London, Paris and Milan are cited as fashion capitals of the world, The Spanish fashion scene has, in the past, been a runner-up in trend-setting stakes. But this is beginning to change with the help of luxury Spanish fashion houses like Loewe, Delpozo and Manolo Blahnik, as well as Queen Letitzia of Spain also doing her bit to help push Spanish style to the forefront of the fashion psyche.
From the sleek style emanating from Madrid, to the chic, laid-back aesthetic unique to Barcelona, and the cool, Mediterranean bohemian as seen in the likes of Ibiza and Formentera, Spain boasts a wealth of sartorial signatures.
Spain’s fashion is strongly affected by the sea. The Mediterranean has a powerful influence on everything the Spanish do, from the food to the clothes.
Here are 7 Spanish brands you need to know about…
Gobi burgundy stripe shirt, £113.73, Sunad
The low-down: Sunad (which is ‘dunas’ spelt backwards – the Spanish word for dunes) is a collection of gorgeous shirts and shirt dresses designed by two friends Ana and Palmoma, who are inspired by the colours of the desert.
Best for: Slouchy shirts and shirt dresses in neutral tones as well as floral and striped patterns, and the odd tie-waist jumpsuit, all made from natural materials and priced between £100 and £120.
Nice Things Paloma S.
Tie-back dress, £119.12, Nice Things Paloma s.
The low-down: Nice Things was launched in 1995 by Paloma Santaolalla and Miguel Lanna, and taken over in 2012 by their daughter, Paloma Lanna, who is upholding her parents’ pledge to create clothing for women of all ages, and allow the company to grow organically over time.
Best for: Printed shifts, waist-tie and and slip dresses that will look great over jeans as well as on their own, very wearable patterned tops and blouses, loose-fit shirts and wide-leg trousers. The brand also does very well in the jacket department, offering up an array of great transitional cover-ups, from kimono-style jackets, to embroidered coats and light-weight parkas.
Bimba y Lola
Coral flounce sweater, £170, Bimba y Lola; Roman sandal, £140, Bimba y Lola; black trousers, £98, Bimba y Lola
The low-down: The brain child of two sisters, María and Uxía Domínguez, Bimba y Lola was launched twelve years ago as an accessories brand, intended to rebuff trends and created quirky pieces with a touch of irony. Fast-forward to 2017, and the brand boasts 226 stores in 13 countries and has added shoes, bags and read-to-wear to its repertoire.
Best for: Prints, on prints, on prints. Fabulous dresses (from £115), trousers, skirts and shirts (all from £120) that are equally as suitable for a spring event as they are for work, interesting knitwear, brightly coloured bags, and footwear that’s the perfect mix of playful and cool. And of course jewellery – from unique earrings to chunky cuff bracelets – that’s perfect for pepping up your more neutral pieces.
Pablo long dress, £521.81, Cortana
The low-down: Spanish designer, Rosa Esteva, takes an artisan approach to creating beautiful dresses and jumpsuits in relaxed feminine silhouettes, for everything from daytime galavanting to after-hours soirees. Even Esteva’s simplest check and gingham pieces withhold a certain luxury. It’s all in the cut.
Best for:Romantic evening dresses, dreamy water-colour prints, linen tops and and trousers and sleek denim. Pieces start at around £115 for a top and £270 for dresses. Estava also creates ethereal bridalwear.
Cotton trousers, £204.87, Masscob; cotton shirt, £182.22, Masscob
The low-down: Headed up by couple, Marga Massanet and Jacobo Cobian, Masscob was launched in 2003 with the intention of reviving and respecting artisanal values and finding ways to adapt new technology to respect these values rather than the other way around.
Best for: Folksy blouses, dresses and skirts that call on a warm Mediterranean-inspired colour palette of oranges, blues, reds and purples. And while floaty, boho pieces are what the brand is know for, Masscob’s outerwear is also not to be missed.
Check trousers, £54.83, Valentina Garí; check top, £46.40, Valentina Garí
The low-down: Barcelona-based designer, Valentina Garí, worked in the fashion industry for several years before deciding to go it alone and launch her own line of clothes, featuring soft colours and fresh fabrics with a bit of movement, providing a simple collection of comfortable, easy-to-wear clothes.
Best for: Silky shirt dresses and separates, sweet gingham two-pieces that you can wear together or on their own, and floaty jumpsuits.
Kaftan, £46.40, Formenteraguamarina
The low-down: Dolores Luque launched a blog called Formenteraguamarina in 2008 as an outlet for her missing her home of Formentera while she was working in a bank in Palma de Mallorca. As her following grew, so too did plans to create a coinciding online boutique.
Best for: This is your one-stop-affordable-holiday-shop. Cool kaftans (from £30), basket bags (from £25), lemon and violet-hued espadrilles (from £65) and simple swimwear (look out for the berry, teal and navy swimsuits for £60).