Creative directors Daniël Sumarna and Bilal Fellah named their brand Port Tanger after the Moroccan city of Tangier. The label is known for its extensive range of luxury eyewear styles. Fellah, who has a penchant for eyewear, amassed a collection of spectacles sourced from various vintage shops. He started the eyewear project in 2017 and spent two years researching and developing the range. During this time he met Sumarna, who honed his skills in the fashion industry working as a creative and art director and working with brands such as Prada. Together the duo started their company. The label is based in Europe and is sold on Browns Fashion and on porttanger.com.
A look from Port Tanger
What inspired you to launch your label?
Port Tanger serves as both the gateway to Africa and the portal to Europe. It’s where the crashing waves of the Atlantic meet and merge with the still waters of the Mediterranean. A duality that runs throughout the brand. Our glasses are a timeless universal product that evokes the spirit of the Mediterranean. A tangible translation of the duality that signifies the region and the many different lives that have been lived there.
Port Tanger, as a geographical location, comes with a rich and vibrant history that vessels countless stories bringing us to every part of the world. Therefore, we see Port Tanger more as an institutional reservoir within which we can follow different paths. We build upon the (hi)stories through product, imagery, and writing, but as of yet, there is no final determined entity.
What is your brand ethos?
Port Tanger is held together by the gravity of profound narrative. The energy of Port Tanger finds expression in design and is ever-present. Each frame opens up a new chapter and leads to a world behind it which allows participants to deeply engage. We’re building the universe of Port Tanger and express our intention of global discourse and kinship between people of different walks of life. It is for our viewers and wearers to interact with the subtlety of the design and see where they shall be led.
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How would you describe your signature aesthetic?
Our frames are designed to embrace most facial structures thanks to the curved sides. Each frame features six points on each side shaped like arrows and is intricately designed with Port Tanger’s values in mind. The three on the left are a reminder to appreciate the past through the pillars of nostalgia, tradition, and craftsmanship, while the three points on the right are a reminder to cherish and value the present through the pillars of hope, design, and culture.
What was your inspiration this season?
We operate non-seasonal as Port Tanger itself is a place of lingering. There are several narratives that are intertwined or exist side by side, and the region is always inspiring and tumultuous. In a way, our brand mimics these characteristics by also working non-seasonal and sharing different narratives throughout the year with every frame. The Mektoub, for instance, is named after a philosophical Arabic term meaning “it was written” and serves as a wearable intention to accept destiny. Tangerine takes its name from the infamous jazz standard, and the fruit, which was named after the city of Tangier.
Who is your customer?
Port Tanger is for everyone who resonates with the lifestyle we encapsulate. Throughout history, Port Tanger has been an international zone where people from all over the world and all walks of life come together. It has a vibrant and varied history, the consequences of which provide interesting contrasts and ideas that could inspire everyone. With the brand, we aspire to bring together a similar diversity.
What are your plans for the label?
We have the luxury of time. One by one, each frame will unfold the stories that are deeply rooted in Port Tanger. We stay close to our philosophical code of Mektoub; it is all written.