Marco & María: Designing bridal fashion for the world
Marco & María is the brand that identifies the fashion designers Marco Marrero and María Díaz who began their professional path in 1990 with the creation of a design and tailoring workshop in Puerto de la Cruz. Today, after 25 years of experience, it is one of the most prestigious bridal and party firms on the national and international scene.
They have been Self-taught since its beginnings and have been trained over time with great amounts of creativity and hard work.
Their successes include: presenting their first collections at the Cibeles Fashion Show and at the Paris Fair, designing the wedding dress for Raquel Perera for her wedding with Alejandro Sanz, representing Spain at the World Fashion Exhibition, creating collections for the world's leading crystal firm Swarosvki, appearing in the major international fashion and ceremony magazines, and dressing celebrities like Marta Sanchez, Shirley Maclaine and Jessica Lange among others.
In April 2016, they presented their new 2017 collection at Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, one of the world's most prestigious bridal fashion events.
What is the company's main activity nowadays?
M&M mainly works on bridal gowns and parties, although the main focus is on bridal dresses as Spain is a powerhouse in the bridal sector. They also design communion, baptism and pageboy dresses, adapting to different styles and preferences, although the firm's signature is the exclusive printing fabrics such as taffeta, tulle, silk with a marked vintage style.
They have achieved a production with attractive design and high added value with a haute couture finish with production prices. Its goal is to design and produce in the Canary Islands and market worldwide.
Why do you find it interesting for business development to look at overseas markets?
It is clear that, in a business like this, if you want to develop you have to consider a business expansion far beyond the local or regional market.
It is important to have an international perspective that guarantees a sales increase and thus the permanence of the Brand.
Participating in trade fairs and fashion shows is a gateway to the outside world and if you have quality production at reasonable prices it will lead to new demands from wholesalers and retailers.
We also attend to individual clients although we have this type of service with clients from the Canary Islands market.
What projects are you currently carrying out abroad?
In which countries and why? The long trajectory of 25 years has meant gradually expanding the market reaching agreements with stores and wholesalers throughout Europe, America and Asia. Today, they have their dresses present in Spain (Madrid, A Coruña, Pontevedra, Santiago de Compostela, ), England (London, Hitchin), Belgium (Antwerp), Italy (Milan, Brescia, Barletta, Padua, Castelfranco Veneto), Saudi Arabia (Riyadh, Olaya District), Arab Emirates (Dubai), Kuwait (Salmiya), Lithuania (Kaunas), Hong Kong, Taiwan, Cripre (Lemesos), USA (California, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts), Russia (Moscow) and New Zealand (Auckland) with a total of 26 partner stores in addition to its own point of sale in Santa Cruz (C/Pérez Galdós, 14). Latin America is still outstanding and they are considering focusing on Colombia, Mexico and Brazil.
Which products or services do you find most interesting to internationalize?
Wedding and party dresses, as well as accessories are the products that are being internationalized. These are products of quality and high added value.
What problems have you encountered when exporting? How did you resolve them? Did you receive support?
It hasn't been easy. Designing and producing has its difficulties, but also takes a lot of time in the constant daily battle to solve the logistic and transport problems which, since we produce in the islands, suppose a great handicap when exporting. Sending our dresses to the peninsula is more problematic than to Saudi Arabia.
The time-consuming bureaucratic and administrative procedures, this slowness of the processes makes that sometimes our customers lose interest in the qualities of our products. And above all, the loss of time in locating where the merchandise is in the shipment process. It is a significant waste of time.
On the other hand, the lack of qualified staff, especially in the assembly of pieces makes that we have our formative process in that sense.
We have received support from the Cabildo de Tenerife within the Tenerife Moda programme of which we are part of the promotion that has allowed us to make our first incursions into the national fashion shows.
Have you achieved any international goals?
Our greatest achievement is to be present in the most prestigious bridal shops in Europe, the United States and in the sector's magazines.
Brides Magazine Brides Magazine in UK and USA, interview in Elle Sposa to five designers of the world and one of them to be us, Vogue Sposa, Telva Novias, Marie Claire French among others...
It is the aim of our company to market nearly 100% of the production in the next few years and, of course, to preserve a small part of the business in the Canary Islands market, especially as it concerns private customers.
Was it easy the internationalization? How did your experience begin?
In our company, internationalization has been a natural process of business activity. We have been learning gradually how international markets work and the mechanisms that make our dresses access those markets abroad.
On the other hand, the primary materials (fabrics, threads and accessories) have to be imported, which leads to logistical difficulties and an increase in the price of the final product.
The social networks (Facebook, Twiter and Instagram) have been of great support because of their very fast diffusion and promotion, it's instantaneous, potential customers immediately see the dresses that are showing through the fashion shows. This supposes that it also requires you to have everything arranged, demand of textile, patternaje, etc... to be able to face in time and form to the demand that this generates.
In a general sense, most of the collections are sold between March and October, although the rest of the year they are also marketed but in smaller quantities.
Why would they recommend going outside?
The Canary Islands market is excessively small and there is not enough demand to sustain a business in the design, production and marketing of bridal and party fashion.
It is clear that it is necessary to have a product with a design, a high added value and, if possible, at affordable prices that can compete with other similar brands. It consists in
finding a place in this so competitive world and this is achieved with constancy and a hard work over time.
Co-founder and Designer
Tel: +34 922 385 155