When thinking about the different countries that have shaped the world’s fashion over the years, places such as France and Italy immediately come to mind. However, what many do not realize is that Spain has actually had a significant influence over the way in which fashion as we know it today came about, and is now recognized as being a cutting-edge fashion destination.
Spanish Fashion in the 16th Century
It was in the 16th century that the world really began to take notice of Spanish fashion, and many styles popular in Spain at that time were considered to be at the height of fashion, making them designs sought after by women all over Western Europe. From heavy capes and corsets to bell-shaped hoop skirts structured with wire, it did not take long for Spanish fashion to dominate Europe. Even though many of these designs were extremely uncomfortable and took hours to put together when worn, they were still preferred over simpler styles, mostly due to the fact that they were considered to be the most fashionable designs out there.
Spain Holds on to the Past
Spain’s fashion influence held strong well into the 17th century, but it was around this time that people began looking for styles that were bolder and different from the norm. However, Spain did not want to let go of their national fashion identity, and traditional clothing was still largely preferred in the country. This led to fashionistas flocking to new European cities, such as Paris, for their fashion inspiration.
While Spain may have struggled at one point to remain as a country that was leading in the fashion industry, the numerous talented designers to come from Spain have brought new international recognition to many Spanish cities. From Paco Rabanne to Prada, these designers put themselves at the forefront of the industry, and, by making their name known all over the world, placed the spotlight on Spain.
High Street Stores
Spain gave birth to stores such as Mango and Zara, both of which are recognized all over the world, and the latter of which is a brand that, after humble beginnings in Spain, now has 2000 stores worldwide. These stores made a name for themselves by putting forward a chic European style of dressing that many had never seen before, showing the world exactly how affordable fashion could still be incredibly stylish, as well as look expensive. Other brands that many do not realize are actually Spanish in origin are Desigual, Bershka, Camper, Massimo Dutti and Hoss Intropia, and, when you look at high streets around the world and see these names lining busy boulevards, you realize just how much of an influence Spain now has on the fashion industry.
While Spain may have almost given up their role as a leading fashion innovator in the past, there is nobody that doubts the huge influence that they have had in fashion. From filling the runways of major international fashion weeks, to lining the streets of cities all over the world, Spanish fashion can be seen just about everywhere, and shows no sign of slowing down.