Guide of Fashion Companies Based in Barcelona

Without any doubt fashion industry can be counted among the fastest growing sectors in the last few years. In 2012 total value of the global textile and apparel market amounted to US$1.7 billion. Being one of the largest producers of textile, after Italy and Germany, Spain plays an important role in the fashion sector. According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Spain, in 2012 there was a significant increase in textile and apparel export of 9.1% comparing with the previous year. 

With a fast global expansion of Inditex Group, one of the hugest multinational fashion companies with more than 6,300 shops worldwide, Spain little by little is increasing its total fashion market share. However, Spanish apparel industry is represented not only by well-known Zara and dozens of other Inditex fashion brands. The second largest in Spain and one of the top 5 biggest in Europe fashion companies, Grupo Cortefiel comprises such fashion brands as Cortefiel, Springfeld and Women’s Secret. Number of the points of sales worldwide amounted to 1,909 in 2013, with 1,400 directly operated stores and 509 franchises. Apart from mass market, prêt-à-porter clothing is well represented by such upper segment fashion companies as Bimba Lola, Lottusse and Loewe.

Hardly anyone will argue with the fact that Madrid is one of the major fashion capitals along with Paris, Milan and New York. However, Barcelona should not be forgotten when talking about apparel sector, as big number of well-known fashion companies and designers originated from there.

Not everyone knows that Massimo Dutti, part of Inditex Group, despite its Italian name is not only a Spanish brand, but it is one of the fashion companies based in Barcelona. Founded in 1985, the brand was completely targeted for men. Womenswear department was added later after acquisition by Inditex in 1991. Later kids and baby lines were added to the brand’s portfolio. Moreover, Massimo Dutti offers personal tailoring service. The brand is currently present in 70 countries and has over 723 stores worldwide.

Mango is another well-known multinational fashion company in Barcelona; currently it is operating in 107 countries and has around 2,500 stores worldwide. Few years ago Mango has introduced menswear collection Mango HE, kids clothing Mango KIDS, and separated collection of jewelry, bags and leather goods Mango Touch. Moreover, recently a new plus-size line Violeta by Mango had been launched, which enabled the brand to encompass as much target market as possible. Today, Mango is the best known fashion company based in Barcelona and with its origins being the Catalan capital.

Tous is another one famous fashion company in Barcelona. The beginning of the famous 'teddy-bear' brand dated back to 1920’s when a small jewelry workshop, owned by Salvador Tous Blavi and his wife Teresa Ponsa Mas, started to grow rapidly and eventually evolved into an important brand in the jewelry industry. Gradually Tous became associated more with bags than jewerly, and currently the brand offers a wide range of products, including all kinds of handbags, watches, accessories and perfumes. Tous has 400 stores in 45 countries worldwide.

Ailanto, a fashion design company founded by twin brothers Muñoz in 1995, is known globally. The brand has been selling women collections worldwide since the end of 90s, and has exhibited some of its garments at such renowned institutions as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Cervantes Institute in Tokyo and the Decorative Arts Museum in Moscow. Ailanto’s portfolio includes a number of collaborations with brands as Campari, Tata Motors, Lladró, and W Hotels.

Sita Murt, one of the most famous designers from Barcelona, belongs to the third generation of textile industry; she started her fashion career with creating her own designs, primarily jerseys. Eventually the brand Sita Murt was established, several directly operated boutiques in the biggest Spanish cities and two outlets have been opened.  Premium-quality fabrics, especially knitwear, and minimalistic, but catchy at the same time design occupy the special place in all Sita Murt’s collections, designed for everyday life of real women. The brand is present in most of European countries, North and some parts of South America, Middle and Far Eastern countries. Globally Sita Murt’s collections are mainly distributed through multi-brand retailers.

Lupo Barcelona is deservedly considered as one of the leading brands in high-end leather accessories market and is one of the fashion companies in Barcelona operating in the area of accessorise . Always following the tradition of high-skilled craftsmanship blended with innovative approach to design and production, Lupo has created a strong image of a ‘timeless brand’ worldwide.  Currently Lupo’s major markets are Spain, Japan, France, Portugal, Italy, USA, and Belgium.

Apart from commonly known brands mentioned above and brands well associated with Catalonia, such as Desiqual, Custo Barcelona, and Munich, there is plenty of smaller fashion companies based in Barcelona. For example, EseOese Company founded in 1988, started with a small shop in the city centre. The company’s main focus is on comfortable, made of high-quality materials, casual and easy-to-wear clothing for real women.  Currently it owns 10 stores and distribution channels in multi-brand stores in Spain, France, UK and Germany.

Another fashion company in Barcelona which is worth mentioning is Pronovias Group, one of the biggest fashion companies focusing on bridal and cocktail dresses and accessories. The company introduced its first bridal prêt-à-porter collection in 1964, and 4 years later the first boutique was opened. By 1990s Pronovias Group was operating globally, including European, American and Asian markets. Nowadays the company is present in 90 countries all over the world, with the total number of stores amounted to 200 direct stores and 3,800 sales points worldwide. One can say without any doubt that Pronovias Group is a global leader in a bridal fashion sector.

All the above being said, Master in Fashion Business Management and Luxury Business Management in Spain is a perfect option for those, who want to learn about fashion industry and fashion management. Barcelona being a home to the dozens of fashion companies and a host city for such key events in fashion world as Barcelona Design Hub, Barcelona Fashion Summit, a professional conference focusing on topical issues in the fashion business, Barcelona International Textile Fair (STIB), 080 Fashion Week Barcelona and Bridal Week, provides countless opportunities to follow the latest trends in fashion sector and great career opportunities for students interested in fashion and luxury market. 

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