Delpozo, the Madrid-based luxury brand that began 50 years ago, is back on the fashion scene.
After a four-year hiatus, the brand has returned for fall 2024 under new ownership, creative directors and co-chief executive officers.
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Joaquín Trías and Enrique Mellado, creative directors and co-CEOs, put an investment group together to purchase the brand last July from Perfumes y Diseño, which had owned it since 2011, and which continues to maintain a stake.
Trías and Mellado are showing their first collection for fall ’24 at the New Museum in New York, and in an interview Sunday, spoke about their plans for the company and why they wanted to acquire the Spanish luxury brand, which was founded in 1974 by Jesús del Pozo.
Following Delpozo’s death in 2011, the collection was designed for six years by Josep Font, who successfully brought a youthful, romantic aesthetic, and then for two-and-a-half years by Lutz Huelle, before it shuttered in 2021. During its heyday under PyD’s ownership, the brand had a presence in 24 international markets across four continents and in 100 department and specialty stores. Delpozo showcased its collections at New York and London Fashion Weeks and had flagship boutiques in Dubai, Miami, London and Madrid.
Now the new management and creative directors are re-building the brand from scratch and giving it a more mature spin.
Asked what prompted them to re-introduce Delpozo, Trías explained, “It was five years ago that we started this venture. But it wasn’t very focused on buying a fashion brand. It was much more asking ourselves how we wanted to participate in this new world? I’ve always worked in fashion and Enrique came from theater and movies.” (Trías had his own eponymous fashion brand for seven years.)
They spent two years trying to figure out what they wanted to do and came up with a vision. “At the end of the day, fashion is the industry that everybody looks at and everyone is interested in. It’s a perfect space to put the message we want to translate,” said Trías.
Trías said they had a good relationship with Perfumes y Diseño and approached the company and asked it what was happening with Delpozo, which had been so successful. PyD said nothing was being done with it, and Trías and Mellado told the company, “What if we line up investors and a business model? And they said, ‘Go for it.'”
The business partners met with investors in Spain and Latin America. “We were surprised by the support we have. In Spain, investors aren’t that into this industry to invest. We were talking and telling them that they have to invest in the brand. We got this incredible panel of investors who are looking for a long-term investment,” said Trías. The business partners said they didn’t have to show the investors any of their designs, but spoke about the project and made them realize it was a long-term investment, and that gave them security.
Trías and Mellado raised all the funds, but didn’t invest in the business themselves. Rather, they will do all the work, running the business and co-designing the collection.
Mellado said the vision is based on three main pillars: The first is the house of Delpozo itself, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. “It’s really a poetic moment to have this moment of celebration and a rebirth with this new vision that’s coming,” said Mellado. He said Delpozo was “one of the most respected, iconic fashion designers from Spain.” He started doing avant garde pieces and merged with ready-to-wear. Trías said Delpozo worked during the time of film director and screenwriter Pedro Almodovar and graphic designer Juan Gatti, who were pushing things forward in Spain, and actress Rossy de Palma. Gatti did the logo design for the house, which was the inspiration for the rebranding.
The second pillar is developing an impact company. One hundred percent of the decision-making of the company is based on sustainability and social impact. “We’re aiming to reduce as much as possible the harm that the company does to the environment. It’s not about only reducing the harm, but adding a positive impact,” said Mellado.
Everything will be manufactured in Spain.
Trías noted that Delpozo has been always been recognized for its “prettiness” and its colors. “Those were the main aspects that attracted us to the brand. That gives us a huge space to give newness,” he said.
As part of the rebirth, the brand is looking to become more accessible and consequently has lowered its prices. Previously, the brand targeted a very niche customer. “Now we have to open this. We have to get the market and the world to make this to be a very big reality. Because of our strategy of impact, we want to transmit messages and face the real issues and problems and moments of the world. For that, you have to reach a lot of people,” said Trías.
For the third pillar, Delpozo wants to be a hybrid between a fashion brand and a content platform.
“Fashion got larger than fashion. It’s not about the clothing any longer. It’s about the storytelling,” said Mellado. “We’re a content-based and content-centric fashion brand. Our understanding is Delpozo is not just a fashion brand but a production company. We can create content that relates to the narrative and the sensibility of the house. Everything is losing the barriers. Music’s merging with movies, movies are merging with fashion…it’s a concept that’s so now and the transition from one place to another. We think it’s an interesting moment for the fashion brand to merge into content creation. It’s not about just selling the brand, it’s about the story,” said Mellado.
Trías said everything is designed for the narrative. Sometimes when you design a collection, you start with an inspiration or a color or a photograph. “We start designing and thinking about how the product is going to function inside of our content,” he said.
For the first collection, they’re going after a limited number of stores, such as Bergdorf Goodman and Dover Street Market. They will launch the collection to the market at the same time the content is coming out. “We drive the consumers to the stores at the time they receive the content,” said Trías.
“We want to establish those alliances and co-create the future of the brand,” said Trías. “Our intention is to help the stores and collaborate with them. When the clothing arrives in the shops, they will put all their efforts in their communication strategy,” said Trías.
Mellado said the plan is for Delpozo to hang with brands such as Chloé, Marni and Stella McCartney. In the past, the brand was positioned at higher price points near brands such as Valentino, Elie Saab and Giambattista Valli.
Shirts retail for $400, pants are $700 to $900, jackets are $800 to $1,000, and coats are $1,500.
Another change is the core of Delpozo had been mostly evening, “but we really want to focus on day to evening,” said Trías.
As for the clothes, Trías said they are making clothing that’s more body-conscious and architectural. Mellado said they’re doing more subtle textures and it’s more about creating blocks within the body. They’re also doing hand-embroidered flowers. They are featuring white, blue and pink flowers to “present the story of Delpozo.”
The collection features a selection of volumes and details that frame and enhance specific parts of the body, proposing “momentum” within the shape for their end consumer to “sculpt themselves.” Fabrics include a range of organic certified cottons, FSC-certified viscose and premium vegan suede.
Ultimately Trías said they’d like to have freestanding stores. He pointed out that Delpozo was born as a menswear brand for its first 10 years. They will be looking to introduce different categories of products.
Previously Delpozo also had a few accessories. “We’d like to put a lot of our effort and our resources into the lines of bags, shoes and jewelry. We’re starting to build a team,” said Trías.
Perfumes y Diseño, which specializes in perfume, has the license to start developing a perfume with them. In the past, Delpozo had a perfume called Duende “that sold in Spain like crazy,” said Trías.
Right now, they are planning two collections a year: autumn/winter and spring/summer.
Asked why they wanted to present their first line in New York, Mellado said when Perfumes y Diseño introduced Delpozo, they showed it in New York and it was very successful. “New York has this vibe and this thing about the world and the consumer. It’s also related to the best content creation. We really want to be focused here to start these relations,” said Mellado.
They are in conversations with a major streaming platform to start shaping the content they’re creating. It will be co-produced.
“We want to do it step by step. We do have the economic background to really do one thing at a time and do it well. We want to build this idea of a house and we’re looking at the model of what Chanel has made, what Dior has made and what Prada has made. We have these 50 years already, we really have the material to grow something that is larger,” said Mellado.
The company has new headquarters in Madrid, and has started to bring various ateliers back into fold.
For fall, they are showing a collection that’s very structured with little details that make the clothing special. “What we’re looking at with this collection is not to present too many ideas, but to focus on specific ones in order to make clear the message of what our understanding of volume is,” said Trías.
They also want to continue the heritage of colors. “We’re excited to bring these pastel colors to winter. Always feeling springtime,” said Mellado.
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