For five exciting days, from the 14th to the 18th of February, the top forty Spanish designers showcased their collections for Autumn/Winter 2014-15 at the Trade Fair Institution of Madrid (IFEMA).
This latest staging (59th edition) of MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK MADRID (MBFWM) has almost three decades of history behind it, evolving through the years into the key event of the Spanish fashion industry that it is now.
Madrid Fashion Week is a twice yearly fashion trade extravaganza. During the September fashion week, models sashay down the catwalk displaying the designers’ Ready-to-Wear and haute couture Spring/Summer collections for the following year. The February fashion week features collections for the next Fall-Winter.
Madrid Fashion Week is one of the seemingly endless rounds of fashion weeks on the international fashion circuit. The biggest among these are the New York, London, Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks during which the designers, who have been working intensely for six months in preparation, show off the products of their artistic genius.
The Madrid Autumn/Winter Fashion Week was extra special this year; it coincided in terms of date and venue with MOMAD METROPOLIS, the international fashion trade show which is the most important multi-sector fashion event on the Iberian Peninsula. Under MOMAD, IFEMA implemented a Foreign Buyers Program that made representatives of department stores and like establishments in Russia, Italy, the Czech Republic, France, Turkey and Ireland, etc. want to come more than ever to Madrid.
The coincidence of MOMAD with MBFWM, which brought together some of the leading players within the world of fashion both in Spain and out, generated a significant sense of synergy between the two events.
The 21 emerging fashion talents who presented their collections at the Samsung EGO Showroom, featuring direct sale to the general public, and the 40 established designers and brands, comprised the MBFWM.
MBFWM’s first four days were devoted to the catwalk presentations by the established designers of the Fashion Designers Association of Spain (ACME). The collection “AA by Amaya Arzuaga” inaugurated the event, followed by the collections of Roberto Verino, Miguel Palacio, Etxeberría, Devota & Lomba and Duyos.
On the last day, Tuesday, 18th February, the collections of the emerging young designers, plus that of an invited foreign designer (Petra Ptackova of Prague this time), were presented at five double fashion shows (the Samsung EGO catwalk shows), the first of which was staged by Martín Lamothe and María Barros. Some of the other “emergents” were María Glück, Heridadegato, Lady Cacahuete, Leyre Valiente, Ernesto Naranjo, Miguel Alex, Cameselle and Vimpelova.
Among ACME’s consecrated designers were Francis Montesinos, Angel Schlesser, Teresa Helbig, Roberto Torretta, Andrés Sardá, Victorio&Lucchino, Ion Fiz, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Davidelfín and Hannibal Laguna. The fur catwalk featuring the creations of Miguel Marinero and Jesús Lorenzo concluded the established designers’ catwalks.
Back in February 2006 IFEMA founded the EGO Young Designers Forum with a view to supporting emerging talents. This support has enabled more than a hundred designers to present their collections at the forum, in the majority of cases creating sufficient momentum to enable participants to pursue their careers more actively in different fields within the world of fashion.
In time the initial EGO Young Designers Forum would be rechristened Samsung EGO when Samsung became the technological partner of the Forum.
As is customary, Samsung EGO hosted the presentation of a number of awards during the MBFWM’s 59th edition, the most important of which was the award for the best young designer, a.k.a. the Mercedes Benz Fashion Talent Award. Designer Pepa Salazar won the Talent Award in the two preceding years. As a result she was granted the opportunity to present her collections at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Mexico and in Zürich. This year the Talent Award went to Ernesto Naranjo. Concomitantly he gets to present his collection at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Prague in April, a precious and rare chance for further international exposure.
Critics say many of the designers at MBFWM rather played it safe with their new collections. But there were exceptions to the alleged designer conformism, of course, Ernesto Naranjo being one of them. He dared to take a risk and, in the process, he wowed the spectators with his surprising creations.
Another important Samsung EGO award is the Innovation Project Award which seeks to recognize innovative projects that fuse fashion with technology. The winner in this category for Autumn/Winter 2014-15 was designer Leandro Cano.
The MBFWM enjoys considerable sponsorship and attendance of a number of leading private firms. The Autumn/Winter 2014-15 event had the backing of 18 companies, with Mercedes Benz, L’Oréal Paris and INDITEX topping the list. Since February 2012 Mercedes Benz has been lending its name to the MBFWM. Consequently, this premier event which used to be known as Pasarela Cibeles (Cibeles Catwalk) is now called the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid.
L’Oréal, one of the world’s foremost beauty care companies, has once again served as Madrid Fashion Week’s Official Hairdresser and Make-Up Artist, being a main sponsor.
INDITEX was the other principal sponsor.
With its fashion channel, Yahoo! offered a complete program on everything that took place throughout the Week. The leading fashion publications, not to be outdone, did their own thing.
After fits and starts the erstwhile Pasarela Cibeles has come into its own and now enjoys the attention of international fashion editors the likes of the formidable Anna Wintour. Woefully, its latest edition coincided with the London Fashion Week. And yet despite this contretemps Madrid practically burst at the seams, the enthusiastic followers of the MBFWM descending in delighted droves on IFEMA’s Hall 14.1 as well as the city’s fashionable restaurants and bars. Celebrities and some of the most influential personalities in fashion, entertainment and art partied to celebrate their favorite designers’ successes in a gleeful post-Fashion Week ambience.
In September 2013, the 58th staging of Madrid’s Fashion Week welcomed 40,517 visitors, including buyers, members of the press, and guests. It was covered by more than 1,000 media professionals, some of whom came from France, the UK, the USA, Italy, China, Portugal, Korea, Indonesia and 9 Latin American countries including Mexico and Colombia. At the writing of this report, the number of visitors who came to the 59th edition of the MBFWM has yet to be disclosed. We would imagine, however, that they would not be very different from the previous tally.
The 59th MBFWM sundries
• More than 60 female and 25 male models participated.
• More than 1,100 people from the media and related professions were accredited.
• The Fashion Week budget was €3 million, 60% of which were shouldered by the sponsors, 35% by IFEMA, and 5% by the designers themselves.
• Nearly 1,000 worked in and for the MBFWM.
• The female fashion model who appeared in the most number of shows was Ukrainian Juju Ivanyuk.
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