Olvido Madrid, the artisanal guest bag brand, which said no to department stores and multi-brand stores | Fashion | S Fashion

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Olvido Madrid was born more than 1,700 kilometers from the Spanish capital, specifically in London. The year was 2011 and Beatriz González was working as a graphic designer for a brand, but she was considering the idea of ​​returning to Spain. They were years of economic crisis, returning without a job or project seemed risky, so when the bags that she had begun to make almost as a hobby began to sell better and better, she found the perfect excuse to return to Madrid. “At that time there was only the typical clutch gold and silver to go to a wedding,” he explains in a telephone conversation with S Fashion.

It all started one summer in Guadalajara, during one of the visits the designer made to her parents: “One day I didn’t know what to do, I got bored and I started fooling around with a silk cord, first trying to make a headdress and then a bag, something that has always fascinated me.” Without a premeditated idea, she gave shape to her first design, a silk cord bag, the element that became the brand’s emblem more than a decade later. When she returned to London, her friends (many of them fashion-loving “Arabs and Russians”) started buying her bags. “They bought me several at a time, they told me ‘for my sister, for my mother…’”, she recalls. “At that moment I wanted to return to Spain and I thought: ‘if this has been liked here and people are willing to pay this price’, I’m going to take it to Spain and bet on it.” This is how Olvido Madrid was born, a label linked to the world of guests, a growing sector thanks to the possibilities of online commerce, a sales channel for many digital native brands oriented to fashion for events.

“When I opened the brand there was a crisis, where did people spend their money? In the wedding sector, not for daily use,” argues the founder of Olvido Madrid. The name of the brand, by the way, came some time after starting to sell the bags and responds to González’s forgetful nature: “I felt very identified with the name, I am a real disaster, very forgetful and I liked it as an old Spanish name” . The nickname Madrid served to locate the firm, which originated in London and “also a reflection of having left and returned to Spain.”

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The bet of launching an accessories brand in a context of complicated economic situation was risky, which is why González started little by little. He first entered the Parisian fashion fairs, where he was able to see the good reception of his proposals. “If you realize the first bags are from 12 years ago and they are still top sellers, I think that unintentionally we have found a design that does not go out of style and that you buy it now but you can wear it years from now, it is a Guaranteed investment, you are investing in a classic,” he points out when referring to the prolonged success of those first designs.

The striking color of the designs in a type of product with a color range normally linked to neutral tones (the invincible triad of black, brown or beige) is one of the strong points of Olvido Madrid. They have so many color options to choose from that they offer a tailored service for clients looking for a specific shade. “We have many color references, in addition to those that appear on the website, we have more in the store. The idea is to provide a personalized and free service, send the sample book or indicate the colors that are not on the website. For example, if you want a certain nude, there is one on the website but we have five different nudes in the store. The client is given a sample and a custom design is made,” says González. Along with this almost infinite range of possibilities, what really makes these pieces an object of desire among lovers of slow fashion are the materials used in making the bags. “The fabric of bags as such is quite limited,” says the founder and explains that to distance herself from the predictable options she has chosen to “take fabrics that can be used for dresses and reinforce them in the workshop, thus opening up the field a lot.” [cromático]”. By we refers to the team of three people that makes up Olvido Madrid. “I do everything, I’m more of a wild card: planning the seasons, designing the prototypes… everything a little in advance so I can teach the team how to do it and so they can dedicate themselves to production.” Production is carried out in the workshop in the brand’s small physical store, located in the Madrid neighborhood of Salesas (Conde de Xiquena, 2). In addition, they have two external artisans – “one in Madrid and another in Guadalajara” – and a workshop in Alicante for the manufacture of leather designs. “But everything that involves making the candy box or the jewelry is done in the store.” The jewelry is made by hand with 18 or 24 carat gold plating and made from semi-precious stones, crystals, mother-of-pearl or sequins. One of their latest launches, the Rita earrings, a beautiful bow-shaped design studded with microcrystals. That artisanal aspect behind the manufacturing of each design is one of the great claims of this small firm: “A silk cord bag takes 12 meters of hand-sewn. There are people who love craftsmanship and value it very much,” says González.

The reference to Madrid in the name of the firm not only identifies the place of creation of the proposals, it also underlines the concept of local commerce at its best. González points out that the fabrics selected for the different limited edition collections come from different stores in the capital: “We buy these fabrics in neighborhood stores, it is a bit of the charm, circular fashion and looking for fabrics in the stores here that are super special and there are many that are the bomb. But imagine, if there are only 5 meters of fabric, we buy it and whatever comes out. “Once it’s over there is no more.” Exclusivity made into a bag.

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Among the most in-demand fabrics of the moment? “Right now, a lot of velvet bags are sold, and also silk ones. We like satin a lot and we are betting on metallic fabrics and sequins, everything that is party,” responds the creative director of the brand. In her permanent collection there are models with more than a decade of existence, designs that coexist with limited edition bets, created with “fabrics that are seasonal and you can only buy them at that moment.” The firm’s clientele, whose main market is Spain, showed so much interest in the bags that Beatriz González wanted to connect with her buyers by offering practical courses to learn how to create them. At the moment, she has not revealed how to make her signature bags but she has revealed other models: “I was asked a lot how to make the bags (…) There are models that we have explained specifically for the course and if you are handy and ingenious, you can take from that bag other bags.”

More than ten years have passed since Olvido Madrid began to take shape and the road has not been easy at all. Starting out with an independent fashion brand in Spain is more of an odyssey than a walk. “If you don’t have financing or investment behind you, it is very difficult to reach a sales volume to start hiring people. It has taken me ten years to be able to hire someone. And until you hire someone you don’t see the project grow (…) Slow growth often makes people despair and don’t see that this can be a way of life,” she reflects. Some time ago, she also chose to end “multi-brand sales because the numbers weren’t working out” and recently she had to make the decision to refuse to sell at El Corte Inglés since her bags “are not products that can be sold wholesale.” . “I wanted to do it because El Corte Inglés gives you prestige, but I had to tell them no,” she laments. After struggles with the workshops for “delivering late and poorly many times”, trying to make shoes and rejecting the idea of ​​including clothes – “I don’t want to complicate my life”, she adds – Beatriz González is clear about what she is looking for for her brand: “Let it continue as it continues to be. Right now I’m fine, it allows me to live a quiet life, I want it to be as it is, growing in bag ideas. I have worked so hard that I want the brand to allow me to live. “I feel very lucky because now I am enjoying it a lot.” And what can fans expect from the brand? “The idea is that mini collections come out throughout the year, not to produce highly studied bags to sell, but rather bags to play with that we have a good time making.” There is no better plan for the future.

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