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Sayan: Raring to take on the fashion industry

7 January, 2013

Soledad Álvarez lead the fashion label Sayan. / Sayan

The firm Sayan was born six years ago. The company, led by Soledad Álvarez, started with a pilot store and has been endeavouring to make its mark on the fashion world with two company-owned stores and several outlets for the past four years.

Soledad Álvarez is very well known in the fashion world as she is the daughter of a great designer, Purificación García. But now this direct link with the name is beginning to blur as Sayan, Álvarez’s fashion label, makes headway in both the Spanish and international markets and garners greater acclaim.

“The idea for Sayan came from a conversation with my mother. We agreed there was a need for a shop where you could find things that were different,  a ‘concept store’ if you like. After a while, I realised the idea was too novel for the time and I decided to specialise exclusively in making women’s clothing,” says Álvarez.

“I decided to create my own label because I think we have different styles and because it has always been my dream. I wanted to prove that young entrepreneurs can make it,” she says with conviction. The two labels, Sayan and Purificación García, share certain characteristics. “They both use high-end materials and have an eye for detail in dressmaking. But they differ in their styles and in the fact that Sayan’s designs are more for cocktail parties than Purificación García’s.”

Both abroad and at home

Sayan launched at the start of the current economic downturn and like many other young brands the desire to expand into international markets is encoded in its DNA. Sayan has one shop in Barcelona and another in Madrid, as well as various sales points throughout Spain. “Initially I decided to open in Barcelona basically because it’s my hometown, and later in Madrid, since it’s the capital and a great way to grow.” In addition to expanding in the domestic market, the brand is working hard in the United Arab Emirate and Italian markets. “I’m very pleased with Sayan’s gradual but steady international expansion.”

Among the many projects the designer has on the table, one stands out above the rest –  the online store. “I’m really excited about this idea. We’ll be opening soon.” The online store, as well as Sayan’s shops and sales points, offer designs for “a cosmopolitan woman who’s always on the go, aged about 18 to 50,” says its creator, adding, “It’s quite a large target. It includes women who want to find something truly special to add some pizzazz to their wardrobe essentials.”

Álvarez says specifically she would like to see a return to the love, care and attention to detail of garments made by hand, “something that has been lost with the multinationals of today.” “Our dress collections have everything from designs that have a small detail to make them different to ones that are entirely hand embroidered,” the designer explains.

Although Sayan is best known for its party wear, the company also has a casual line. “We travel quite a lot to find things in addition to our hallmark silk dresses. The idea is to provide the label with pieces beyond what we are known for and that are new and different.”

Always on the move

In the short term Álvarez says Sayan’s goal is to continue to grow, and adds that her long-term goal is “to make Sayan  a leading company not just in Spain, but to be recognised in other countries too so we can open more stores.”

To promote Sayan’s efforts to expand into foreign markets it has turned to fairs and franchises. “In July we’ll have a stand at Who’s Next in Paris, and we are also  on the online fashion marketing site Joor, which helps us get access to American stores. The fairs are also a way to reach a larger audience and foreign countries,” says Álvarez.

The designer is proud that Barcelona is home to three big names in the fashion industry, Desigual, Custo and Mango. “We can be proud that these three companies represent the identity of Catalan fashion. On the other hand, I also think  we should support young designers more, both at home and abroad.”

Our creative fashion designer is convinced that enthusiasm, perseverance, curiosity and funding are the keywords which will ensure that her project continues to move forward successfully in the highly competitive fashion industry.

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