Barcelona-based label Desigual celebrated its 30th birthday in a riot of print and color at New York Fashion Week with CEO Manel Jadraque signaling a more sophisticated future.
For its third collection in the Big Apple on the first official day of Fashion Week, Desigual hired top Brazilian model and brand ambassador Adriana Lima to strut the Lincoln Center runway, on Thursday.
Inspired by flowers freshly cut from an imaginary garden, Desigual described its spring/summer 2015 collection — designed by Christian Lacroix — as a multi-cultural bouquet of “daisies in bloom, desert roses, tropical hibiscus and Mexican dahlias.”
The label dubbed its clothes as “cool Mediterranean spirit” combined with South American motifs and “classic English garden blooms meet the Iberian Peninsula’s landscape.”
Models wore garlands atop flowing hair and at the end of the show, showered the audience with flower petals.
There were dangly earrings, micro shorts, mini dresses and a trapeze dress edged with pearls. Materials were crepe georgette, satin and lace, and the brand’s iconic geometric patterns.
“In life, 30 is the time to reflect on what has passed and make decisions for the future,” 45-year-old CEO Jadraque told AFP at Desigual’s New York showroom on 6th Avenue.
It’s not a question of disowning the brand’s DNA, the patterns, the colors and the mix — that’s “our style,” he said.
But perhaps it’s time to “reinterpret them — to do more contemporary and more innovative things.”
– Life is cool –
“What we can try to do… is a quieter Desigual,” he said, alluding to “more subtle lines, new colors, new shapes, new materials and (being) a bit more sophisticated.”
Created in 1984 in Barcelona as the “La vida es chula” (“Life is cool”) brand for anyone aged zero to 100, the fashion label now has a presence in 109 countries and is in tip-top shape.
Turnover in the first half of 2014 was $586 million (452.9 million euros), a growth of 23 percent on the same period last year.
Net profit grew 47.9 percent to $86 million (66.4 million euros) and it opened 46 new shops, moved into Peru and Brazil, and strengthened its presence in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. It also opened a first shop in Luxembourg.
Spain, France, Italy and Belgium are its biggest markets, with the United States, where it opened five years ago, the fifth.
But despite all the success, Jadraque told AFP there were no plans to rest on its laurels.
He dreams, he said, of “a bigger, truly global Desigual, everywhere in the world, more creative and more innovative.”
Fashion Week kicked off with design duo Nicholas K, which presented ultra-light, layered fabrics, the first in a series of shows inspired by the Sahara, in black, khaki, sand and olive.
BCBG Max Azria went next with fluid drape dresses and layered cascades of sheer fabric, offset by structure and quilted pieces billed as “timeless elegance” and “bohemian silhouettes.”
The looks were cinched in at the waist with sashes, and a barely there palate of cream, pale rose and pale blue characterized the billowing silks and diaphanous sleeves.