Published on December 4, 2014
Spain has always been one of the most significant players in the fashion world. It has given the modern fashion industry a great array of talented and world renown designers, including Balenciaga, Manolo Blahnik, Paco Rabanne, and many more.
The reason why Spain fashion industry is such an important aspect of its national economy stems from the strength of its textile, textile machinery and footwear industries. Thanks to the heavy investment into innovation and R&D, Spain has been one of the largest suppliers of textile machinery in the world with 70% of the total production being exported to the members of the EU, Asia, Middle East, North America and Latin America.
Spain is also an important exporter of footwear, delivering over 100 million pairs of shoes annually. The biggest consumers of Spanish footwear are its European neighbors: France, Portugal, Italy and Germany.
In response to the global economic crisis in 2008 and the increasing global competition, the EU has urged the Spanish textile industry to undergo a rigorous restructuring and modernization process to help it remain competitive and up-to-date.
The Spanish fashion influence in Western Europe dates back to the Medieval times. The sophisticated outfits worn by Spanish women and men were like the works of art thanks to the beautiful details and intricate embroidery. Spain quickly became a trendsetter in Western Europe; its capes and corsets earned special popularity among British women. The bell-shaped hoop skirts were among the favorites as well: they were flattering to the body by visually giving it a sought-after hourglass shape.
The Spanish fashion has long moved on from its Medieval trends and has changed to adapt to the modern lifestyle. However, the bright colors, complicated adornments and beautiful silhouettes remained the distinct features of the country’s traditional clothing: to this day, Flamenco dancers and toreros dress in traditional costumes for their performances demonstrating their culture and national pride.
Whether created by a world renowned designer or a young aspiring artist, the modern Spanish fashion is usually described as cutting-edge and groundbreaking as it is typically characterized by very unique and innovative styles.
To keep up with this trend, anyone employed in the fashion industry in this country needs to be constantly thinking outside of the box and be bold in sharing their creative ideas.
Madrid will satisfy any fashion enthusiast who just can’t afford to miss two of its main shopping destinations. The first one is the district of Salamanca, also known as the fashion’s “Golden Mile”. It houses both national and international fashion brands and is considered the center of deluxe shopping. There you can find stores by Spanish classic designers such as Antonio Pernas and Elio Berhanyer as well as those by such fashion icons as Armani, Gucci and Chanel.
In Salamanca, you will also spot the elegant building of one the most luxurious footwear brands in the world - the one and only, Manolo Blahnik. If you are on a budget and cannot afford the high end brands, you still can enjoy shopping in this district, as it also houses the famous Spanish retail chains, including Zara, Mango, Blanco and Women’s Secret.
The second shopping destination - Fuencarral - is the complete opposite of Salamanca with its modern, edgy and bohemian vibe. Not surprisingly, many young designers like La Casita de Wendy and Miriam Ocáriz choose this particular district to establish their shops, as it is one of the hippest and busiest streets in Madrid.
If you are going to be in Madrid, mark your calendars for such significant fashion events as the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and the Momad Metropolis trade shows. The fashion weeks are held in the Feria de Madrid congress center twice a year: the Spring/Summer collections of the following year are debuted in September, while the February shows give a sneak peak into the Fall/Winter collections.These events gather the key figures of the fashion world and are excellent opportunities to learn about the upcoming fashion trends, acquire new business strategies, network with industry gurus and, of course, get creative ideas for your personal style. The 2014 Fashion Week had attracted such celebrity visitors as the fashion editor Anna Wintour and the famous Colombian model and actress Juana Acosta. Also during these two weeks the whole Madrid becomes a big fashion party: you might run into fashion celebrities and influencers on the streets and in local bars or restaurants. Don’t forget to exchange business cards if you do!
Like any other fashion capital, Madrid has its own dress code and a distinct street style. If you visit Madrid and wish to blend in, there are several tips you can incorporate into the wardrobe during your stay. First, the dwellers of Madrid love bright colors, so have fun experimenting with different combinations. Next, dress according to the season and weather - only tourists wear shorts and tank tops in April or May. Finally, many young Madrileños describe their style as bohemian or hippie, so you can definitely try on this look by purchasing clothing of this style at the local store. In general, there are many boutiques offering affordable and unique items, so feel free to dive into the world of the edgy street style of Madrid.
Overall, Spain is a great destination for anyone interested in exploring any aspect of the fashion industry from within and at any stage of the supply chain. If you are interested in fashions internships in Madrid and learning about the specific technologies involved in the garment or footwear production processes, the inspiration sources behind the designs of your favorite brands or the distribution strategies of the retail chains - you should seriously consider taking a trip there.
Apply now to boost your career in this competitive industry!Sources:
Photo 1. based on Behind the Scenes with Aveda™ – Osklen SS14 – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York Spring Summer 2014 – #MBFW #NYFW – September 17, 2013 – Creative Commons (cc) photos distributed by Mainstream via Aveda Corporation, by Mainstream, CC by 2.0