Introduction

When one thinks of Spain, the usual imagery comes to mind: getting your passport stolen in Barcelona, fifteen-for-one questionable cocktails on the Costa del Sol, Benicassim, those weird red wine and Coca Cola drinks that actually taste quite nice, bull fighting, etc.

Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in all the stereotypes of Europe’s sunniest country but there’s plenty to be enjoyed outside of this. For a start, the vibrant cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Seville all inspire a huge range of creative artistry, including – believe it or not – menswear.

That’s right fellas, this week we look towards the land of Fernando Torres, sangria and the great La Sagrada Familia for a breath of fresh sartorial air.

So without further ado, take a look at our top five Spanish brands you should know about…

1. Massimo Dutti

Did you fall into the trap of thinking Massimo Dutti was Italian too? Yes? No? Well, you’re either as stupid (or ignorant, who knows) as me or you’re already in the know – if it’s the latter, bravo.

Massimo Dutti is a mid-priced brand that doesn’t compromise on craftsmanship or aesthetics. Pieces are timeless, simple and on point without the need for novelty or gimmick detailing – a depressingly common ailment of many other inexpensive labels.

The greatest strength of Massimo Dutti lies in their refusal to embrace trends. For SS14, classic blazers come in a vast array of different colours (with one very Spanish pop of orange) while chinos, trousers, shoes and accessories all hold much Riviera appeal.

Massimo is definitely suited to the sharper dressers of our kind, but they also provide an excellent selection of high quality basics that will slot seamlessly into any modern capsule wardrobe.

Renowned For: High quality, classic menswear that shuns fleeting trends.
See More: The Latest Massimo Dutti Lookbooks
Official Website: www.massimodutti.com

Example Lookbooks

Men's Massimo Dutti Lookbook

Key Pieces
  • Pin Striped Wool SuitPin Striped Wool Suit
  • Hounds-tooth Check BlazerHounds-tooth Check Blazer
  • Dyed Cotton BlazerDyed Cotton Blazer
  • Black Leather Jacket With PerforationsBlack Leather Jacket With Perforations
  • Navy Reversible RaincoatNavy Reversible Raincoat
  • Slim-fit Structured Dyed ShirtSlim-fit Structured Dyed Shirt
  • Needlecord JeansNeedlecord Jeans
  • Blue Suede MoccasinBlue Suede Moccasin
  • Embossed Leather HandbagEmbossed Leather Handbag
2. Bershka

Created in 1998 and belonging to the same Inditex group as Massimo Dutti, Bershka is a truly evolutionary brand. More a retailer than a simple label, their vast collection spans a whole multitude of different styles, themes and trends in order to bring complete choice to the customer.

Casual wear often prevails within the brand’s collections yet the selection on offer caters to every taste. And, to make things better, it comes at an extremely affordable price point.

You might not be dealing with Lanvin-esque construction and the sharpest lines on the planet, but Bershka more than fits the bill when it comes to relaxed wardrobe staples and weekend daytime requirements.

Highlights from their new SS14 collection include an assortment of sports luxe garments and some very convincing imitation leather pieces for those on a budget. Ideal.

Renowned For: Affordable, casual wardrobe staples.
See More: The Latest Bershka Lookbooks
Official Website: www.bershka.com

Example Lookbooks

Men's Bershka Lookbook

Key Pieces
  • Two-tone Twist Knit JumperTwo-tone Twist Knit Jumper
  • Two-tone Wide Stripe JumperTwo-tone Wide Stripe Jumper
  • Floral Reversible Bomber JacketFloral Reversible Bomber Jacket
  • Quilted Imitation Leather Biker JacketQuilted Imitation Leather Biker Jacket
  • Cotton ChinosCotton Chinos
  • Stripe Detail Buttoned T-shirtStripe Detail Buttoned T-shirt
  • Piqué BlazerPiqué Blazer
  • Basic Straight JeansBasic Straight Jeans
  • Slim Fit JeansSlim Fit Jeans
3. Pull & Bear

After recently landing on UK shores, Pull & Bear is becoming something of a continental juggernaut. Launched in 1986, the label harks from the autonomous region of Galicia and soon expanded throughout Spain.

The only real UK comparison I can muster is Topman – Pull & Bear are a one-stop shop that caters to a wide variety of dressers. The heritage boys will be fans of inexpensive yet quality-looking Sherpa jackets while there’s plenty of varsity and trend-led alternatives for the youth market.

As we move into SS14, the brand has chosen to focus on simple graphic tees, on trend 1990s-inspired apparel and old school California cool, all at relatively affordable prices.

Wardrobe classics such as neutral long-sleeved shirts come in at as little as £19.99 – you just can’t argue with that sort of value.

Renowned For: Modern, trend-led pieces and affordable wardrobe basics.
See More: The Latest Pull & Bear Lookbooks
Official Website: www.pullandbear.com

Example Lookbooks

Men's Pull & Bear Lookbook

Key Pieces
  • T-shirt With PocketT-shirt With Pocket
  • Print T-shirtPrint T-shirt
  • Denim JacketDenim Jacket
  • Fake Leather Collar Biker JacketFake Leather Collar Biker Jacket
  • Basic Chinos Style TrousersBasic Chinos Style Trousers
  • Long Sleeve ShirtLong Sleeve Shirt
  • Denim ShirtDenim Shirt
  • Round Neck JerseyRound Neck Jersey
  • Sweatshirt With PocketSweatshirt With Pocket
4. Armand Basi

Channelling a luxury Mediterranean vibe, Armand Basi has been producing high-end clothing since 1987. Born in Barcelona, the label soon became one of the industry leaders within Spain and global recognition amassed from there.

A well-balanced mix of refined tailoring and casual wear creates an incredibly cohesive collection. Typical sweatshirts are given an element of prestige with clean, sharp lines while Basi does make some experimental leaps in the form of metallic accents and layers.

Although some of the pieces are decidedly Spanish, this label is ideal for those seeking a more refined edge.

Renowned For: Sharp, tailored pieces with a Mediterranean appeal.
Official Website: www.armandbasi.com

Example Lookbooks

Men's Armand Basi Lookbook

Key Pieces

Although not currently available to purchase at online stockists, it has been rumoured that the brand is set to relaunch within the UK during 2014. For now, your best bet is to try eBay.

5. Loewe

Established in Madrid, Loewe is the oldest label in our line-up and started out making leather goods for parliament-elected ministers in 1846 (or ‘cartero de ministro’ for those in the know).

Fast forward to today and the brand is owned by the LVMH Group and synonymous with luxury accessories, which range from small leather goods and bags through to silk scarves and sunglasses.

Offering the perfect mix of classic and contemporary, buttery-soft tan leather holdalls sit alongside bold coloured espadrilles, ensuring the brand caters to all tastes, confidence levels and requirements.

Away from accessories, the brand’s superb SS14 ready-to-wear collection includes plenty of Jil Sander-esque blues and Riviera-inspired pieces. A high-end entry on our list, Loewe is a thousand miles from typical high street offerings – it’s designer-level apparel that wouldn’t look out of place at Paris Fashion Week.

Renowned For: Luxury leather goods.
See More: All The Latest Loewe Lookbooks
Official Website: www.loewe.com

Example Lookbooks

Men's Loewe Lookbook

Key Pieces
  • Bag Horizontal Satchel W Flap TreacleBag Horizontal Satchel W Flap Treacle
  • 4 Stitchings Scarf Blue/brown4 Stitchings Scarf Blue/brown
  • Briefcase 38 TreacleBriefcase 38 Treacle
  • Amazona 24h Bag Gold/brownAmazona 24h Bag Gold/brown
  • Anagram W/border 70×180 ScarfAnagram W/border 70x180 Scarf
  • Toledo Commuting BagToledo Commuting Bag
  • Zip Around Wallet BlackZip Around Wallet Black
  • Bi-fold Wallet IndigoBi-fold Wallet Indigo
  • Coin PurseCoin Purse
Final Word

If Spanish architecture, art and culture are anything to go by, it’s no surprise that their fashion imprint is both creative and inspired. The fashion capitals of London, Milan and Paris continue to dominate European style but this series is all about showcasing other countries and brands that can offer something different to your current wardrobe.

The main strength of our line-up is versatility: trend-led options can be seamlessly paired with classic tailoring to create on point ensembles. Our Spanish cousins are also in no way afraid of colour – pops of bright blue, orange and emerald will help your outfits stand out from the crowd and brighten the January gloom.

So what do you think of the five Spanish brands showcased today? Are there any you would add (yes, we left out He By Mango on purpose due to their popularity)? Or any you would change?

Let us know in the comments section below…