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Madrid : Spain's Fashion Centre

By Sally Ferguson - Mon 28th Oct 2013

As a nation, Spain has a thriving fashion culture characterized by both international and home-grown brands which attracts consumers from all over the world.In total, Spain employs more than 200,000 workers in 21,000 fashion companies and the fashion industry accounts for 7% of employment in the country. Furthermore, Spain is the home of well-known international brands such as Mango and Desigual, which were established in Barcelona, as well as the Galicia-based company Zara which is a daughter of Inditex, one of the world’s largest fashion distributors. There is no doubt that Spain’s fashion industry is well-publicised, as products which have been branded with the so-called ‘Marca España’ or ‘Spanish Label’ are given a high-profile by famous faces who wear them; from red-carpet ambassadors like Lana del Rey and Sarah Jessica Parker to campaigns involving well known models such as Irina Shayk and Kate Moss, people from all over the world are exposed to Spanish fashion brands.

However, despite the fact Spain in its entirety is renowned for fashion, the region which seems to be dominating proceedings is Madrid. Firstly, Madrid is streaks ahead of other Spanish regions in terms of expenditure in this sector and its population spends the highest average amount per person every year on manufactured fashion products. And this is no wonder considering the vast array of fashion shops found in Madrid; the city boasts practically everytype of fashion, which lines the racks of nearly 8200 retail outlets. Secondly, the fashion sector accounts for 4% of Madrid’s GDP and the capital city is responsible for 11% of textile exports and 23% of fur and leather exports.This seems to indicate that Madrid is as effective at producing as well as consuming fashion products. And finally, the fashion industry provides employment to over 100,000 people in Madrid, accounting for more than 50% of fashion employment in Spain as a whole.

Notably, Madrid is also an important epicentre of fashion shows in Spain. For example, the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week,which has been held annually in the capital city since 1985, is a key date in the national fashion calendar. It is a crucial opportunity for established and upcoming designers to showcase and gain much-needed exposure for their products on an international scale. What’s more, the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is attended by internationally-acclaimed models, such as Naomi Campbell, and every year the show creates an online burst of discussion about the fashion which will be exhibited, creating publicity for Spain’s fashion industry as a whole.

There is no doubt that the ‘Marca España’ is a prominent fashion benchmark and well-respected label around the world, and Madrid continues to be at the very heart of Spanish fashion consumption, production and exhibition.