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Putting a pike in Paris

The popular phrase ‘putting a pike in Flanders’, which refers to an action that requires enormous effort, is explained by the difficulty that the armies of King Felipe II of Spain had to reach those northern territories: as the conflict with England prevented them from reaching Flanders by sea, the soldiers had to embark in Barcelona to Genoa, arrive in Milan, and from there, cross Europe from south to north until they reached the kingdom of Flanders. I will not say that we have made such a journey on foot, but what the Asociación de Creadores de Moda de España has achieved is no easy task: the successful organization of a Spanish fashion event during Paris Fashion Week. Under the title Made in Spain: La mode au delà des frontères, the residence of the ambassador of Spain in France has welcomed 80 mannequins and the pieces of 44 Spanish creator fashion brands showcased in an exhibit that has invaded, !during 24 hours!, the ground floor of the Wagram Palace. And also, putting on a show cooking by two Michelin stars chef Diego Guerrero, where the creative synergies between fashion and gastronomy were highlighted.

Diego Guerrero and Teresa Helbig, designer of the oil bottles Food from Spain Awards.

And one could ask, so much effort for so little time?. Yes, and the results speak for themselves. Almost 500 people came to visit, and this is taking into consideration that it was not open to the general public. It really was an image event aimed at fashion professionals: French and international press, trade show managers in Paris and other countries, (Tranoï, Première Classe, Who’s Next, Coterie New York …) buyers, showrooms, etc. That is, we called all those who are related to fashion from a cultural and commercial point of view: based in the French capital or those who visiting at that time to attend the fashion shows or trade fairs or both. Undeniably, Paris is the world centre of fashion during its fashion week. So, even if we had to compete with all kinds of events and fashion shows (those of Chloe, Paco Rabanne or Isabel Marant among them) which greatly impaired the success of the event, we decided to do go ahead during these dates, and the fact is that we managed to convince the global fashion professionals so that they came to see Spanish creator’s fashion.

Attendees included buyers representing points of sale in France, Japan, the United States, the Middle East, China; global showrooms based in Paris (Boon, Imoni); buying centres (Lambert & Associates, O.B.F.O.); specialists in emerging brands (Myra Pistolache) and luxury brands (A Bridge to Luxury); journalists as relevant as Jessica Michault, who interviewed some of the designers present at the event, such as the creative directors of Oteyza or Reliquiae; the President of the powerful and unreachable Fédération Française du Prêt-à-Porter Féminin; the organizers of the Feeric Festival specializing in young creators; representatives of Galeries Lafayette (France), Greenbird Boutique (Abu Dabi), Glow (Beirut), 51 East Gallery (Qatar), Nachbarin (Austria), Sceno 10 Boutique (Bordeaux); journalists from Gala, L’Officiel, L’Express, Fashion Network or FranceInfo, and from Spanish magazines such as Telva, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar or Yo Dona; bloggers and influencers (Ekyra, Madame Kool, Madame Rêve Paris …). Even the firm Paul K, in search of a designer, asked for the dossier of the expo to investigate a possible incorporation to their fashion company.

The Oteyza duo with the journalist Jessica Michault and Héctor Jareño, from the firm Reliquiae

This is the fourth time that ACME has organized such an event at the Spanish embassy in Paris, because we believe that to persevere is one of the keys to success of a company, not the only one, of course. Create image, show the creativity of Spanish fashion design before its possible critics and potential clients, bind together as a sector and being supported by Spanish institutions, all these are vital issues in order to prosper in the complicated world of creator fashion.