Bringing fashion to the forefront

Mr. Pedro Vargas, International Project Manager, Leading Brands of Spain Forum

Shereen Shabnam

Dubai Expo proved to be the perfect platform to promote the best of what countries had to offer and one of the activations we enjoyed most was attending a fashion show at the Spain pavilion that brought some of the country’s top brands in jewelry, fashion, footwear, and beauty to the forefront.

The ‘Leading Brands of Spain’ in collaboration with –ICEX Spain Trade and Investment had on display a handpicked selection of internationally acclaimed Spanish brands together with new entrants to the market that are looking for distribution partners. Jewelry brands such as TOUS, UNOde50, Aristocrazy, and Lladró showcased their latest designs next to fashion firms like, Tendam, El Ganso, Lola Casademunt, Roberto Verino, Alma en Pena and Starlite.

We spoke to Mr. Pedro Vargas, International Project Manager, Leading Brands of Spain Forum about the event and how the Dubai Expo helped to bring Spanish fashion brands into the limelight.

What has the response to Leading Brands of Spain’s Expo initiative been?

We are really happy  with the outcome of this intiative. More than 20 brands have followed us and despite the complicated international context The Spanish Pavillion has been a success and La Tienda has been a great showcase for the most relevant Spanish brands in gastronomy, jewellery, fashion and lifestyle, being this occasion the first time in the UAE market for some of them.

How many retailers do Leaders brands of Spain expect to appoint and in which countries?

I don´t think it´s a question of numbers. The aim of the Leading Brands of Spain and of the brands that we represent is to appoint  the most accurate retailers in the GCC for each brand for a long term relatiionship. For that reason, we recently organized 2 events (one for gastronomy and the other for fashion) in which these retailers could meet the brands and explore business opportunities with them.

Did the outreach from Expo 2020 have an impact for the other geographies in the region?

Absolutely. Even though the COVID restrictions have affected the affluence of people from nearby regions, Expo has received multiple visitors from other parts of GCC.

What is your relationship with Al Ghurair retail? Will it go forward after the Expo event?

Al Ghurair retail has been our commercial partner in this operation and we are pleased to say we made the right choice. We have created strong bonds between both entitities and the brands and we are sure this is just the beginning of a long term relationship.

We indeed recognize Al Ghurair, along with the Spanish Goverment, as a friend of Spain.

Of the different categories – jewellery, accessories, skincare and fashion, which had the strongest reaction from the region?

All the categories have performed well in the region, but the jewelley brands have received an outstanding welcome by the locals and the visitors.

Did Leading Brands of Spain do any research to gauge the market potential? Did you have a target? How far was it met?

United Arab Emirates has been for a long time an interesting and high-potential market for the Spanish brands and a strategic point of entrance to the region to some of them, as Dubai is home for many different nationalities. Expo has been the perfect spot to reach out to this multicultural target.

Will this initiative be ongoing and followed up for other brands and other categories like Food?

In fact this April we will organize a similar event but focused on gastronomy and we are really happy about it. Brands have the opportunity to conect with relevant disfributors, retaliers and chefs.

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