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Fashion & Trends, Tech

Spanish Fashion according to Pepa Bueno of ACME

By Launchmetrics 09 October 2018

MILAN, ITALY - Pepa Bueno, Executive Director of ACME the Association of Fashion Designers of Spain, open up with Fairplay to talk about how Spain’s fashion industry is evolving and where their future is headed.

Can you give us some stats about the Spanish fashion system from the last few years?
Spain has become an innovation hub in the last few years: from the gastronomic industry to the management of cultural projects and all across other sectors. This is also the case with fashion, which has completely rethought the way it works, hosting some of the most important brands in the world that serve as business models and case studies globally.
Our country is recognized mostly as a leader in the fast fashion sector, but it’s also a forerunner in childrenswear and bridalwear – we’re the second biggest producers of wedding gowns after China.
In the creative sector we’re also in a moment that is just as positive and encouraging. Designers are creating new silhouettes by taking inspiration from our culture, yet without feeling ashamed or falling into the trap of being too folkloric – not only are younger brands doing this, but the more established ones as well. Spain, and its designer brands, is creating new ways of understanding the body, which is very complicated to do in fashion: think of names such as Delpozo, Juan Vidal or Leandro Cano. And, when it comes to fashion’s economic power, just look at the numbers: fashion represents 2.9% of the Gross Domestic Product in Spain, more than the primary sector (agriculture and fishing). When it comes to designer fashion, the numbers are also impressive: if you were to put all of the ACME brands together, they would represent the 6th largest textile business in the country.

What will some of the key drivers of evolution be over the next few years?
Our business ecosystem is made up of many small businesses, which despite their size can also bring a number of opportunities, such as agility in decision-making when it comes to innovating, creating synergies with other disciplines (art, photography, illustration, etc.), or forging collaborations with traditional Spanish artisans to value our craftsmanship. Besides, the dialogue between design and craftsmanship is bearing fruit and should continue to do so as the future relies on it.
We have a major challenge, which is better communicating who we are and the value of the “Made in Spain” label – both inside and outside of our country. The internationalization of these SMEs is another challenge due to their limited resources, as is the development and consolidation of online channels. Expanding digitally is a fundamental pillar for these brands, as without online channels they would be exposed. Nowadays, it’s standard to include digital in business planning at all stages.

What’s ACME? What does it do to support Spanish designers?
Since the moment of its creation in 1998, ACME (which includes 68 members) has aimed to boost the promotion of Spanish brands, within our borders and abroad. One of our most outstanding efforts has been the exhibitions we’ve put on in Spanish embassies around the world: London, Lisbon and most notably in Paris.
In the French capital, we organize a yearly networking event and exhibition during fashion week. Our designers gather to meet with the international press, influencers, buyers and other important figures.

We also collaborate with other European fashion associations through meetings during “Madifesto: European Fashion Summit” which is celebrated every year in Brussels – we debate about our sector’s needs and try to find common solutions.
Meanwhile we also collaborate with ICEX (Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade) to coordinate Spanish businesses that participate in the trade fairs during the “Semaine des Créateurs de Paris”. In March of this year around 40 Spanish brands attended. We aim to continue these activities and are also focusing on the Latin American and Arabian markets.
Education is another focus for us, since the future of this industry depends on the quality of it. We collaborate with the most prestigious fashion design schools in the country. We’re also working hard to make sure that traditional fashion trades don’t disappear rather evolve according to our times.

What is unique about Madrid's offering compared to other European capitals?
Madrid is unique in many ways… culturally, gastronomically and of course, fashion wise as well. On one hand the offering in these three sectors is concentrated in the centre of the city, which means that moving around is much easier when comparing to other European capitals. At walkable distances you can see exhibitions, eat great food and buy 100% Spanish fashion all within a wide range of prices around the neighbourhoods of Salamanca, Las Salesas, Chueca or La Latina, hosting the biggest part of our fashion offering. Also, and this is not a trivial matter, Spanish brands offer much more competitive prices than those in other countries, and they work with artisanal processes that make their products unique.

If we mention Spain to consumers, they usually think of fast-fashion. Does this affect the image of Spanish designers?
It can sometimes be a disadvantage but also an opportunity. Spanish fashion enjoys prestige and notoriety internationally and this has been fueled by brands such as Zara or Mango. For designer brands, saying that they are from Spain already positions them well, because those multinational fast fashion brands have helped tie together the words “fashion” and “Spain”.

Could you name a few up and coming Spanish designers that we should keep an eye on?
The list would be very long if I were to list them all here, but I must mention Juan Vidal, Leandro Cano, Ana Locking, Manemané, Maria Ke Fisherman, Reliquiae, Carmen March, Teresa Helbig, Moisés Nieto, Oyteza and Ailanto.   

 

 

About Launchmetrics
Launchmetrics provides Software & Data Tools to help Fashion, Luxury and Cosmetics professionals discover, activate and measure the voices that matter for their brands. Over 1,000 brands such as Christian Louboutin, Fendi, NET-A-PORTER, Topshop and more as well as partners like IMG, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the British Fashion Council and Google, use its tools to accelerate their business and build lasting exposure. Launchmetrics’ GPS Radar platform brings together over 50,000 designers, editors, buyers and influencers worldwide in a perpetually evolving digital community.

MILAN, ITALY - Pepa Bueno, Executive Director of ACME the Association of Fashion Designers of Spain, open up with Fairplay to talk about how Spain’s fashion industry is evolving and where their future is headed.

Can you give us some stats about the Spanish fashion system from the last few years?
Spain has become an innovation hub in the last few years: from the gastronomic industry to the management of cultural projects and all across other sectors. This is also the case with fashion, which has completely rethought the way it works, hosting some of the most important brands in the world that serve as business models and case studies globally.
Our country is recognized mostly as a leader in the fast fashion sector, but it’s also a forerunner in childrenswear and bridalwear – we’re the second biggest producers of wedding gowns after China.
In the creative sector we’re also in a moment that is just as positive and encouraging. Designers are creating new silhouettes by taking inspiration from our culture, yet without feeling ashamed or falling into the trap of being too folkloric – not only are younger brands doing this, but the more established ones as well. Spain, and its designer brands, is creating new ways of understanding the body, which is very complicated to do in fashion: think of names such as Delpozo, Juan Vidal or Leandro Cano. And, when it comes to fashion’s economic power, just look at the numbers: fashion represents 2.9% of the Gross Domestic Product in Spain, more than the primary sector (agriculture and fishing). When it comes to designer fashion, the numbers are also impressive: if you were to put all of the ACME brands together, they would represent the 6th largest textile business in the country.

What will some of the key drivers of evolution be over the next few years?
Our business ecosystem is made up of many small businesses, which despite their size can also bring a number of opportunities, such as agility in decision-making when it comes to innovating, creating synergies with other disciplines (art, photography, illustration, etc.), or forging collaborations with traditional Spanish artisans to value our craftsmanship. Besides, the dialogue between design and craftsmanship is bearing fruit and should continue to do so as the future relies on it.
We have a major challenge, which is better communicating who we are and the value of the “Made in Spain” label – both inside and outside of our country. The internationalization of these SMEs is another challenge due to their limited resources, as is the development and consolidation of online channels. Expanding digitally is a fundamental pillar for these brands, as without online channels they would be exposed. Nowadays, it’s standard to include digital in business planning at all stages.

What’s ACME? What does it do to support Spanish designers?
Since the moment of its creation in 1998, ACME (which includes 68 members) has aimed to boost the promotion of Spanish brands, within our borders and abroad. One of our most outstanding efforts has been the exhibitions we’ve put on in Spanish embassies around the world: London, Lisbon and most notably in Paris.
In the French capital, we organize a yearly networking event and exhibition during fashion week. Our designers gather to meet with the international press, influencers, buyers and other important figures.

We also collaborate with other European fashion associations through meetings during “Madifesto: European Fashion Summit” which is celebrated every year in Brussels – we debate about our sector’s needs and try to find common solutions.
Meanwhile we also collaborate with ICEX (Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade) to coordinate Spanish businesses that participate in the trade fairs during the “Semaine des Créateurs de Paris”. In March of this year around 40 Spanish brands attended. We aim to continue these activities and are also focusing on the Latin American and Arabian markets.
Education is another focus for us, since the future of this industry depends on the quality of it. We collaborate with the most prestigious fashion design schools in the country. We’re also working hard to make sure that traditional fashion trades don’t disappear rather evolve according to our times.

What is unique about Madrid's offering compared to other European capitals?
Madrid is unique in many ways… culturally, gastronomically and of course, fashion wise as well. On one hand the offering in these three sectors is concentrated in the centre of the city, which means that moving around is much easier when comparing to other European capitals. At walkable distances you can see exhibitions, eat great food and buy 100% Spanish fashion all within a wide range of prices around the neighbourhoods of Salamanca, Las Salesas, Chueca or La Latina, hosting the biggest part of our fashion offering. Also, and this is not a trivial matter, Spanish brands offer much more competitive prices than those in other countries, and they work with artisanal processes that make their products unique.

If we mention Spain to consumers, they usually think of fast-fashion. Does this affect the image of Spanish designers?
It can sometimes be a disadvantage but also an opportunity. Spanish fashion enjoys prestige and notoriety internationally and this has been fueled by brands such as Zara or Mango. For designer brands, saying that they are from Spain already positions them well, because those multinational fast fashion brands have helped tie together the words “fashion” and “Spain”.

Could you name a few up and coming Spanish designers that we should keep an eye on?
The list would be very long if I were to list them all here, but I must mention Juan Vidal, Leandro Cano, Ana Locking, Manemané, Maria Ke Fisherman, Reliquiae, Carmen March, Teresa Helbig, Moisés Nieto, Oyteza and Ailanto.   

 

 

About Launchmetrics
Launchmetrics provides Software & Data Tools to help Fashion, Luxury and Cosmetics professionals discover, activate and measure the voices that matter for their brands. Over 1,000 brands such as Christian Louboutin, Fendi, NET-A-PORTER, Topshop and more as well as partners like IMG, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the British Fashion Council and Google, use its tools to accelerate their business and build lasting exposure. Launchmetrics’ GPS Radar platform brings together over 50,000 designers, editors, buyers and influencers worldwide in a perpetually evolving digital community.

 

Photo courtsey of Launchmetrics

 

Photo courtsey of Launchmetrics

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