Madrid – There’s a stereotype about the Basque in Spain: those born in Euskal Herria tend to be no-nonsense and strong-willed. Take, for example, fashion: Palomo’s romantic flourishes reign supreme in Madrid, taking the playfulness of the late Davidelfin in a sweetly different direction. Paloma Wool’s sensual neo-classics are the darlings of Barcelona. But in Bilbao? That’s the turf of Loreak, a bold, minimalist brand that’s more Comme des Garçons than Almodóvar film.
For their two newest stores in Madrid and Bilbao, the retailer asked studio Pensando en Blanco to do everything but think in white: they went for bright, bold splashes of colour, mimicking the sartorial choices of Loreak.
In the Bilbao store, designers Aurora Polo and Maite Basterra broke the pink symmetry of the two gendered spaces – one for menswear and one for womenswear – with an attention-grabbing curved unit. Behind it, the translucent silicone doubles as curtains for the changing rooms and seating in the waiting area.
In the capital, the designers opened up the smaller space to the street by playing with tones of grey and orange in a combination of steel, glass, polycarbonate, colour resins and cement. In lieu of the curved element in Bilbao, this location has a large box place across the centre, with the changing rooms located inside.
So, to recap: if you stumble upon an item made in Spain, and it happens to be delightfully quirky, it most certainly comes from Madrid. Utilitarian and humbly elegant? Barcelona. Bold and strong? Bilbao. And yes, we’re still talking about clothes here.