Jeanie Keogh joins two fellow fashionistas for a chat by the clothes racks at Desigual.
Desigual’s flower power panache, rainbow-coloured mandalas, and graffitiesque prints are soon to fade into the background of the brand’s iconic style. The Autumn/Winter 2016 collection is less splashy cartoon, and more something Matisse might create, were he a fashion designer. There is still a patchwork element and denim features strongly as before, but the detailing is more subdued and the Desigual logo is much smaller, when it appears at all. It is such a bold departure into a new direction, you might not recognize one of their signature coats (their biggest selling item) as Desigual, but rather mistake it for Gucci.
Such were my impressions as I flicked through the racks admiring the flagship items on display when being given a preview by Desigual’s Belgian representative Montse Herrero and media and communications representative Gaëlle Thabourin from Suchel Presse in Paris.
“These are the looks that were shown in New York (at fashion week) in February to push the fact that Desigual has really changed its image, and also to boost our position in the industry. Here you have 15 to 20 pieces that were on the runways in New York to show you what Desigual is doing this year and the direction they will be going in in the next years,” said Thabourin, who was loyally attired in a multi-coloured checked Desigual raglan in various pink and blue tones over a white shirt (also Desigual).
At that, Thabourin handed the baton over to Herrero, also a proud Desigual devotee, who was wearing loose trousers with a bird-of-paradise print that tapered at the ankles, and a white blouse.
Herrero began presenting the collection by explaining the reason for Desigual’s facelift: “People still really like Desigual, but we need to expand because we cannot do the same thing season after season. We need to change a little and do something that is more likeable for the people because people can get bored and say? ‘I like it but I need something new.’ We’re going to keep our basics because that’s who we are and it’s our DNA, but we need to improve a little and I think this collection proves this.”