KINTU STUDIO: Hello! It's wonderful to finally visit your studio and get a glimpse behind the scenes of your vibrant creations. Can you share the story of how you first conceived the idea to start your own fashion brand?

ALDENTE: Hello and Welcome! When we met, Catarina already had her existing brand called Thrash Dynasty, which was an upcycling project, and Quentin was looking for a place to tattoo while landing in Portugal. We joined forces to rent this place in September 2022, and as we renewed the place it became clear that we share a common perspective towards fashion and aesthetics, this was the setup in which we started Aldente. 

KINTU STUDIO: Could you walk us through the process of creating your pieces? How do you decide on textiles, colors, and patterns?

ALDENTE: Every project starts with a fabric, our designing process usually comes as we are wandering for textile, falling in love with a color and a texture, before applying it to a concept. We then draw sketches of the piece we have in mind and complement it with other upcycled fabrics to create something unique. 

KINTU STUDIO: Your use of upcycled textiles is quite unique. How do you source these materials?

ALDENTE: We source most of our fabrics from second hand shops, from vintage to charity. We like to take apart a forgotten piece with great fabrics, and make the most out of it. A lot of our contacts are also aware of our project and gladly donate to contribute. 

KINTU STUDIO: Your studio is as colorful as your designs. Do you host any meetings or events here? How does the space inspire your creative process?

ALDENTE: Making the space was the first time we collaborated to create something, in a way the studio is the first piece we ever designed together, pretty much everything is upcycled as well, picking up furniture in the street and repurposing it to our style. Our studio is where our customers come to take their measurements and see the conception of their custom piece or where we organize collaborative shootings within the space where our friends come over and wear our latest creations. 

KINTU STUDIO: Each designer often has a favorite piece. Could you tell us about yours and why it holds a special place for you? And Catarina, what's your favorite piece and why?

ALDENTE: It's hard to pick, doing unique pieces means we constantly have to reinvent ourselves and push our creativity to achieve something new and interesting, but I'd say my favorite trait overall is the texture present in the pieces, mixing fabrics, feelings, and getting to play on a 3D scale where the garment isn't just a flat piece of fabrics sewed together, An example of that work being the weaved purple vest, it comes in a duo set we did from the same fabric. It mixes many different Aldente significative features such as the weaved back, the double ring closing in the front, and my favorite colors. 

My favorite pieces so far have been the puffer jackets we've done this winter, from the Lava pattern that took a lot of work and experimentation. It was also the first time we produced the same piece in two different colorways. 

The Astro jacket holds a similar spot as it has some really distinctive features, playing with sleeves allows us to extend our canvas to a wider range of creative possibilities. 

KINTU STUDIO: Every collection usually has a standout, unconventional piece. Could you share with us which piece from your collections you consider the most daring or 'craziest’?

ALDENTE: The galaxy set definitely was an experiment reusing similar techniques as in the lava set, while incorporating even more details, textures and colors, with a cropped pattern that came with a matching skirt. It was a visual experiment before being a piece of clothing. 

KINTU STUDIO: As collaborators, how do you navigate spending so much time together? How does your partnership enhance the creative process?

ALDENTE: Well, as we went on with the project, we actually became life partners as well, it is always challenging to share so much time together and yet keep a healthy balance, in a way our project has been a personal and professional challenge that made both of us grow as individuals, and as a couple. 

KINTU STUDIO: Aldente is such a unique name for a fashion brand. Could you tell us the story behind choosing that name?

ALDENTE: People nowadays often define the creation process as «cooking». We related to this analogy and picked Aldente because we feel it embodies our production method. Not overcooked, neither raw nor unfinished. Staying away from industrial production we take a rather experimental approach in hand crafting each piece from upcycled materials ensuring the singularity and uniqueness of each piece.

KINTU STUDIO: Thank you so much for having us and our talk :)

Photos by Kora Rogina