Recapping GRAMM’s takeover of Lisbon’s simmering creative scene 

Recapping GRAMM’s takeover of Lisbon’s simmering creative scene 

The Manchester-based streetwear fashion brand GRAMM – known for its apparel and personnel who control the nightlife decks in Manchester and now Portugal has set itself as a forerunner tapping into Lisbon’s unfolding creative scene.

Unknown to outsiders, Lisbon’s creative currency is slowly building momentum with its oversaturation of artists – street, tattoo, fine artists, and photographers – fashion designers, melanated models, music producers, DJs, and overall creative polymaths. 

Photographer: Wildat Hassan

Suppose we compare and locate where Lisbon’s creative scene is in its development. In that case, Lisbon 5 years from now could resemble Amsterdam’s creative capital. An additional five years could make this small creative hub a strong contender against Paris and London. A further five years in the bag could raise Lisbon to New York’s prestigious precedence in events and businesses. 

Last weekend alone at GRAMM’s event in partnership with Antú – Lisbon’s hotspot bar and hangout space for creative – confirmed this. Every attendee we spoke to confirmed Lisbon is overflowing with creative talent who need the right opportunities to expand. For instance, on Day 1, we sat down with Portuguese-born artist Terrible Kid, who unveiled what it’s like to be an established artist in Portugal. Day 1 started with a pop-up featuring new clothing from GRAMM’s ‘For Now’ collection and ‘WAVEY GARMS‘ produced by Rhiannon Isabel Barry. The evening continued with a photo-street art exhibition and lived painting of a motorcycle by Terrible Kid before shortly offshoring the crowd to a series of afterparties hosted at Antú and Lodo. 

AK Williams by Wildat Hassan

We sat down with GRAMM founder AK Williams to find out what intrigued him about Lisbon’s creative scene.

GUAP: How did you first get into the creative industry?

AK: I don’t think I ever set out to be in the creative industry. Saw some things, or had some ideas about some things and I just wanted to do them.

GUAP: What’s one thing you find unique about the creative scene in Manchester?

AK: When you’re from a small place it breeds a motivation for people to try and get out there. People just want to try different things and try to get out of there, so I think that is what Manchester is. The get up and go, the hustle about it [is what makes it unique].

GUAP: Why did you choose to collaborate with a Lisbon audience? 

AK: For me growing and going to different places, you resonate with the place you’re going to. In Lisbon I feel like I’m at home. Its not the big city like London or Paris, the attitude is more laid back, the people are more chilled out and that’s what I resonated with to be honest.

Photographer: Wide.Boy

Day 2 featured a tattoo workshop led by Brazilian tattoo artist Luiza Potyr. We sat down with Luiza to learn more about Lisbon’s art scene through the lens of a tattoo artist. 

GUAP: How did you first get into the creative industry?

Luiza: It was about 2016 or 2017 when I moved from my home town in Rio de Janeiro where I used to live. I started tattooing there for the first time, it was the first time I was introduced to the art scene.

GUAP: What’s one thing you find unique about the art scene in Lisbon?

Luiza: The art scene in Lisbon is pretty fresh now, its full go young peopled creative people trying to do new stuff and I think this is really rare and unique about here. I think its a city that’ growing a lot. I’ve been for four years and I’ve seen the changes 2 years from now – it’s been really big.

GUAP: If you could advise your younger self, what would it be?

Just do it. Don’t think too much and work harder.

As usual, another afterparty at Antú followed the pop-up; however, it shortly migrated to an amapiano night at Soweto in Lisbon – a 2-minute walk from Antú. Overall, the pop-up succesfully bridged an international and important gap between UK and Portuguese creatives which may contribute to Lisbon’s creative expansion in the future.

Discover more from GUAP’s Arts & Culture section here