Paris’ first female mayor is also the first to take a real interest in the influence of the French capital as fashion’s most important hub. France’s culture and economy have fashion at their core. Indeed, the fashion industry contributes 35 percent of the country’s national GDP. The Spanish-French politician, who previously served as France’s national secretary for culture and media, has sought to deepen the relationship between the Hôtel de Ville and the fashion industry. By co-hosting events and making the civic architecture of the city available for the fashion community, Hidalgo continues to build "brand Paris" on the global stage.
Hildalgo is tasked with leading fashion’s most important commercial and creative capital during a challenging time. The spate of terror attacks that took place in France in 2015 and 2016, followed by the Yellow Vests protests which began in November 2018 and continued for over 40 weeks into 2019, significantly reduced touristic flow into Paris, negatively impacting the country’s $18 billion fashion and luxury sector. However, Hidalgo is utilising every tool at her disposal, including leading figures from the fashion industry, to encourage tourism to Paris and support and sustain the country's fashion-based economy centred in Paris.
The long time civil servant was born in Spain. She graduated with a degree in social work before completing a Master of Advanced Studies (DEA) in social and trade unionism at Paris West University Nanterre La Défense. Her career in the civil service saw her hold positions in departments for the Inspection du Travail, the delegation for professional training, department of labour and the mission to the international labour Office in Geneva.