This week we were joined by the self-proclaimed failed minimalist, bi-continental jet-setter, aspiring handbag designer and all round nice-gal, Joana Verissimo. Based in New York, but a frequent visitor of her current home-town Lisbon, Joana is an interdisciplinary curator of style with a kickass background in law! We caught up with Joana and roamed the cobbled streets of Cascais swapping stories of setting up life in a new country while stying some new OhSevenDays pieces.
What was it like growing up in Portugal? What was your childhood like?
I was born in Faro, in the south of Portugal, and I lived there until I was 6. I just loved spending every day playing outside and going to the beach with my family When we moved to Lisbon I missed my school friends and easy life we had there but I was so young that it is was easy to get used to a new city, but I will always miss having those beautiful beaches minutes away from home. Now that I look back I can’t even imagine how it would be like to grow up and spend my teenage years in such a small city. Lisbon feels big enough when you’re a kid but not so big and scary that it would prevent you from exploring the city as a teenager. It was such a perfect place to grow up in.
What has moving to New York taught you? What's the best and worst part of living there?
Moving to New York has changed my perspective on major things in my life. It has mostly made me cherish and value what I already have and had to leave behind when I moved across the ocean. It has been very positive because this new perspective made me work harder to maintain my personal relationships even at a distance and it has made me more focused in my personal goals and what truly matters to me.
Living in such a big city was surprisingly easy, the city has a special way of letting everyone feel welcomed, it’s very hard to feel like an outsider in New York. This made the transition easier. The worst part about living in New York is that everyone seams to be there temporarily so most of the friends I made along the way have ended up returning home or moving somewhere else.
What in your opinion is your greatest achievement?
I would say my greatest achievement so far was being able to be honest with myself and decide to leave behind six years of Law school and start all over again in a totally different area and finally pursuit my passion. Best decision I ever made!
Have you ever failed at anything, and what did it teach you?
I’ve failed at many things but I don’t really feel any negative feelings towards those experiences because I feel that I always came out better. Nothing like failing big to learn big.
What social issue do you wish was more talked about?
Since I’m a fashion designer I would definitely say that the conversation around sustainability in fashion is definitely worth having but not just among designers and people from the industry. The most significant changes have to start with the consumer in order to force the industry to change, so I wish that more opportunities to educate the consumer would be created.
When are you happiest?
Walking my dog with my hubby.
Where is home, and what makes it home?
A year ago I would definitely say Lisbon but New York is starting to feel like home too.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In Lisbon running my own business!
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? “You can’t score without a goal” by Casey Neistat
What do you feel the best wearing?
I feel the best wearing casual clothes with unpexpected design details and quality fabrics , it’s that special touch that makes the pieces standout even though they’re so simple.
If you had to select just 3 pieces to keep in your wardrobe what would they be?
I can’t live without jeans so a great pair of medium washed jeans accompanied by a cotton white t-shirt and an amazingly tailored blazer.