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Cuca Solana passes away

All of us who are part of ACME deeply regret the demise of Leonor Pérez Pita, known to all of us as Cuca Solana. Director of Madrid Fashion Week for more than 30 years, she has been a reference in the fashion sector and a key figure in the history of Spanish fashion.

In 1986 she was placed at the helm of Pasarela Cibeles runway, which at that time counted with the participation of six fashion designers. Under her direction, the fashion week grew and changed official venues from Casa de Campo to IFEMA in the mid-90s, and she also knew well how to tenaciously deal with the changes of a sector in constant movement and evolution. From Spanish fashion’s effervescence in the 80s and the boom of the top models in the 90s, to the emergence of new business models in fashion and different formats in the fashion collection’s presentations with the beginning of the 21st century, Cuca has witnessed in first person, and from the front line of fire, all that has happened in Spanish fashion.

A tireless worker, after leaving the runway’s direction she has remained closely linked to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, being until the last moment the President of its Fashion Committee. Her inexhaustible dedication earned her recognition in the last edition of the National Fashion Industry Awards, receiving one of the awards in honour of her promotion of Spanish fashion design.

For Modesto Lomba, President of ACME, “Cuca Solana structured the pillars of Pasarela Cibeles that are the current support of Madrid Fashion Week”. An opinion shared by the Association’s Executive Director: “She has been a crucial figure in the history of Spanish contemporary fashion. She ‘invented’ Pasarela Cibeles in the mid-80s and had the vision to, even at that time, already glimpse the energy and creativity of Spanish designers. She made fashion her flag and her way of life until the end”, says Pepa Bueno.

When talking about Cuca Solana, Modesto Lomba looks back to remember his debut on the runway with Luis Devota. “I remember when Devota & Lomba started in the ’80s and we showed her our work, and to other committee members. Luis and I were 22 years old and the opportunity that she gave us was crucial for the future of our brand. We proposed a collective fashion show in Pasarela Cibeles but due to circumstances, in the end we ended up making an individual fashion show. And there we were, two very young kids presenting our second collection, and sharing a calendar with big names like Jesús del Pozo, Adolfo Domínguez or Pedro del Hierro”, he recalls.

“Cuca knew how to live with intensity fashion’s dreamy and liberating spirit, and despite the stress that comes with the scene, she always knew how to stop and savour the moments, many of which would later become historic in our beloved Pasarela Cibeles”, declares Ana Locking. “She gave me my first opportunity because she understood that concept fashion should also have a place on the runway, and since that time, in which David Delfin and myself showed together for the first time, and invited by her, we were able to demonstrate that fashion could go beyond beauty, could raise awareness, open minds and even participate in social battles, “recalls the designer.

For Roberto Verino, she will always have a prominent place in Spanish fashion. “Her passion and good work at the head of the runway, which she named Cibeles, was fundamental for Spanish designers to make a name for ourselves both in Spain and outside our borders. Her work has contributed in a special way so that fashion was seen not only as an exercise in creativity, but also as a serious profession, and one with weight in the country’s industry.” The Galician designer wanted to address a few words to the person who for more than three decades has witnessed his professional evolution. “I can only talk about her with admiration, affection and gratitude. She always held a prominent place in my thoughts because every time I present a fashion show Cuca is there. First as the runway’s Director, then as President and always as a friend, giving a hug, a kind word and good advice. Thanks for so much, Cuca”.