MADRID, Spain — This month, the BoF Spotlight turns to Spain. Despite a contracting economy, an increase in sales tax and nationwide austerity measures, it turns out that, between LVMH-owned luxury brand Loewe and fast fashion powerhouse Inditex — owners of global brands Zara, Bershka and Massimo Dutti — there’s still room in the market for a young and creative Spanish brand like Ana Locking.
Founded in 2008 by Ana Gonzalez, the label’s Autumn/Winter 2010 collection, ‘Spinning Destiny,’ incorporates bold colours arranged in a calculated progression that culminates in a unique pattern that resembles spinning paint, or spin art. Experimental jewellery made of brightly coloured paraffin wax set in brass emphasizes the perishable life of consumer goods.
Ana takes abstract ideas like “guilty beauty” or “inherent destinies” and transforms them into collections for both men and women. But for a company rooted in pure creativity, negotiating today’s economy has not been easy. “Shops aren’t thinking a lot of buying emerging brands. They play it safe and buy established brands,” said a spokesperson at Ana Locking’s studio.
The absence of strong fashion awareness in Spain further complicates the situation for the fledgling brand. “In Spain, there isn’t a fashion culture. More and more younger people are interested in Spanish fashion, but it will be ten years before they become potential buyers of our brand,” said the spokesperson.
But Ana Locking has managed to strike a delicate balance between competitive pricing and quality and been able to stay afloat by connecting with a wider, more global audience outside Spain, largely via the internet. Indeed, the brand’s e-commerce site (currently being overhauled) has been instrumental in establishing a presence in countries from the Netherlands to Kuwait. Ana Locking has also collaborated with online retailers Yoox and BuyVip.com to create exclusive capsule collections. Meanwhile on the wholesale front, the label is extending its presence in emerging markets and counts Harvey Nichols Hong Kong as a stockist.
At BoF, we wish Ana the best of luck in pursuing her vision and growing her business as we shine our Spotlight on her colourfully spun designs.
The Spotlight is BoF’s showcase for emerging talent employing creativity and business acumen to make their mark in the fashion business. This month’s Spotlight was written by Elizabeth Peng, an M.A. student in Fashion Journalism at Central St Martins, is an editorial intern at The Business of Fashion.