This past Fashion Month emerging designers stole the show, from London’s Fashion East to Thebe Magugu in Milan, but it’s not just designers from Fashion’s ‘Big Four’ that are emerging as breakout stars. Spain has given birth to a new generation of creatives who look set to take the fashion world by storm. Whilst Spain is known globally for its high-street hits, most notably Zara, a new wave of designers are shaking up the scene. Here are 10 rising stars of Spanish fashion to look out for.
Images Courtesy of 404 Studio
404 Studio’s approach to fashion is based on reinventing tradition through a contemporary vision, exemplified by the design and production of crafted knitwear garments. The concept of reinvention is reflected in the brand’s name which comes from something we’re all familiar with: the infamous domain error ‘404 not found’. The brand explains that the name is as an analogy between the Internet, a medium which is being constantly shaped to meet our modern needs, and the traditional metier of crochet, which is 404 Studio’s main technique.
404 Studio creates stunningly unique crocheted garments, taking inspiration from art and cinema. Each collection takes elements from a film and reinterprets the chosen screenplay’s imaginary and aesthetics through the garments.
You can shop 404 Studio’s latest collection on YUGEN.
Images Courtesy of 44Studio
44Studio produce avant-garde genderless clothing, which stems from the idea of creating fashion without barriers, labels or genres that define or limit itself. Founded by Xavi Garcia and Franx de Cristal in Madrid in 2015, the pair have sought to break down the gender conventions that exist within clothing. By producing skirts and dresses for men, as well as oversized looks and masculine silhouettes for women, 44Studio are redefining the notion of masculine and feminine dress.
It’s not just gender Garcia and de Cristal experiment with; their collections converge past and future, tradition and technology, and tailoring and streetwear. The pair draw inspiration from music, art, cinema and life in its purest form, as well as their icons who include Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, David Bowie and Tilda Swinton.
You can find out more about 44Studio and read their story on YUGEN.
Astel Batlle is an original youth fashion brand which celebrates femininity and self-empowerment. Founded by Estel Pérez in 2018, the designer details that the brand’s universe stems from the concept of “a cute-sportwear character.”
Astel Batlle’s motto is 'the voice of the new generation’, and from fur-covered bralettes, to flared sweat pants, Pérez isn’t afraid of encouraging people to push the boundaries of their wardrobe. Her designs evoke a feel-good factor, and dare the wearer to step outside of their comfort zone, whilst in the process discovering a new inner confidence.
Designer Juan Carlos Pajares presented his first capsule collection in 2015 which gained global attention earning him a nomination for the LVMH Prize Young Fashion Designer. Since then, he’s gone on to win numerous awards, presented at Madrid fashion week, and collaborated with big name brands and influencers including Benetton and Rosalía.
Bold patterns, vibrant textures and modern silhouettes make up the JCPAJARES 2021 collection. Through his designs, Juan mixes traditional artisan techniques with new materials to create strikingly elegant garments.
Having only formed her brand in 2019, Tíscar Espadas is another emerging Spanish designer who is already making waves in the industry. Espadas graduated her MA Menswear two years ago from London’s Royal College of Art, where she was awarded the Burberry Scholarship - not a bad endorsement to receive at the start of your career.
The designer sees her clothes as an intricate language used to transmit emotions, whilst invoking discussion. Through a combination of exploration and technical construction, Espadas’ garments delve into the creative challenge of men’s wear, an area which doesn’t always match the imaginative and exploratory nature of women’s wear.
Sustainability is at the heart of Madrid based label, Neutrale. The brand’s clothing is made from organic, natural and recycled materials, and they’re always on the hunt for the latest advances in sustainable production. Neutrale state that the purpose of their clothing “is to design timeless products that live outside the strenuous noise of the destructive fashion wheel.”
Neutrale’s clothing is not only timeless, in order to combat the never ending “rat-race” of fast fashion, but also genderless. They create affordable everyday essentials, providing a more sustainable alternative to fast fashion’s high street staples. Neutrale’s minimalist style, and muted pastel colour palette allow the garments to be seamlessly integrated into your wardrobe.
Designer Rocio Canals created her brand Wilhelmina Garcia to be an escapist wonderland, using the medium of jewelry to narrate fantastical stories. Away from the hectic lifestyle of day-to-day life, Canals created the Wilhelmina Garcia pseudonym as a way to reinvent herself through jewelry.
In her studio in the heart of Barcelona, she works with precious and semi-precious stones sourced carefully from around the world to create intricate designs. She also works with diamonds, 18kt gold, and ethically sourced silver. With recurrent motifs, including flowers and hearts, Wilhelmina Garcia produces stunning rings, necklaces, bracelets and hair clips.
Clan is the emerging brand seamlessly fusing photography, art and fashion. Barcelona-born, London-based photographer Ana Larruy combined her 2 passions by printing her own photographs on stretch tops and dresses. Her creations see her photographs stretched in a way that evoke new meaning, portraying her snaps in a completely different light, with each new wearer bringing their own body shape to the designs. With fans including Solange Knowles and the Hadid sisters, Larruy’s creations are gaining worldwide traction.
Produced in small runs, using recycled plastics, sustainability is integral to the brand, as is the family connection. Both sides of Larruy’s family are involved in the Spanish textile industry, so the designer keeps the family business thriving with Clan.
Characterised by exquisite tailoring and sleek styling, Xevi Fernadez creates high-quality clothing immersed in Mediterranean simplicity. Based in Barcelona, the brand prides itself on being locally-made, carefully curating manufacturing operations to promote the slow fashion process.
The relaxed fits and bespoke tailoring make the garments wearable for any occasion: whether you want all eyes on you in the office, or are looking to be snapped in street style’s best dressed. With the SS21 collection launching soon, keep your eyes peeled for Xevi Fernadez’s latest drop.
Levens Jewels describes itself as a family, more than a business. Formed by Mar del Hoyo, the team consists of her closest circle who collaborate and create beautiful designs from her home studio on the outskirts of Barcelona. The team draws inspiration from everyday life, and the simple beauty of what is natural.
The brand produce wonderfully unique creations, featuring chunky silhouettes and whimsical designs. Levens Jewels make for the perfect statement pieces to complete an outfit, and in a time when waist-up dressing has become the new norm (thanks Zoom), the designs will ensure that all eyes are on you.
Text: Sam Pennington