Today, I am installed in Lisbon, Portugal. The choice for Lisbon came with my husband’s work duties. The first thoughts that came to me when we knew we were moving to Portugal were the great possibilities to develop Otinguema.

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Being back in Europe represents an easier way to deliver our products to Otinguema’s customers around the world, and being able to produce with European norms. Along with this, it also means an easier way to source a large range of materials to produce. 

5 MONTHS AGO

When we arrived in Lisbon, the pre-orders of the #Woura #fw18 leather bags collection had just closed. The time now was to order the leather and to buy all the metallic accessories for the production of the bags. 

Getting it all together for production

The cow leather necessary for the collection is sourced and tanned in Morocco. It was easy to find the black and white ones. But we had some trouble finding the perfect dark brown leather. Initially the leathers used for the prototypes were leathers I had brought from Woodheads, Cape Town in SA.

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It was now a real challenge to find the exact tone. Why couldn't I just produce the same exact colour, since leather tanning can be done locally in Morocco? Because the quantity I needed was too small to justify starting the whole engineering process. Plus I wouldn't be in Morocco anymore. Samir, a leather agent in Casablanca, was in charge of finding the perfect colour. But judging and confirming a leather colour through some whatsapp pictures was pretty risky.

I did not despair however : I have a strong confidence in him. We already did one collection together, when he helped source the goat leather for the capsule collection #walidin, few months back. 

I was sure that Samir could deliver!

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