António Moreira Gonçalves
French in style, but Portuguese in know-how and manufacturing. Ethnic Blue is the brand of the Portuguese textile Lima & Companhia, but it is presented from Paris where it has a permanent showroom. A strategy that makes France the company’s main market, which currently generates a turnover of around six million euros and exports 99% of its production.
Specialized in polo shirts for men, Ethnic Blue was created 26 years ago by José Cortinhas, founder of Lima & Companhia, and businessman Paulo Alves, based in France. Today it is managed by the second generations of this Portuguese-French partnership – Nuno and Márcia Cortinhas, in Portugal (both in the photo), and Filipe Alves, in Paris, – who have extended the brand’s presence to many markets.
“We direct our strategy toward multi-brand stores and department stores”, explains Márcia Cortinhas, commercial director at Lima & Companhia. The brand is a regular in some of France’s main shopping centres, such as the La Fayette galleries or the Armand Thiery chain.
From Paris, the brand also reaches Algeria, Mali, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Canada, Cameroon, Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Germany and Sweden, in addition to Portugal.
“Ethnic Blue currently absorbs 60% of all Lima & Companhia’s production, and France is our main export market”, states Márcia Cortinhas.
With 250 employees and in addition to manufacturing, Lima & Companhia also incorporates weaving and dyeing. To the Ethnic Blue label are added several projects under a private label regime for European brands.