Interview with Miguel Barbot

September 22, 2014

Together with two friends, Miguel Barbot has created the first store in Portugal dedicated to 'beautiful' bikes. Bringing together some of the best international bicycle manufacturers under one roof, Velo Culture meanwhile opened a space in Lisbon, presenting to the capital the same careful selection that can be found in the Matosinhos Market store. Appreciator of well built objects and everything Portuguese, Miguel Barbot talked about his shop, Portuguese manufacturing and of course his glasses by Paulino Spectacles (Alberto Frame):

What do you like the most in your Pauline Spectacles glasses?
There are several things I like about my Paulino Spectacles glasses. Indeed, it was because I like several things I did 80 kilometers each way to go to Viana do Castelo buy them, because then, in Porto, yet there was no one selling them.
I like the design and the materials. The construction quality is fantastic - my son is a frantic kid and in the middle of the play I end up seeing the glasses flying to the other side of the room. It's been almost two years and I never had to tighten them once.
I also like the story of Paulino Spectacles and for having a philosophy of production in line with both what we do in Ofício, as with much of the brands we choose to Velo Culture. I really like to use every day an object of top quality handmade ​​just a few kilometers from here and not in the luxoticas of this World.
Oh, I also like this. Once, when entering an optician in Covent Garden, the boy still inside shot when I was going through the door: "hey, you are wearing Paulino's!"

Do you think portuguese production is in good shape?
The Portuguese production is so so.
We have an unique potential in the world, with many companies creating value very competitively and with the principles of management and market orientation all right.
On the other hand, these coexist with other companies that still operate in a different paradigm, which makes the scenario a bit confusing for those coming from outside.

How did Velo Culture started?
Velo Culture started because me and my partner Sérgio are vain cyclists. We like pretty bikes and see an harmonious set of cyclist, bike and luggage within a contemporary classic style. Before Velo Culture was only possible to buy this kind of stuff online.
After almost three years, we are leaders in the urban classic, road and touring cycling market and one of the largest national experts in the field of restoration. For this the help of our partner Hugo is essential, who from the beginning of the company takes care of the workshop.

Miguel Barbot photo by Alice Bernardo

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