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Feb 20, 2023
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Pedro Sánchez, the first Spanish prime minister to attend MBFW Madrid

Translated by
Feb 20, 2023

On Friday, February 17, MBFW Madrid welcomed an unexpected guest. For the first time ever, a Spanish prime minister attended one of the shows of Madrid's fashion week to show his support for Spanish fashion. According to data provided by ACME (Asociación de Creadores de Moda España), the Spanish fashion industry had a turnover of 764 million euros in 2021 and currently employs around 7,000 people.

Pedro Sánchez and Begoña Gómez at Teresa Helbig's fashion show. - EFE/Chema Moya

Despite the fact that the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, attended the show as his wife's guest, it was nevertheless a major moment for the fashion event held at the Ifema exhibition centre, which until now had only been attended by government ministers or representatives of the Madrid regional government. Sánchez's wife, Begoña Gómez, is a loyal client of the Spanish designer Teresa Helbig, who brought Friday's fashion shows to a close with a show inspired by the British queen Anne Boleyn.

Having just landed from his trip to Slovenia, the prime minister sat front row at the fashion show alongside the director of the Museo del Traje, Helena López del Hierro, singer Luz Casal, actress Macarena Gómez and aristocrat Eugenia Martínez de Irujo.

Sánchez was in high spirits during the show, discussing the designs with his wife, but refused to make any official statements both at the entrance and at the exit of Hall 14 of the venue where the catwalk show was held. In fact, the prime minister's exit was marred by a handful of attendees shouting "Traitor", "Out, out!" and "Long live Spain!". Neither the prime minister nor his wife reacted to the insults.

Afterwards, in conversation with the president of the Asociación Creadores Moda de España (ACME), Modesto Lomba, Sánchez asked about the current state of Spanish fashion. Lomba explained that, following the pandemic crisis, "the sector is on its road to recovery, and society is showing a growing interest in Spanish designer fashion".

For her part, Pepa Bueno, executive director of the Asociación Creadores Moda de España (ACME), said that Sánchez's presence "represents institutional support for a sector that plays an important role in the Spanish economy" and deplored the inappropriate behaviour of some of the attendees. It is worth noting that this is the first edition in which MBFW has opened ticket sales to welcome the general public to the catwalk shows.

"I can't take credit for getting Pedro Sánchez to come (on Friday, when he accompanied his wife Begoña Gómez to see Teresa Helbig's fashion show); it was an invitation from the designer," said the director of MBFW Madrid, Ana Rodríguez, adding that the second deputy prime minister, Yolanda Díaz, the minister of culture and sport, Miquel Iceta, and the minister of industry, Reyes Maroto, have also visited Ifema's Pavilion 14.

Triana Alonso with EFE

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