If any brand has truly cornered the market for translating catwalk trends to the high street, it is Zara, a label loved by fans of high-street fashion and luxury labels alike. It’s now an open secret that many of the most fashion-forward looks are a mix of high-end and high-street pieces, and Zara is named in street-style features time and time again. Accessible yet high quality and always on-trend, Zara adds something new and unique to a classic designer look. Jess Cartner-Morley, fashion editor at the Guardian newspaper, describes Zara as now sitting at ‘fashion’s top table’.
Zara’s unique position in the industry is a testament to the astute business model instigated by parent company Inditex. While the design team – which encompasses hundreds of talented creatives – pays close attention to the latest fashions, it is the customer that really directs Zara’s collections. Only a small number of pieces are created before the season starts. If a piece is seen to be doing well, the team then makes five similar pieces, each with a design twist, and the most successful of these are produced more widely. As most of its clothing is made in Spain, where Inditex is headquartered, the brand is able to react to its customers’ needs with lightning speed.
Today, Inditex is one of the biggest fashion companies in the world. As well as Zara, it owns seven other retail chains: Zara Home, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Oysho, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius and Uterqüe. Each brand has its own individual charm and audience. Bershka, for example, caters to a young, fashion-conscious market while Massimo Dutti has a more refined and formal style. Inditex’s portfolio has been carefully arranged to appeal to the maximum possible audience and it has been credited with putting Spanish fashion retail on the map. Inditex, however, is not the only Spanish brand making its mark right now. From the high street to luxury labels, Spain’s leading fashion brands offer everything you could need to perfect your wardrobe.
Adolfo Domínguez celebrates 40 years in the business in 2016. He launched his first store and menswear collection in 1976, and his signature aesthetic of beautifully considered simplicity quickly won fans both at home and abroad. In 1984, he dressed the cast of iconic American TV show Miami Vice and his crisp linen suits inspired a generation of stylish men. In the same year, he launched his extremely successful womenswear collection. The brand’s strength lies in the enduring appeal of its timeless signature style, creating pieces that you will wear for years to come. Take a look into the wardrobes of the most stylish women across the world and it’s likely they’ll own one of Domínguez’s covetable staples, such as the perfect lightweight jacket or a classic pair of tailored trousers. If you aren’t a fan of this brand yet, a browse around the Calle de Serrano flagship will be enough to convince you.
Bimba y Lola
In 2005, María and Uxía Domínguez – Adolfo Domínguez’s nieces – proved that talent runs in the family when they launched their label Bimba y Lola. The brand is named after the sisters’ pet greyhounds, who are also referenced in the label’s logo, and its carefree and colourful aesthetic soon attracted the fashion industry’s attention. Now with more than 80 stores across the world, the brand has turned from a small local company into an international label. Inspired by modern art and culture, as well as nature, the team presents vibrant modern apparel with a distinctly Spanish edge. Shift dresses are updated with striking asymmetric elements while crisp shirts feature bold and unusual prints. There is something for everyone here, from the subtle to the standout, and with the impressive high quality of every piece, it’s easy to see why the brand is going from strength to strength.
No round-up of Spanish fashion brands would be complete without Mango, a label known around the world for its accessible, feminine and fashion-forward style. Since its first store opened in 1984 on Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia, Mango has been winning fans with its mixture of trend-led pieces and high-quality wardrobe staples. Each season you can be sure of finding the perfect black jacket or white shirt, as well as catwalk-inspired pieces to inject something new into classic looks. With over 1,900 stores across five continents, Mango is one of the world’s most recognisable brands, further bolstered by supermodel brand ambassadors including Kate Moss and Miranda Kerr.
With such rich and varied offerings, it’s no wonder that Spain’s leading labels have an ever-increasing presence in our wardrobes. From everyday staples to standout pieces, there has never been a better time for Spanish fashion, or a better excuse to go shopping in Madrid.