She doesn’t look at all like your average grandmother, and is in fact, a lot more trendy and edgy than women half her age, with never a hair out of place. With her glorious dark mane of hair and guarded, hooded eyes, it’s an image that belies a really funny, warm and engaging personality, especially interested in others, in a caring way.
Ana Leal, an optometrist and co-owner of André Opticas is a fashion fiend, continuously up to date, never a whiff of a fashion victim but right on trend. No wonder then, that the chain of five optical stores in Lisbon are a success. I’ve encountered Ana at 9am at the local shopping mall, or at the end of the day in the city centre, and she constantly looks perfect. It’s not that common that you meet a woman so confident of her own style, what suits her and what doesn’t, (who doesn’t mess around with trends that we think will look good on us?!) that she just conveys true elegance.
Ana, you don’t age at all. Which women do you look up to in terms of age, career, beauty, wisdom and career?
Gabrielle Chanel, Meryl Streep and Sophia Loren.
How do you relax and avoid stress?
When I’m with my family and my grandchildren, I truly relax!
What’s the cheapest beauty product in your beauty bag?
My Vaseline pot that I use to hydrate my lips.
You always, but always look impeccable. What’s your secret?
I’m very demanding with myself.
How do you define your style?
Casual but chic. Also practical because comfort is so important to me.
You favourite brands are…
Fendi, Valentino, Chanel, Dries Van Noten, Proenza Schouler.
If you had to choose an everyday look, what would it be?
Jeans, sneakers or skate shoes, t-shirt and blazer.
You have amazing thick, healthy hair. How do you keep it that way?
I do monthly keratin treatments and and use tons of nourishing products.
Your perfume is…
Tom Ford – Fleur de Chine.
When you get ready to go out what’s your routine?
I just pick the outfit to match the occasion, retouch my make-up, brush my hair and I’m ready to go!
You own a chain of optical stores, named after your only son. How did it all begin?
In 1981, my husband, Plínio and I, at the time already married, worked in a company in the optical field, and when this company wanted to sell one of its stores, well, we saw a window of opportunity that we could not pass up. That’s how it all began… And what better name for our own company than our 4 month-old son, André!
When you buy the more avant-garde sunglasses do you have a specific clients in mind or is it out of sheer passion?
From fruits of our labour, a lot of research, and the knowledge that our clients are steadfast and that the collections we buy are usually really well accepted, whether they’re trendy, luxurious, avant-garde or because they’re simply from our store. All in all, it’s because we’re very passionate about our work and have come to read trends rather well.
What was your last trip? You travel with your husband for work, and on holidays obviously, what do you most like to do?
Our last trip was Beijing, for work and pleasure but it’s the last for a little while as we’re on our way to Moscow and St Petersburg as we speak.
Depending on the destination, and the objective, we either go in search of new brands and collections or else we’re on the beach, soaking up the sun, reading a book and looking out to the sea.