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Córdoba Catwalk

Spanish fashion designer Juana Martin’s Spring/Summer 2021 line highlights four UNESCO heritage sites in Spain.

By Rachel Gallaher

A flowery look from Spanish fashion designer Juana Martín's Spring/Summer 2021 collection. Image by Andrés Jim.

On January 27th, as part of Paris Couture Fashion Week, fashion designer Juana Martín paid homage to Córdoba—a historic city in southern Spanish region of Andalusia, and the birthplace of the designer herself. The runway show, titled Córdoba, Heritage of Fashion, presented Martín’s Spring/Summer 2021 line—feminine silhouettes, sumptuous frills and flounces—which was inspired by four locations in the city designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO: the Mosque of Cordoba, Old Town, the Patios Cordobeses, and the Medina-Azahara.

“My collaboration with my land has always been evident in all my shows,” Martín says. “I have had six shows in Paris and five of them were dedicated to Córdoba. I have always dedicated it to their traditions, to their way of seeing the world and especially in the popularity of my land.”

Córdoba is the only city in the world that has four UNESCO World Heritage Sites—a fact Martín wanted to celebrate. In collaboration with the Córdoba City Council and the Delegation of Tourism of Córdoba, Martín used the four sites as the setting for the video presentation and lookbook for the collection.

Models at the Mosque of Córdoba, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites that inspired the collection. Image by Andrés Jim.

“The Historical Center [Old Town] is one of the oldest centers in Europe, and Medina Azahara has history, an enormous tradition, and above all culture,” Martín says when talking about the sites. As a city of four cultures—Jewish, Roman, Arab, and Catholic— Córdoba contains a multitude of culture, architecture, art, and design inspiration. “That means that Córdoba was once the capital of the world; it has an incalculable history that we will never tire of telling and even if a long time passes, we will give it the merit that our land has.”

According to Martín, she worked with a mix of fabrics including silk, cotton, and some “techno fabrics,” for the collection, which took five months to make. Her team is made up of artisans who craft, sew, and paint each piece by hand, capturing the warmth and celebratory spirit of Córdoba in each fold and flounce of fabric. The majority of the garments are rendered in shades of white, cream, and beige, but one set of dresses is a bold pink-and-green floral pattern that nods to the color of the bougainvillea flower, a popular warm-weather bloom on many Córdoban patios. The entire collection brings to mind hot summer evenings, cold sangria shared with friends, and conversations that go late into the night as the city cools off after dark.

Structured looks from Martín's Spring/Summer 2021 collection, 'Córdoba, Heritage of Fashion.' Images by Andrés Jim.

All of the looks have custom-designed accompanying jewelry from Facet Barcelona, a jewelry brand with more than three decades of design experience and one of the pioneers in being awarded TRACEMARK, a traceability protocol that provides complete traceability of jewelry from mining to the end consumer through encrypted and certified software, ensuring that each step along the supply chain is subject to the highest ethics and sustainability standards.

“I have always thought that women have something empowered, something powerful,” Martín says about Córdoba, Heritage of Fashion. “I believe that any woman can wear it. Any woman who likes to be pretty, who feels sure of herself, who stomps, who has no complexes, and who wants above all to feel free to be able to wear what she wants. I believe that the collection has that power and any woman in the world is a powerful woman because she can always do what she sets out to do.”

Models in the historic center of Còrdoba, one of four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city. Image by Andrés Jim.


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