Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Portuguese designer Tony Miranda brought romance to the catwalk at Arab Fashion Week in Dubai on Friday night.

Over the course of his distinguished career, the haute-couture designer has dressed some of the world’s most glamorous women, including Brigitte Bardot, whom he describes as “a woman ahead of her time.”

“She had a rebel spirit,” Miranda said of the iconic French actress and model. “So dressing her with the aim of achieving a classical effect was a challenge.”

Miranda’s enviable client list also features many stylish Arab men, including royals such as Prince Turki, and the late Prince Saud Al-Faisal was a client.

Speaking of his Middle Eastern male clients, Miranda told Arab News: “The Gulf client is very sophisticated. He knows what he wants and likes, but also values professional opinion. He is concerned not just with the exclusivity of the fabric, but with the smallest detail — down to the particularity of the button.”

He would not be drawn on his extensive list of female clients around the world, saying only that confidentiality is paramount to his relationship with each woman.

Miranda’s stellar career began in Paris, and he credits his mother for nurturing his creative spirit. “My mother was a very important and valuable influence in my life,” he said. “Not just professionally, but also personally, as she always allowed me to dream.”

Aged 18, he joined the house of Joseph Camps, considered one of the greatest masters of French haute couture. “It was a fantastic time when everything was possible,” Miranda said. “This was a time when the body was valued, and accuracy and professionalism went hand-in-hand with design and artistic knowhow.”

In 1967 he joined Ted Lapidus, where he quickly rose to the position of creative director. He launched his own atelier in 1979, quickly followed by his own Tony Miranda boutique on the exclusive Rue Cambon in Paris.

In the late 1980s, however, he brought his talent and training back to Portugal, where he has been a major influence since opening his atelier and boutique in the city of Guimarães in 1989.

He has championed the development of haute couture in his homeland and put Portugal on the international fashion radar. As he expanded his empire of stores and ateliers he continued to attract prestigious clients from the aristocracy and high society and the worlds of entertainment, politics and finance. Many regularly visit his exclusive private lounge in Lisbon.

The fashion industry in his homeland has, he said, “changed dramatically over the last 20 years.”

Arab Fashion Week in Dubai offers another opportunity to see the exquisite designs of this master craftsman who continues to evolve and surprise many, decades on from his haute-couture training in Paris. And he says Gulf women are the focus of the collection in Dubai.

“For my showing,” he explained, “I put a particular focus on the romantic and sophisticated aspects which I think personify UAE women.”