Philip de Abreu: “In life you have to take risks, and if I make a mistake, I start from scratch”

This is what a large family with five teenagers has, you can find anything there. So, at 9 am in the summer house of Filipa de Abreu in Comporte and Antonio de Mello there are those who have already developed great activity, and those who have not yet seen the light of the sun.

Antonio, a real estate businessman from one of Portugal’s most famous families, is about to go out to play padel tennis with his friends; Philippa has already set up two exquisite tables, selected clothes for the photo shoot, and is in the hands of a makeup artist visiting from Lisbon, less than two hours away by car, while two pet dogs browse here and there. The rest of the family is still sleeping. This is vacation.

On the table are dishes from the Greek company Themis-z ( and Murano glass glasses from France Thierard Venise ( in combination with others from Zara Home ( Napkins with embroidery A Table Story (@atablestory).MANUEL GOMEZ DA COSTA

Philippa’s Instagram, which has nearly 90,000 followers, defines her as Fashion and interior consultant. And from her harvest she adds that she enjoys life. At 45 years old with three children, Louis, Marie and Antoine, He has lived in Barcelona, ​​Athens, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Lisbon… and reinvented himself as many times as needed. Antonio is her second husband. “When we first met at dinner, he seemed to me the most arrogant man on earth … but also the sexiest, the one who gives me the most peace and the one who makes me laugh the most, and also the one who makes me pisses me off the most,” he admits between chuckles.

nomadic life

She was born in Amarante, in northern Portugal, her father died in an accident when she was still a child. Her mother remarried an Englishman, “a real gentleman who taught me to laugh at myself,” she says. This circumstance led him to a nomadic life due to the work of his father, from whom two loves remained. One of them is Greece, where he lived for four years as a teenager. left an imprint on his aesthetic sense: white and blue, Like the Greek flag, these are his fetish colors, which he claims in his fashion collection or in the board games he designed with him. Clementina di Monte Rubello. Another love is his brother Francisco, who is 12 years younger than him. “We rarely see each other because he lives in Australia, but we adore each other like teenagers. We can’t stop laughing. My kids are amazed at our relationship when they hear us say one stupid thing after another.”

Philipa in a Themis Z caftan and 1947 Tavares earrings, Raquel in a dress by Filipa de Abreu and Marcela, two pieces by Paula, the firm of Portuguese businesswoman Paula Amorim.MANUEL GOMEZ DA COSTA

Philippa returned to London to study literature at King’s College and began working as a fashion and beauty editor. Sunday Times Travel. On one of her trips, covering Parisian fashion shows, she met her first husband and father of three, a designer. Christoph Owlfounder of the bohemian firm Antik Batik, together with Gabriella Cortese in 1992. Their professional adventures led them to live in various places such as Los Angeles until they arrived in Lisbon when she was pregnant with her third child, allowing them to settle down and reclaim their lineage.

My hideout on the beach

Philippa interrupts her story. The first teenagers stick their heads out of their rooms. “When we are in Comporte, we see very few people,” he says. “We like to make family plans, watch TV shows together or go to the beach. Here they are so long that you can walk for hours without meeting anyone.”

In the living room, Gracinha Viterbo cushions with Pierre Frey fabrics. Ottoman, Monica Penaguiao for Poeira Design. Backgammon by Jonathan Adler. Leopard fabric bench by Pierre Frey. Gubi lamps and Ikea sofas. On the wall is part of the hunting collection of Antonio de Mello.MANUEL GOMEZ DA COSTA

The hut he named White House, It is located in a pine forest, on a large farm that Antonio bought twenty years ago and which was his hideout along with his two sons Diego and Federico after their divorce. Gradually, Filipa transforms this men’s home into comfortable, but somewhat more refined house, with a style that combines her husband’s distinctive features, such as his hunting trophies, with exquisite details. “It’s a place made for relaxing with friends and family, but at the same time for solitude,” he explains. That’s why the idea is to rent it whenever possible. He is currently refinishing the details using furniture from his first home in Lisbon. Ice factory in Marbellaor Rue Vintage 74 in Madrid, as well as fabrics from Pierre Frey Pierre Sauvage or Caroline Irving. He is waiting for the arrival of rugs bought in Morocco and plans to change the pool area and bathrooms.

my famous friends

In contrast to this family life, Filipa has been a regular visitor to TM Blue for many years, a 46m yacht from Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti. where he coincides with Nati Abascal, Rosario Nadal, his close friend the gallery owner Andre Viana, John Cortajarena, Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Palermo or Anne Hathaway, among the others. We recently saw her at the Sicilian wedding of Edgardo Osorio and Ricardo D’Almeida (the founders of Aquazzura) wearing an impressive haute couture dress by Carolina Herrera.

Corner of the hallway with part of Philippa’s summer hat collection.MANUEL GOMEZ DA COSTA

He took his first steps into fashion design when in 2011 Sauwat created his own brand of hippie chic inspired by a fusion of Bali, Mexico and Ibizan styles, mostly made in India. There, Philippa discovered her third love, Rajasthan, where her close friend, a Dutch interior designer, lives. Marie-Anne Udejansauthor of the unique Villa Palladio hotel, which she often visits.

Second chance

We’re talking about a second chance in life. “I had it in India. After the divorce, alone with three small children, I went there and with the last of my money bought some things to try to run my own business: dresses, cashmere… I visited a jeweler who, if I had been his client for many years, while he was married, and I told him I couldn’t buy anything from him anymore. He put 15 of his pieces in a plastic bag, well wrapped, and told me, “You are going to sell them all and you will pay me, no. No matter when, I trust you and your life will be fine. We all need help sometimes.” I couldn’t stop crying. But I sold them, paid him, and succeeded.”

life on an airplane

Parallel American designer Tory Burch He offered her a job as a brand manager in his fashion firm, organizing events, special sales for clients in New York, London, Germany, participating in the design of kaftans and tunics … “I learned a lot, and it was an exciting experience. Job. Tori knew how to see my talent and believed in me when I didn’t. I am forever indebted to her.” But the fact is that Philippa has spent her life on an airplane. “When three children were waiting for me in Lisbon, it was not the best at that time. There were those who criticized me when I appeared on the networks every day in a different place, not realizing that what you show on IG and in real life are different things, and I worked to feed my family.

During this time, he also discovered his strength. “You never know what you can resist until you face difficult moments. I am one of those who take a step and then ask myself questions, because if I stop thinking, I start to be afraid. And quote the speech Man in the arena, F.D. Roosevelt as your inspiration. “My life changed when I heard this. You have to take risks in life, I have always lived like this, and if I am wrong, I will start again from scratch, as if I have to wash the stairs, I am “I am not ashamed to work on anything as long as I have health.”

The dining room has coral by One of a Kind, fabrics by Lisa Fine, bamboo chairs bought in Tangier, lamps by Jonathan Adler, metal shutters by Mathilda Goad. Fabrics, Pierre Frey, Pierre Sauvage, Casa López and Carolina Irving.MANUEL GOMEZ DA COSTA

Thus, his optimistic side always wins. “There are stages in life, and at each of them you learn. I don’t like the word “failure”. Friendship saved my life. I think I was very lucky to meet my two best friends, Marie-Anne and gallery owner Andre Viana, when I was already 40 years old. They are like brothers to me.” Since life was focused on work and children, she did not believe that love could also give her a second chance. “It wasn’t in my plans until I met Antonio and it was love at first sight. . I had to completely change my priorities. The best thing is that this passion continues like the first day and that our children are happy.”

Philippa’s aesthetic universe in her pop-ups

On a professional level, Philippa gradually gave her more and more importance. pop up in different capitals (Madrid, Geneva, London, Miami, Palm Beach…), where she represents the Filipa universe, a set of brands that adapt to her aesthetic ideals, such as Greek tableware from Themis Z, exquisite stationery from Clementine Sketches . , embroidery Board storyhandmade soap and perfumery Oh Brito, bijouterie Rebecca of Ravenel, Anya Hindmarch bags, fashion Thierry Colson or the Muzungu Sisters. Work, work, planes, planes. But there is always room for fun. “I love dancing, it gives me life,” he says. Stands out in his playlist George Michael, which became the soundtrack to his 40th birthday celebrated in style in the Lisbon Palace with his inseparable group of Portuguese and international friends who never miss a single concert.

Meanwhile, the thermometer is on and you want to take a bath, the last guests come: Marcela de Mello Breiner She heads public relations for Amorim Luxury Group, one of the most influential business groups in Portugal, owning brands such as JNcQUOI luxury restaurants, as well as fashion firms Paula and Fashion Clinic. Raquel Strada She is a TV presenter, writer, image maker for companies such as Cartier, Armani Beauty or Skinceuticals in Portugal. Antonio and Tito are returning from a game of padel tennis, the children, already fully awake, turn up the volume of the music, the house is bustling, dinner is ready, it’s time for the whole family to spend time together.

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