Isabel Sanchís strengthens its international presence and takes centre stage at Mediterránea Fashion Week Valencia
It is commonly said that it is difficult to be a prophet in one's own land. However the Valencia-born designer Isabel Sanchís has more than three decades of experience behind her. Her brand is recognized as a couture and high-end name and has been steadily gaining ground, starting with its solid international presence, followed by its progressive growth in the Spanish market. Coinciding with the celebration of the Mediterránea Fashion Week Valencia, held at the Hotel Las Arenas in Valencia between October 29 and 30, the brand returned to its city of origin with a fashion show that paid tribute to its "couture" identity.
The show, which closed the first day of fashion week in which brands such as Nicolás Montenegro, Devota & Lomba, Antonio Faus and Ángel Schlesser also showcased their designs, delivered a "hybrid collection" featuring pieces from the Spring/Summer 2023 collection already presented on the MBFW Madrid catwalk combined with other new creations. "We wanted to present our audience with something new and different, showing that we offer a wide range of dresses adapted to the wide variety of women from all over the world," said daughter and partner of Sanchís, Paula Maiques, about the show.
Isabel Sanchís, accustomed to offering very extensive collections, opted for a carefully chosen selection of around 20 looks in which the designers preserved the essence of the brand with flowers and volumes. They attempted to "rework the collection with different kinds of details", such as flowers reinterpreted in different materials including leather and sequins, creating volumes in the lower part of dresses and skirts as well as adding feathers to create a flowing effect.
Pastels, gold, powder pink, fuchsia and even the occasional discreet print were incorporated into the brand’s usual black and white colour palette to bring "joy and optimism" to the collection. "Prints are not always common in our collections, but they bring more life to our summer lines. We selected them very carefully. They had to be very pretty and fresh," said the brand's founder.
The United States: the fastest growing market
In terms of business, the brand has not only recovered from the impact of the pandemic, which led it to temporarily switch to producing sanitary ware, but has also managed to significantly accelerate its global expansion.
"This last year has been very positive, it's even embarrassing to say. The company's sales have multiplied considerably and we are well above our pre-pandemic figures," said the designer duo. The brand, for which 80% of its turnover comes from abroad, boasts sales in the United Arab Emirates, Central America, South America and the United States, the latter being the market that has grown the most in the last two years. "They were the first to resume celebrations after the pandemic and this has been reflected in significant sales growth," they explained.
In the Spanish market, the Valencian brand still has room for growth. "We are progressively increasing sales, especially driven by the activity of our own shop," the creators commented about their only shop located in Valencia at number 5 on the luxury shopping street Carrer Poeta Querol. "Despite the brand's long history, we were hardly known in Spain. We were given a bit more visibility after we presented a fashion show at MBFW Madrid," admitted the designer duo. In addition to physical sales, Isabel Sanchís is now also operating online, where the brand additionally offers a made-to-measure service. In addition to its own website, the brand retails its collections on various e-commerce platforms in America, Lebanon and the United Kingdom.
Regarding its growing success, the driving forces behind the brand believe that it is important to satisfy the needs of a "demanding customer" who expects "absolute perfection when it comes to this type of garment". In addition, the brand has found that its way of working is one of the key factors in the accelerated growth of its business. "An added value that we provide and that didn't seem so important before has resurfaced. We are flexible and quick, something that was previously not so highly valued at an international level for export, since we worked six months ahead,” they explained.
"Nowadays, customers want everything delivered immediately, with orders expected to arrive within one week or 15 days. Our company is prepared to respond to this demand, which has made us stronger and allowed us to work harder than ever. Everything has changed, people are asking to have orders delivered as soon as possible and having the capacity to respond is something that only a company with its own production can afford,” they added. The brand, which frequently travels to Paris to present its collections, currently employs 50 people and, although it would like to return to Paris fashion week, it will first present a show in Miami in a few weeks' time.
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