Our Pop-Up Store
It is with great pleasure and pride, that we announce the opening of our first ever pop up store, in the heart of Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city. The Undandy pop-up store will be open till the end of July and we look forward to meeting our customers in person as well as offering an unrivalled shoe shopping experience, seeing first-hand our Portuguese craftsmanship and guided by our expert in-store stylists. If you're in the city and would like to visit, head over to Rua Paiva de Andrada 2, opposite the Baixa Chiado metro station. Rafic Daud is the co- founder of Undandy and being Portuguese born and bred, knows a thing or two about Lisbon's hotspots. Below he explains why the capital was the best place to start Undandy, as well as open the new store.
What makes you based in Lisbon and not anywhere else?
I was born and raised in Lisbon, so the city holds a special place in my heart, but if I wasn’t, I would actually probably choose to base Undandy here. The city actually has the ideal conditions for a start-up like Undandy- a phenomenal geographical location in European, the quality of labour, people extremely proficient in English and that’s before we even get started on the beautiful weather and breath-taking beaches just 30 minutes from the city centre. It’s really exciting to see the hive and burgeoning activity of start-ups, coming out of Lisbon right now. Not only that but the incredible long-standing history craftsmanship established here with skilled cobblers makes Portugal the ideal location for us as an ecommerce site making handcrafted shoes.
Generally, what do you think the future holds for Lisbon and shoemaking?
Well there doesn’t seem to be a week that goes by without Lisbon making it onto the list of the best cities in Europe to visit, move to etc…The city is definitely gaining popularity for both tourists and expats, looking for a work life balance. As for the future of Lisbon, it’s tough to predict, but after the 2008 financial crash it’s great to see the city thriving again, it’s the spirit of the Portuguese to keep adapting and moving forward. It is true that there is no going back as we move deeper into a world of 3D printing, of mass production that traditional shoemaking is becoming scarcer but it is exactly because of that, that I believe that traditional craftsmanship will prevail. One of the core philosophies behind Undandy is the blend between the digital era and traditional craftsmanship with a direct to customer approach.
What is Lisbon's best kept secret?
One thing that is often overlooked about Lisbon is the wealth of hidden nature and vista points in the heart of the city, such as Jardim de Torel which has a spectacular view of the city centre all the way to the river Tejo. Well worth the hike up the one of Lisbon’s notorious seven hills. We also have Monsanto, which is the largest urban forest in Europe. A tourist trap to avoid? Well I can definitely think of a good hack to eating well in the city… The trick always is to observe the other customers seated, if there’s older Portuguese locals sat down, you’re likely onto a winner.
What place can you go for a drink that best captures the spirit of Lisbon?
The Insolito rooftop bar at Decadente in Principe Real is one of the best cocktail bars, and has a great view of the city above the Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara. It’s got one of the very first elevators in the city, so before you even get to the bar you get a taste of historic Lisbon. You can go wrong with an old fashioned in one hand overlooking the beautiful city.
Why did you decide to open a store in Lisbon?
We wanted to find a way to bring our online experience offline and showcase our incredible shoemaking before customers design their very own on the online customiser. As we continue to grow at a rapid pace as a start-up, it’s always great to try different avenues such as bricks and mortar. The irony is that we all thought the internet would kill off traditional retail ten years ago but what’s great is that so many online companies such as Glossier and Indochino are choosing to open stores as a truly immersive experience for the customer. We want our store to walk the customer through the process of designing their own shoes and the craftsmanship that goes behind.
Here’s to good health, good principles, and above all, good shoes.