In the world of fashion, Spain is perhaps best known for its high-street hits: Zara, Pull & Bear, Mango…the list goes on. But as anyone who has watched Sex & The City can tell you (ahem, Manolo Blahnik) there’s much more to be known of the country’s fashion scene. Here are seven Spanish designer brands you need in your repertoire (and your closet).
Named after the founders’ dogs, Bimba y Lola, this family-run fashion house has carved a name for itself on the international fashion stage in just ten years. Having opened their first store in Bilbao in 2006, today there are stores across Europe, the Middle east, South America and Asia. The brand’s ethos is young – not a single designer is over the age of 30 – and their subtle but playful patterns and feminine cuts at affordable prices are proving extremely popular with the fashion-conscious twenty-somethings of the world.
Owned by the high-street king Inditex (Zara, Pull & Bear, Oysho, Massimo Dutti, etc.), Uterqüe (ooh-ter-kway) has been named by some as ‘Zara’s little sister’, owing to the brand’s range of stylish wardrobe staples and easy-to-wear modern designs. Until recently the brand was mostly unknown outside of Spain as the brand has only a few stores outside the Iberian Peninsula, mostly in the Middle-East. But it has proven to be an Internet sensation, with the fashion-savvy running to their online store for affordable fashion that you’re not likely to find on many other people.
Owned by the LVMH Group, LOEWE is one of Spain’s premier luxury fashion brands whose origins date back to a 19th-century cooperative of leather artisans working in Madrid. Fast forward a hundred years or so and LOEWE is a global fashion name, with over 140 stores worldwide and having collaborated with big names such as Karl Lagerfeld and Giorgio Armani. At one point named Official Supplier to the Royal House in Spain, the brand expanded into pret-a-porter in the 1960s and received global attention in the 1970s with the release of its iconic Amazona handbag.
This high-end luxury brand is an old name with a new spirit. After founder Jesús del Pozo, passed away in 2011, the brand came under new direction at the hands of Josep Font, a Spanish designer who had previously launched his own brand. Carrying on the 40-year legacy of the house, Font has injected new life into DELPOZO and catapulted them onto the international stage with his elegant designs carefully created for the women of today.
This iconic Spanish label is the brainchild of designer-cum-author Adolfo Dominguez, who had his hands in the fashion world from early on – he took on his father’s boutique before becoming the first Spanish designer to launch an eponymous label in the 1980s. Famed for coining the phrase ‘wrinkles are beautiful’, Dominguez’s designs are classic, elegant and wearable. While having made a place for themselves on the high-streets of Spain, outside the country shoppers rely on the online service or a select few boutiques across the fashion capitals.
This youthful designer jewellery brand is the creation of Patricia Nicolás who, steeped in the world of fashion and design from a young age (her parents run their own jewellery brand Nicol’s), launched her eponymous label in 2006 after finishing her studies at Central St Martin’s in London. Her designs are bold and playful, suggestive of pop-culture, not afraid to draw attention… and, by and large, affordable thanks to her collaboration with high-street giant Topshop.
Last but not least, the name that anyone familiar with the character of Carrie Bradshaw from SATC will know… Manolo Blahnik. This high-end shoe designer has been producing his world-famous footwear since the 1970s and counts the likes of Bianca Jagger, Beyoncé and Madonna among his fans (the latter once described his shoes as ‘better than sex’). He is famous for reviving the stiletto heel, which features heavily in his designs (he despises wedges). Now in his 70s, Blahnik still designs each model himself and has over 25,000 shoes on display in his home in Bath. A true fashion legend.