Paris, Milan, London, and New York. These are the four cities widely known as the fashion capitals of the world. It's where the biggest designers show their latest work during Fashion Week. It's where the most famous luxury shopping districts draw millions of customers year after year. But with all of that said, where is Spain in all of this? Though some Spanish cities are known for style and glamour, none have yet to reach the level of the four fashion capitals. However, there are some Spanish designers that have made quite an impact in the fashion industry. Bbig names you probably didn't know were from Spain!
Cristóbal Balenciaga was one of the most prolific grand couturiers of the early 20th century. He dominated the world of haute couture during the 1950s, becoming a legendary designer whose influence still spreads to this day. In fact, his namesake brand remains one of the most popular in the fashion industry today. But since haute couture is in Paris, many have mistakenly thought that Balenciaga was a French designer. He was not! Cristóbal Balenciaga was actually born in Gipuzkoa, Spain, and was trained in tailoring in the capital city of Madrid. It was only until 1937 did he open in couture house in Paris.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Paco Rabanne is yet another grand couturier who came from Spain but eventually succeeded in gaining fame in Paris. In fact, he comes from the same region as Cristóbal Balenciaga and his mother even worked as a chief seamstress for the latter. Rabanne, however, became influential later on in the 20th century, decades after Balenciaga closed his own fashion house. In the late 60s and 70s, Paco Rabanne made a name for himself as the premier avant-garde couturier of the time, trotting out futuristic looks that practically belonged in the space age. Advanced wasn't enough to describe his iconic style!
Source: Paco Rabanne Facebook Page
If there's one shoe designer that was on everyone's lips at the turn of the 21st century, it was Manolo Blahnik. Thanks to the popular HBO
TV series, 'Sex And The City,' the shoemaker became a household name. It came to a point that even those who weren't interested in fashion knew of his work and wanted to wear his shoes. But don't think that just because Blahnik's rise to fame was courtesy of an American TV show that he, himself, is American. Manolo Blahnik actually comes from Spain's Canary Islands. But this Spanish shoe designer has become so big, he's practically known as a worldwide artist, with his work sold in American luxury retailers
, French designer outlet stores
, and the like!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/© Ninara
Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada
Nope, despite her last name, Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada doesn't have anything to do with the fashion behemoth that is Prada. The latter is one of the most popular Italian designer brands
out there. Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, on the other hand, is more of a niche designer from Madrid, Spain, She's known for her kooky, unconventional, artistic, avant-garde looks, oftentimes outrageous enough to even make headline news. Her brazen use of bright colors, strange shapes, and humorous style have captivated (and disgusted) customers and critics for decades now. No one does it like her in the Spanish fashion scene. Not then, not now!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/© Juan Photographer Art
Jesús del Pozo
Admittedly, Jesús del Pozo was never one of those big-named designers that you'd instantly recognized the moment you go into a designer outlet store
. With that said, it's thanks to Josep Font, another Spanish designer who recently headed the Delpozo
brand as creative director, that Jesús del Pozo became the talk of the town again. During his lifetime, del Pozo won countless awards and accolades for his beautiful designs. Known for his eveningwear, his work matched those of the haute couture masters in Paris. Eventually, he became one of the leading bridal designers in Spain until his death in 2011.
Source: Delpozo Facebook Page
Finally, there's Loewe! One of the oldest luxury brands in the world, it was founded in 1846 by a group of Spanish craftsmen lead by Enrique Loewe Hinton. Such was the excellence of the brand's work that it even impressed the Spanish Royal family of this time. Then-King Alfonso XIII eventually granted Loewe as a Supplier to the Royal Court. Nowadays, however, since the brand Loewe shows during Paris Fashion Week
, many mistakenly think it to be a French designer brand. But its headquarters and ateliers remain in Madrid, Spain to this very day!
Even though Spain doesn't exactly have a city that can rival the big four fashion capitals of the world, many of its homegrown designers have dominated the industry over the years. They prove that the Spanish still have a hand in fashion no matter what!
Have you shopped from these Spanish-born designers? if you have, you ought to go for a luxury home in Spain
to get a closet big enough to fit all of them!