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Here we introduce you to Maria Bruno Néo, one of our crowned winners of the Art Gallery Opening handbag design challenge here at FRS. Currently living in Lisbon, Portugal, Maria was inspired  by the urban layout of electrical wiring throughout cities in the past. Maria will be awarded a €1000 cash price and here she unveils her plans for the future and passes on some tips for her fellow designers struggling to make it in this big rumbling jumgle that is fashion industry.


To find out more about Maria check her website.


Preorder now Urban Patterns in FRS Boutique.


Congratulations Maria! – How do you feel about being one of the 3 amazing winners of Front Row Society’s Handbag project?

I’m so happy! I still don’t believe. I want to thank FRS for the opportunity and for the nice project you are building up!


Can you explain a bit about your process of design – where do you get inspiration for your designs?

I started by thinking about beautiful forgotten pieces of art which are part of the city. The tiles, the electricity structures, etc. I’m Portuguese, so it’s always in mind the Portuguese tiles creating patterns in the walls. I wanted to somehow link all these elements and create a relation between the complexity of cities and their dinamic while trying to keep it simple.

What is your process? Are you happy with how it turned out in the end?

I always do some research in the field with a camera, drawings, tracings of texture of the places I visited. The deadline was already so close when I came across the contest. I started to create immediately an image in my head and I just had to put it on the “paper”. I was glad with the result.


Do you have a background in design?

I studied product design in Lisbon Fine Arts University, but I’m connected to drawing since I can remember. Lately I got very interested in patterns and textiles. I want to develop my knowledge about this side of it, i think it has so much still to explore.


How would you describe your artistic style? How has this style developed over time?

That’s a very hard but good question. I think I still don’t have a “style”, but i think it is well present in each project how my memories and traditions are important to me . It’s what keep us different from each other.

What are your plans for the design industry –do you plan to move forward professionally within the design industry?

Yes!!! I’m freelancing now in various design projects with different backgrounds. I love challenges because I love to learn, and I always try to take the project to a further level.


What do you think about the voting process that Front Row Society offers?

It’s a bit hard but challenging at same time. It is necessary to spread the word and promote the work so people will rate and leave feedback. Unfortunately some designs got some non-constructive feedback, some people forgot about having fun and hope for the best. So I think in the end, I would prefer when a jury decides, it’s less daily stressful.


Are you considering submitting more designs to Front Row Society? What are your plans for the future?

Probably I’ll try again, it was a good experience and it is always nice to have some feedback.


Is there a designer whose graphic prints you really admire?

I have many, but these three just popped into my mind: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Katsushika Hokusai, Alphonse Mucha…


Do you have any suggestions for all the designers out there, considering submitting to FRS design challenges?

Well… Believe in your design, otherwise nobody will. Don’t forget they are limited products, so they have to be original and unique!!!


Where can we find you work?

 In my website, for example,


Finally, only if you want to reveal, do you have any exciting ways to spend your prize money?

 I want to use part of it to prototype and develop some products that I have in mind and were waiting for an opportunity. The other part I want to use to expand my knowledge, maybe in a workshop /course.

Urban Patterns By Maria Bruno Néo

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