Claus Porto: a story about tradition and creativity

17 / 06 / 2019
For more information, visit Claus Porto website. 
It’s impossible not to fall in love with Claus’ Porto universe after a conversation with Anne-Margreet Honing. Seduced by the colours and vibrant patterns that since 1887 express the authenticity of the brand, the Creative Director admitted that she was amazed by “all the impressive beauty that filled the archives and colourful packaging of the brand”. A meeting that had as background the charming Claus Porto store in Rua das Flores, Oporto, and that also aimed to celebrate the launching of a new commemorative edition, the famous guest soaps originally created in 1919. From receiving guests to travel or flavouring drawers and wardrobes, in each vintage packaging, we uncover fifteen iconic soaps, produced from 100% vegetal and Shea oil. We talked with the Creative Director to find more about her creative path, now inspired by Portuguese influences.

How did you end up working with Claus Porto?
It started more than 5 years ago, I was asked to flight to Porto and to discover this old factory that was having these really strange and beautiful packagings. I studied Fine-Arts in Paris, I love painting, and, as time goes by, I ended up doing art direction for several brands. I really love this part of my job where you can make a visual analysis of a brand or project, to find out the brand’s meaning and how you can help them grow. Because of my experience in luxury fields, I was asked to come here and discover this factory. Funny thing is I already knew Claus Porto because someone offered me a giant Favorito soap several years ago! I was quite excited to see the origin of the soap and when they brought me to a room where I had access to the archives, books full of labels and incredibly beautiful, I was amazed! I think the key word in this company is love. And mostly, I’ve learned to respect the soul of this brand because you cannot transform it, it should always look Portuguese.

 
 
What was your biggest challenge over the past years?
To be coherent inside and outside the country. Also, our work should not look like pure marketing, everything is almost like an art performance. We want to tell a story that comes from the DNA, form the past, that’s why everything happens for a reason. Each day is different, a roller coaster, we have one impossible mission after the other. There’s not a typical day, it goes from product development and being creative with small budgets to brainstorming, a lot of drawing too and mood boards where we look for inspiration.

Where do you look for inspiration?
I believe that I have a bubble around me that helps me being completely disconnected from the world. I have a sort of place where I can get fresh ideas and I can see things from a distance. I am inspired by art, poetry, music and I truly think it’s what going to save this world. I am also inspired by traveling, but I believe traveling today it’s also what transforms all our beautiful cities into touristic gaps.
 
 
Can you tell us a little bit more about the new edition of the Iris collection?
This edition celebrates the anniversary of the soapbox itself that was launched in 1919. It is a product that people love; we already had different collections and they were all very successful. The idea of a guest soap is also quite important because I think the art of receiving some guests in your house with a little soap is very elegant. Now we have a vintage product with a modern twist.

What do you love the most about Claus’ products?
Everything: visually, it has to be seducing, convincing by the use, and it has to be strong enough so people can fall in love and become faithful.