The boss of premium Spanish womenswear brand Hoss Intropia tells Lisa Berwin why the UK market has such appeal
What is the heritage behind Hoss Intropia?
Hoss Intropia is a brand for real women; women of our times, with a personality and inner strength. This mission forms our heritage as it is what we build on every season.
What appeal does the UK market have for your business?
The UK market is top priority for us - it is the first market where we have launched standalone stores outside Spain. We have just opened the third store, in Covent Garden in London, so our focus is clearly on the UK. It is a very competitive market, the most cosmopolitan and probably the most challenging in Europe, which is why I wanted it to be the first outside Spain.
Who do you see as your competitors?
A difficult question because it depends on the country and also, somehow, we compete with all fashion companies, from Zara to Chanel. Our business model is much closer to designer brands than to high street retailers. We try to be exclusive in everything except pricing, offering a unique relationship between price, quality and exclusivity.
What is the inspiration behind Hoss Intropia?
The main inspiration is always the women - real women who need original and wearable but special clothes and, importantly, at a reasonable price. A closer and more tangible inspiration is my wife Cristina - she has always been my muse.
What do you think sets you apart?
The fact that we never pretend to be what we are not.
We are honest about ourselves, which means our customers are clothes lovers, rather than logo wearers. On a more design and retail level, I think what stands out mostly with Hoss Intropia is that whatever the garment, it will always have an original touch or twist to it. Our prints are also always special. Lastly, I think that we cater for a large range of women but allow them all to keep their own style.
We don’t necessarily strictly follow fashion trends, but we are always on fashion - a difficult but pretty unique positioning.
What are your plans for Hoss Intropia this year?
Obviously the UK market is a priority. Consolidating the franchise network in the Middle East, where we began last year, is also important and we are starting to seed the brand in North America, where we plan to open stores in the near future.
What are your best-sellers?
In general, our dresses and our blouses are our trademark but footwear and accessories are also very strong for us.
Which other retailers do you admire?
I admire Inditex but not because it is a Spanish company. It is amazing how, in a few years, it has developed a worldwide empire.
Its business model is absolutely different to ours, but it is helping other Spanish brands, like Hoss Intropia, to develop an international vision and to ensure that Spanish fashion is respected.
Where do you shop?
I don’t follow menswear fashion trends - I tend to dress quite classically. One of my favourite shops is Aquascutum, but what I really love is shoes.
Who in the fashion industry do you most admire?
Miuccia Prada. I admire the way she develops new concepts for both Prada and Miu Miu - always the most covetable collections.
Who is your favourite designer?
I respect designers that develop new collections and ideas season after season. If I had to decide I would say Stella McCartney’s designs (above) and Phoebe Philo’s and Sophie Albou’s.