This season, Marques’ Almeida celebrated a homecoming of sorts. After having to move back to their hometown of Porto, Portugal when the pandemic hit, husband-and-wife duo Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida returned to the London Fashion Week schedule to reconnect with the brand’s birthplace and its loyal community of followers

The pair met at fashion school in Portugal and moved to London to study MA Fashion at Central Saint Martins together, founding Marques’ Almeida in 2011. After two seasons under Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East, followed by backing from the BFC’s NewGen support scheme, the brand became a fixture on the London Fashion Week schedule. In 2015, Marques’ Almeida were awarded the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, as well as the British Fashion Award for Best Emerging Designer, and witnessed exponential growth.

After inadvertently relocating to Portugal during the pandemic in 2020, the brand utilised its proximity to its Portugal-based factories, prioritising craft and community engagement. “It was a freeing period where we could just run with it and explore. It was an important time for us to build our design vocabulary and shift our aesthetics slightly. We had time to be introspective about the past ten years and lay out a new path,” says Marta.

In 2020, the brand launched its Re’Made collection, a series of unique pieces crafted from upcycled materials salvaged from their studio floor; and launched a magazine, accompanied by a robust environmental and social responsibility manifesto. Among its pledges were commitments to using solely certified raw materials and recycled synthetic fibres, as well as actively promoting local manufacturing. For its Autumn/Winter 2022 show in Porto, the brand brought in six local designers and artists, to help bring the collection to life.

Back in London for Autumn/Winter 2024, their inspirations were characteristically eclectic. “Our clothes exist in this mish-mash world of references that are always underlined by a rebellious ’90s spirit that we can’t just get rid of,” says Marta. The result is a delightful cacophony of candy-coloured taffeta gowns, leather studded biker boots, floral brocade prints and signature ragged raw-edge denim, hammering home everything we’ve missed during Marques’ Almeida's four-year absence from the schedule.

“Our process involves mixing varied inspirations but we always return to the M’A community. They are always such a huge source of inspiration:, the way they dress, the places they go, the things they buy have always inspired us,” explains Paulo. This idea of community permeated in the hollowed-out East London show space, where long-time supporters sat decked out in raw-edge denim, asymmetrical drapes and ruffle hems. Models who walked the brand’s early London shows returned to the runway, many hand-in-hand with their young children who wore the successful M’A Kids diffusion line.

“Our community has grown up with us,” says Marta. “It was really important for us to bring everyone back together for our return to London,” says Marta of the line-up, which included familiar faces like i-D’s international editor Frankie Dunn; stylist Natalie Hartley and former journalist Felicity Kinsella, as well as a model who has walked every Marques’ Almeida London show, but this time hand-in-hand with her two-year-old daughter.

As Marques’ Almeida triumphs in its return to London Fashion Week, its narrative of community and craft leaves a smile on everyone in attendance's faces. Although the brand has grown up, Marta and Paulo’s rebellious spirit remains. “London is always changing,” Paulo concluded, “That’s very much like how we work, we get bored if we stay still for too long.”

Shop our Marques’ Almeida pick below…