Spanish fashion brand Desigual, founded in Barcelona in 1984, has opened its first South African store in Sandton City Shopping Centre. Created with the aim of “dressing people, not bodies”, Desigual is famous for the individuality and unique character of its creations, which aim to bring authenticity to those who want to be 100% themselves and express their most creative side. The collections are made up of colourful and unapologetic garments that exude non-conformism, rebelliousness and optimism, essential traits of the Desigual DNA.
Desigual has a presence in 92 countries with a network of close to 500 stores that operate through an omnichannel model, a model that responds to the brand’s commitment to staying close to the consumer at all times, whenever and wherever they are, and regardless of the channel they choose to shop through. This decentralised geographical management allows the brand to serve customers all over the world as swiftly as possible.
Desigual’s first store in South Africa covers an area of 180 m2 and carries collections from the Woman, Accessories and Shoes categories. As has been the norm since the launch of the new brand image in 2019, Desigual is using this store to showcase its new corporate identity and shopping experience. The brand has opted for a franchise format and will be entering the South African market through local partner Marian Gaylard, a strategy that has proven successful in other regions, such as Latin America, and which Desigual will now be following in Africa.
“Rather than attracting a following of people who all want to look the same as each other, it’s a brand that shouts from the roof tops “Just be you. We love you just the way you are” Authenticity, non-conformism, diversity and the freedom to be yourself are all part of Desigual’s DNA”. – Marian Gaylard.
As Desigual’s Channels Director Jordi Balsells explains, “The South African market has an intriguing potential for growth. The qualities of our collections, such as the vibrant colours, the diversity of the materials and the uniqueness of the designs, match a style that will resonate with local consumers and which, combined with the Desigual DNA, has the potential to build a very strong connection with customers.”
With this establishment in the South African market, Desigual is targeting a consumer profile aged 25 to 45 – albeit not exclusively – who like daring, bold proposals and following trends, whilst remaining an individual. They are also seeking sophisticated and personalised in-store experiences. “The opening of this first store will allow us to test the acceptance of the brand with our sights firmly set on future openings in other locations like Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban,” added Balsells.
Desigual currently has three branded stores in Egypt and one in Tunis. The company initially came to Africa with the opening of its store in Egypt (Citystards Shopping Mall, Cairo) in 2010.