Delpozo, the Madrid-based luxury brand that was born 50 years ago, returns to the fashion scene.
After a four-year hiatus, the brand returned for fall 2024 with new owners, creative directors and co-CEOs.
Joaquín Trías and Enrique Mellado, creative directors and co-CEO, formed an investment group to buy 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 on Sunday, they talked about their plans for the company and why they wanted to acquire the Spanish luxury brand, founded in 1974 by Jesús from the well.
Following Delpozo’s death in 2011, the collection was designed for six years by Josep Font, who successfully provided a youthful and romantic aesthetic, and then for two and a half years by Lutz Huelle, before closing in 2021. During its heyday Bajo Owned by PyD, the brand had a presence in 24 international markets on four continents and in 100 department and specialty stores. Delpozo exhibited her collections at New York and London Fashion Weeks and had emblematic boutiques in Dubai, Miami, London and Madrid.
Now new management and creative directors are rebuilding the brand from the ground up and giving it a more mature spin.
When asked what prompted them to reintroduce Delpozo, Trías explained: “We started this venture five years ago. But I wasn’t very focused on buying a fashion brand. It was much more asking ourselves: how did we want to participate in this new world? I have always worked in fashion and Enrique came from theater and cinema.” (Trías had her 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 everyone watches and that everyone is interested in. It is a perfect space to put the message we want to translate,” said Trías.
Trías said that they had a good relationship with Perfumes y Diseño and approached the company and asked what was happening with Delpozo, which had been so successful. PyD said that nothing was being done about it and Trías and Mellado told the company: “What if we align investors and a business model? And they said, ‘Do it.'”
The business partners met with investors from Spain and Latin America. “We were surprised by the support we have. In Spain, investors are not interested enough in this sector to invest. We were talking and telling them that they have to invest in the brand. “We have this incredible panel of investors who are looking for a long-term investment,” Trías said. The business partners said they did not have to show investors any of their designs, but they talked about the project and made them understand that it was a long-term investment, and that gave them security.
Trías and Mellado raised all the funds, but did not invest in the business themselves. Rather, they will do all the work, run the business and co-design the collection.
Mellado said the vision is based on three main pillars: the first is the Delpozo house itself, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. “It’s really a poetic moment to have this moment of celebration and rebirth with this new vision that’s coming,” Mellado said. He said Delpozo was “one of Spain’s most respected and iconic fashion designers.” He started making avant-garde pieces and merged them with ready-to-wear. Trías said that Delpozo worked at the time of the film director and screenwriter Pedro Almodóvar and the graphic designer Juan Gatti, who were driving things in Spain, and the actress Rossy de Palma. Gatti designed the house’s logo, which was the inspiration for the rebrand.
The second pillar is to develop an impact company. One hundred percent of the company’s decision making is based on sustainability and social impact. “Our goal is to minimize the damage that the company causes to the environment. It is not just about reducing the damage, but about adding a positive impact,” said Mellado.
Everything will be manufactured in Spain.
Trías highlighted that Delpozo has always been recognized for its “beauty” and its colors. “Those were the main aspects that attracted us to the brand. “That gives us enormous space to give something new,” she stated.
As part of the revival, the brand is looking to become more accessible and has lowered its prices accordingly. Previously, the brand targeted a very specific customer. “Now we have to open this. We have to get the market and the world to make this a very big reality. Through our impact strategy, we want to transmit messages and confront real problems and moments in 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 became bigger than fashion. It’s not about the clothes anymore. “It’s about telling stories,” Mellado said. “We are a fashion brand based and focused on content. We understand that Delpozo is not only a fashion brand but a production company. We can create content that relates to the narrative and sensibility of the house. Everything is losing barriers. Music is merging with cinema, cinema is merging with fashion… it’s a concept that is so now and transitioning from one place to another. We think it’s an interesting time for fashion brand to merge with content creation. “It’s not just about selling the brand, it’s about the story,” Mellado said.
Trías said that everything is designed for the narrative. Sometimes when you design a collection, you start with an inspiration, a color or a photograph. “We started designing and thinking about how the product will work within our content,” he said.
For the first collection, they will focus on a limited number of stores, such as Bergdorf Goodman and Dover Street Market. They will launch the collection on the market at the same time the content comes out. “We bring consumers to stores the moment they receive the content,” Trías said.
“We want to establish those alliances and co-create the future of the brand,” said Trías. “Our intention is to help stores and collaborate with them. When the clothes arrive in the stores they will put all their effort into their communication strategy,” said Trías.
Mellado said the plan is for Delpozo to come out with brands like Chloé, Marni and Stella McCartney. In the past, the brand was positioned at higher price points, close to brands such as Valentino, Elie Saab and Giambattista Valli.
Shirts sell for $400, pants are $700 to $900, jackets are $800 to $1,000, and coats are $1,500.
Another change is that the Delpozo core had been mostly nocturnal, “but we really want to focus on day and night,” said Trías.
As for clothing, Trías said they are making more corporal and architectural garments. Mellado said they are making more subtle textures and that it is more about creating blocks within the body. They are also making hand embroidered flowers. They feature white, blue and pink flowers to “present the story of Delpozo.”
The collection presents a selection of volumes and details that frame and enhance specific parts of the body, proposing “impulse” within the form so that the end consumer “sculpts themselves.” Fabrics include a range of certified organic cottons, FSC-certified viscose and premium vegan suede.
In the end Trías said that they would like to have independent stores. He noted that Delpozo was born as a men’s clothing brand during its first 10 years. They will look to introduce different product categories.
Previously Delpozo also had a few accessories. “We would like to put a lot of our effort and resources into the handbag, shoe and jewelry lines. “We are starting to form a team,” said Trías.
Perfumes y Diseño, specialized in perfumes, has the license to start developing a perfume with them. In the past, Delpozo had a perfume called Duende “that sold like crazy in Spain,” Trías said.
Right now they are planning two collections a year: fall/winter and spring/summer.
When asked why they wanted to present their first line in New York, Mellado said that when Perfumes y Diseño presented 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 is also related to better content creation. We really want to be focused here to start these relationships,” said Mellado.
They are in talks with a major streaming platform to begin shaping the content they are creating. It will be co-produced.
“We want to do it step by step. We have the economic foundation to really do one thing at a time and do it well. We want to build this idea of a house and we are looking at the model of what Chanel has done, what Dior has done and what Prada has done. We already have these 50 years, we really have the material to grow something that is bigger,” said Mellado.
The company has a new headquarters in Madrid and has begun to reactivate several workshops.
For fall they present a very structured collection with small details that make the garment special. “What we are looking for with this collection is not to present too many ideas, but to focus on a few specific ones to make clear the message of what our understanding of the volume is,” Trías said.
They also want to continue the heritage of colors. “We are excited to bring these pastel colors into winter. Always feeling springy,” Mellado said.