The BLOOM Portugal Fashion platform moves away from the traditional concept of the runway, in order to provide new designers with shows in a more informal, urban and multi-artistic environment. In Portuguese, 'bloom' means bloom, blossom, shine; it also means freshness, prosperity, brilliance. The aim is to convey the message that it's something new, something fresh, something that's being born or growing, but also something more laboratorial and therefore more experimental, more risky, more innovative.
In the national editions of Portugal Fashion, in the BLOOM space everything happens in a 'performative' way, i.e. the clothes are on display, despite being dressed. It is a living installation. In addition to the fashion performances, concerts, DJ sets and artistic interventions take place in the BLOOM space. Through this intersection of different artistic expressions, BLOOM is intended to promote creativity as an essential value of contemporaneity in the most diverse areas, including the economic sphere.
There are plenty of examples of young designers who, after participating in Bloom, have consolidated their careers and are now on the main Portugal Fashion calendar. Such are the cases of David Catalán, Estelita Mendonça, Hugo Costa, Inês Torcato and Susana Bettencourt and, more recently, the brand Unflower and the young designer Carolina Sobral.
Launched in October 2010, on the occasion of Portugal Fashion's 15th anniversary, BLOOM immediately proved to be a success in terms of the originality of the fashion proposals, the interested public and media attention. The investment in young designers has long been one of the pillars of Portugal Fashion's strategy. The event seeks to act as a lever for emerging talent in order to renew the national fashion scene, to facilitate the integration of new designers into the labour market and to fill any gaps that companies in the textile, clothing and footwear sector may have in terms of design. In this sense, BLOOM was conceived with the purpose of giving visibility to the work of young people coming out of fashion schools and who show potential, as well as consolidating the results of the promotional effort that has been made in emerging designers and with previous participations in Portugal Fashion.
Fashion schools are also associated with this project, taking the opportunity to showcase the work of their students and promote fashion education in Portugal.
By launching new promises, Portugal Fashion is also boosting the entire national fashion circuit. More designers in the market means added value for industrial production and a higher volume of activities in the fashion industry (fashion shows, showrooms, fairs, castings...), with all that this implies in terms of human resources (mannequins, hairdressers, hairdressers, make-up artists, sound and light technicians, photographers...) and materials.
BLOOM is also associated with Portugal Fashion's internationalization strategy, through actions in runway show and showroom formats. In this sense, it has already promoted trips of young designers to Madrid, Vienna, London and Paris.