Canary swimwear focuses on global expansion together with Fashion Council Germany
Taking Canarian swimwear beyond the archipelago is one of the main objectives of the Gran Canaria Swim Week by Moda Cálida. The platform specializes in promoting the islands' design and swimwear industry -- not only through its well-known catwalk event, which was organized with the help of Ifema for its 25th anniversary edition last October in Maspalomas -- but through initiatives and projects carried out all year round together with the Cabildo de Gran Canaria and the Asociación Creadores de Moda de España, ACME. As part of its strategy to internationalize local talent, GCSW by Moda Cálida has joined forces with the Fashion Council Germany (FCG) in order to boost the fashion industry and tourism in the German market.
Along with the British, Germans make up the majority of tourists that flock to Gran Canaria. In 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic and the implementation of health and travel restrictions, the archipelago saw a total of 2.6 million German tourists. That number reached a record high in 2017, when the number of German visitors rose to 3.12 million, according to Statista. The Cabildo of Gran Canaria wants to benefit from the tourism recovery after the pandemic-related slump with its fashion offering.
"We want to introduce the tourism component, which is what sustains us. Our GDP comes essentially from this sector, so runway shows and tourism must go hand in hand," said Minerva Alonso, minister of industry, commerce and crafts of Cabildo about the need to create synergies between both industries in an interview with FashionNetwork.com during the event’s last edition.
The objective of this initiative is to highlight the paradisiacal nature of the islands, their average annual temperature of 22ºC, their 236 kilometers of coastline and their volcanic gastronomy.
"It is our challenge to integrate this high quality, sustainable and artisanal identity as part of our identity to add more value to our destination. We want our visitors not only to enjoy their stay wearing Gran Canaria Moda Cálida swimsuits, but also to take them home as souvenirs," said the minister about the challenges facing the future.
Raising awareness for local business is not only limited to creating a business network in the archipelago itself, but to bolster its presence abroad. GCSW by Moda Cálida has been actively tackling this issue since 2019, when it began to co-organize its catwalk event with Ifema, a collaboration that for the time being will run until 2023. To this end, the event organizes a program for foreign buyers and invites renowned international brands to participate as well as international influencers. In addition to the event itself, it has chosen to implement strategic synergies with international events, such as Berlin Fashion Week, held in mid-March.
"Seven years ago we started the FCG initiative to promote fashion talent and create networks that are not limited to Germany. Fashion knows no borders and we need to learn and share ideas with our international friends to support each other," explained Christiane Arp, president of the Fashion Council Germany, at the opening ceremony of the event that merged creations by Canarian designers Aurelia Gil, Chela Clo, Como la trucha al trucho, Palmas, Elena Morales and Nuria González with German brands Hien Le, Lala Berlin, Oftt, PB0110, William Fan and Working Title.
The event, organized in Von Greifswald, additionally presented a fashion film shot in Gran Canaria and directed by Axl Jansen. The collaboration between the creatives of the two countries is also reflected in the production of a magazine with photographic content.
"This type of collaboration is fundamental in promoting the internationalization of fashion and made in Spain craftsmanship," said ACME executive director Pepa Bueno, who also attended the event. Meanwhile, designer Nuria González, one of the pioneers of swimwear in Gran Canaria with her eponymous brand, underlined her interest in maintaining this type of alliance in the long term. "It is a unique opportunity to make ourselves known and bring Canarian fashion to the international stage," she said.
Business opportunities are present and the data reflects the potential of European internationalization. According to statistics specialists Comtrade and Statista, more than half of Spanish exports are concentrated in France (19%), Portugal (19%) and Italy (17%). In terms of job creation, according to Moda España's 'Spanish Swimwear Report', about 2,000 people work exclusively in swimwear, while up to 7,000 employees work for swimwear companies and other related businesses such as lingerie and activewear.
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