After being featured on the massive blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey, in which the Portuguese Luxury brand featured 6 pieces, Boca do Lobo acquired a certain international attention. One of the brand’s targets is the market niche of watch winders, having several incredibly unique pieces, which caught the attention of the website ‘’Espiral do Tempo’’. At the Covet House, a beautifully designed property on the banks of the forever-charming Douro river, the brand’s creative director Marco Costa and the co-founder of the Menina Design Group, Ricardo Magalhães, discussed the design concept behind every collection. Join Daily Design News and check out what they had to say!
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When asked by the interviewer about the genesis of the project, Ricardo Magalhães said that the idea was born during college. The interior designer and, Amândio Pereira, the other forefather of the project, whose background is in product design, got challenged by a to build a design project. Little did they know that that same endeavour would result in today’s Covet Group.
Through a professor, we’ve been challenged to build a project to a Clinic, something that has nothing to do with our main activities in the Group today. It was a design project that, passing the word, allowed is to acquire new projects in which we realized that, to grow and progress in the domain of our activity, we’d have to do ‘turnkey’ projects. – Ricardo Magalhães
The Brand, despite having the quality and the bold, challenging designs, had a rough start. Their ideas and concepts where scrutinized, but despite the challenging market’s opinions, they pushed forwards. They reached a point that there’s no going back, only forwards, and that they did. By travelling to international design fairs, they noticed that, although the big Italian brands had the undisputable quality in their products, their designs were easily replicated by cheaper, less-quality focused brands. So they saw a golden opportunity.
We then realized that we could present ourselves as a brand that shocks, that challenges. The first presentation we made was in London, and there the click was made. We understood the way, we presented a bold propose and a conservative one, and the public acceptance fell clearly into the bold one.
When the project started to be successful and commencing an exponential, unpredicted growth, there was an issue: none of the founders had any sort of management background. They were both creative minds, not bureaucratical nor financial ones. But apparently, what appeared to be an important issue, was nothing more than a small cobblestone in front of a raging bulldozer.
I can tell you that our internal accounting department is only three years old, and the company has fourteen years. It was a way to discipline ourselves and, not less important, it was a way to avoid conditioning our creativity by a cold harsh analysis of numbers.
One thing was for certain: they didn’t want merely to be successful indoors, they wanted to climb higher mountains. Internationalization was always the core ambition of this project. But, regardless the fact of such ambition, they’ve decided to keep the production in the motherland. The project demanded all the attention they could spare, and there’s no better example than Boca do Lobo.
Boca do Lobo is a good example of a brand that demands attention and dedication, considering the degree of difficulty we have in the execution of the pieces it represents, which is different of the difficulty in other product.
Despite wanting an unparalleled attention from across the borders, they decided to give the brand a Portuguese name, as a symbol of pride, motivation and personality. They take pride knowing that some Portuguese brands are being inspired by the brand’s bold design concepts, as they can see in the most important international fairs. They argue that these designs can only be produced in Portugal, thus there are some very ancient and endangered crafts that can only be found there.
In essence, yes, I could only be born here. Marco, for example, integrated well, because this was already part of his DNA. He is from Aveiro and our tiles supplier is his neighbor. I can’t imagine if there was another country that could allow us to affirm this way.
They combine several different crafts in their designs, from carpentry to ceramics, woodwork and glass, amongst others. The problem in using these crafts is that they’re endangered, almost extinguishing. They blame the Portuguese overly ambitious mind.
It’s a matter of the Portuguese disposition. If we go to Germany, we see a lot of people in their 30 making glass. In ceramics, the people that work here are older people, but we have a foreign partner that has a lot a younger people working, with innovative techniques. – Marco Costa
Feelings and emotions play a key role in the product’s design. They want the clients to relate to the pieces, to capture the passion with which it was made. And that’s where the watch winders come. A unique piece, quite easy to relate to the buyer.
It’s not about if a piece fits the house, its if fits the way of being, the philosophy of life of whoever buys it – and there we have no limits.
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