How can we understand the new fashion business strategies?

By Regina Miyar

The fashion business is an industry in continues evolution; it is a creative nest where different kinds of ideas grow, develop and turn into what is now called start-ups. It is a business area where not only big companies play a game; the match is now played by the small companies that are turning the market upside down.

By definition “A startup is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed,” says Neil Blumenthal, cofounder and co-CEO of Warby Parker.

Fashion start-ups have now been challenging the market and public with new innovative ideas, trying to keep up with an on going industry. New companies that supply specific services, premium clothes or direct access to the clothes before a large public.
The target is now not only focused in serving large masses, the mission is reaching the specific inner circles. Supplying the more amenities possible to the client, by making the shopping experience easier or even faster.
“…Services such as Moda Operandi and Springwise-featured are enabling members of the public to purchase outfits straight from the catwalk, rather than waiting for a retailer to buy a collection and make it available. Of course there will always be a need for style leaders to guide tastes, but, similar to the C&A initiative and Volga Verdi, it’s easy to see how Moda Operandi and can be read as another step towards putting more power into the hands of consumers before major trend setters are involved” (

But how start-ups are able to serve an anxious public without failing in the try? Many theories can come out from this, starting from the idea that there´s always a search for something new and “trendy”. Probably we can talk about social media as the fashion start-up rescuer.

Instagram has turned to be the image doctor and fashion curator, for most of the brands. Through this platform a lot of brands are trying to serve their publics through direct links to shop.

As mentioned before Moda Operandi has taken hand from Instagram to publish a large content of images through the day, and linking directly the client with the product.

So now is not always necessarily to search in Google “Dress or Shoes” in order to shop. Fashion start-ups are filling the social media content with images redirecting to their product. An action that saves time, indecision, probably web barriers and distraction between the consumer and the brand.

Now it´s not completely necessary to create a full brand campaign to catch the public´s eye. Maybe we can talk about visual strategy; an Instagram focused image content strategy to catch the “fast consumer”.

Brands like Annie Bing and the newly released Pret-A-Porter shopping division “The NET SET” are focusing not in the web construction, and on how can they serve to large publics. The target in some fashion start-ups is now being set in how many images I can post a day, in order to sell as much as possible.


Maybe the fashion business strategies are being set by the fast visual content and the direct links to the product. A more dynamic content, fast, with aesthetic and eye catcher.

Here´s the point were we could probably understand why brands are turning their efforts also in Snapchat. The mobile app that allows sending pictures and short videos with one chance to see.
Fashion companies as Buro 24/7 are continuously posting videos in this platform, the strategy isn´t clearly visible, but what it is true is that they are reaching a niched market. A public that is constantly “connected”.
So, are we able to say that new apps like Snapchat or platforms like Instagram are becoming what fashion magazines and newspapers where some years ago?


The new fashion strategies are been created under an invisible layer behind glitter; models and social media hash tags. The important topic to relay on is, are we seeing it? How influenced are we from social media images? Are fashion start-ups really selling through here?


A fresh, dynamic and exciting fashion game has just started. The more creative, innovative and constant a brand can turn, probably the more popular, or successful it will become.
The cards are on the table, and the play has just started for some of the business leaders.


Quota system


Keeping Up With The Quota: Gender Equality in Cataluña?


Historically, in many cultures women have been considered as less than men. Many people believe that women have gained full equality, but that is simply not true.

In India, women are still considered worthless if their husband dies. The contemporary film “Water” depicts what Indian woman must go through once they become a widow. Their heads are shaved, they are relegated to beggar communities and many die there as well. On the other hand, even in “The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”, there is still a gender pay gap. The American Association of University Women reports that, “In 2013, among full-time, year-round workers, women were paid 78 percent of what men were paid”. While there is a start contrast between the gender inequality problems in these two countries, one thing is clear: women are not treated equally.

This is where the quota system comes into play in Spain. EurActive, a website dedicated to news and policy debates across Europe reports that, “In its ‘Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015’, the European Commission committed itself to supporting the promotion of gender equality in the implementation of all aspects and flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy, and also to promoting female entrepreneurship and self-employment”. But, what affect does this this have on Cataluña?

Spain has a gender equality system of its own, but some parties in Cataluña have voluntary quota systems implemented that is particularly more interesting and pertinent to the focus of this article. The Quota Project, a global database of quotas for women, has a full list of the aforementioned voluntary quota systems:

  • The Socialist Party of Catalonia has had a 40 percent quota for either sex since 2000. The party’s quota was first introduced in 1982 (12 percent) and enlarged in 1987 (15 percent), 1990 (25 percent) and 1996 (30 percent).
  • Initiative for Catalonia Greens has had a 40 percent quota for either sex (2002). The quota was first introduced in 1991 (30 percent).
  • Republican Left of Catalonia has had has a 40 percent quota for either sex (2004).

The Asociacion Espanola de Ciencia Politica y de la Administracion (AECPA) report, “Playing with different cards: Party politics, gender quotas and women’s empowerment” states that, “The other parties [in Cataluña] have only employed ‘soft’ quotas incentivized by the actions undertaken by their competitors”.

What kind of affect has this had on women representation in Catalan politics?

The AECPA’s report also states,” While unequal patterns of office distribution can be fixed through gender quotas; this ‘simple’ solution cannot automatically address the complexity of gender power relations within parties. Irrespective of parties’ commitments to gender equal representation, men still maintain power over women through a variety of informal institutions.”

It is clear that while quotas may seem like a good idea, they do not achieve the true goal of gender equality. The quotas are good for party PR and it they help enable women to get into Catalan politics. But, what is the point of having women in politics if they do not actually have any power?

Quotas are simply not good enough. There needs to be a change in people’s mindsets. And, until that change comes, women will not truly have an equal role in politics in Cataluña.

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats of Europe reports, “In March, the Catalonian Parliament discussed the Equality Bill which would be the first law on gender equality passed in Catalonia.” And, on Women’s Day (March 8), the Government of Catalonia launched an awareness campaign that encourages gender equality. The message states, “You move the pieces. Catalonia for gender equality”

Only time will tell if these recent efforts will have an effect on gender equality. But, for now, it is important to remember the reality: society has a long way to go until men and women are truly equal. The AECPA report quotes a woman who summarizes gender quotas well, “We have fought and won the formal battle but not the informal one”.

For more information on gender quotas in Cataluña, please visit:

Albert Rivera and Pablo Iglesias, two leaders, two parallel but different lives


Ciutadans and Podemos are called to burst into the Spanish Congress in the next general elections. Two new parties that are very different but that have something in common: both have a charismatic leader that embodies the image of the group.

Albert Rivera (1979), the leader of Ciutadans, was born in Barcelona. His Catalan father and his Andalusian mother have a humble origin and had worked in an electrical appliance shop in the neighborhood of La Barceloneta, in Catalan capital. They didn’t have anything to do with politics.

Albert Rivera when has 5 years old
Albert Rivera when was 5 years old

The parents of the leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias (1978), are totally different. Both are from Soria. His mother, Maria Luisa Turrión, was a lawyer and a member of Comisiones Obreras (CC.OO.) union. His father, Francisco Javier Iglesias, was a worker inspector and professor of History, and he also joined the Frente Revolucionario Antifascista y Patriota (FRAP). Even more, his parental grandfather was a socialist-humanist politician that was sentenced to death during the Franquist Dictatorship, and his maternal grandfather was a founder of the union Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT).

Although the origins of Rivera where so humble, he studied law in the private university Ramon Llull, in the Faculty of Law of ESADE, and also did a master in Constitutional Law. Meanwhile, he also participated in the debate club where, with his team, won a statal league being elected as the best speaker.

Pablo Iglesias also studied law, but on Universidad Complutense of Madrid, a public university of the Spanish capital. He didn’t join the oratorical club but the antiglobalization movement where he defended the civil disobedience. He also did a degree in Political Science where he received the extraordinary award because of his marks (he get an average of 9.22). After making some studies abroad, he became a professor of Political Science at the same public university.

Pablo Iglesias when he was at the university declaring to Telemadrid becuase of his envolvement in social movements
Pablo Iglesias when he was at the university declaring to Telemadrid becuase of his envolvement in social movements

Rivera didn’t continue his academical career and he started working in the Catalan bank “La Caixa”. He leaved it when he became the leader of Ciutadans. A party that he joined because of the proposal of his Constitutional teacher Fernando de Carreras, one of the thinking heads and founders of the group.

Iglesias started participating with political parties in Izquierda Unida, where he worked as an external assessor for the general elections in 2011. His couple in that moment, Tania Sanchez, was also a leader of that party in the municipality of Madrid. But he didn’t appear publicly involved in politics until he was interviewed in the right-wing channel Intereconomia for his participation in the demonstration of Rodea el Congreso, a protest that went around the spanish Parliament. Since then, a lot of television channels started asking him for appearing as a debater and he make himself publicly known. Taking advantage of this situation, he, with his friends and partners of the university, started Podemos, a party that went to the European elections in 2014 and got 5 seats.

Pablo Iglesias at La Sexta
Pablo Iglesias at La Sexta

Being known was more difficult for Albert Rivera: when he became the leader of Ciutadans, in order to appear in the television, has to show a photography of him nude in the poster of the party. In that elections, in 2006, his party got 3 seats in the Catalan Parliament, now they have 9.

Albert Rivera talking in the Catalan Parliament
Albert Rivera talking in the Catalan Parliament

Two leaders with just one year of difference, Pablo Iglesias is 36 years old and Albert Rivera is 35. Before been 40 years old, both politicians have changed the political panorama in Spain. Both with a parallel but a different life, an experience that have become them into the leaders of two parties that have no past, but seems to have a great future.


Christian persecution

Since 2012, more than 600 people have been killed in Kenya by the Shabab, an extremist group based in Somalia and affiliated with Al Qaeda. Last week, we were asking ourselves what ISIS is and what is doing to the world. There is not just an Islamic terrorist group in Syria and Iraq but also in Somalia from where Al Shabab is.

Al-Shabab was most known the last 2 of April when it killed 147 students from the University of Garissa, Kenya.  It was the bloodiest attempt from that terrorist group since its formation in 2007.
The University was located in the North east of Kenya, frontier with Somalia. Al-Shabab entered the University of Garissa by asking the students if they were muslims or non-muslims, they give freedom to those who were muslims and they killed the ones who weren’t. The terrorist group killed 147 non-muslim students from 815 total students.


This is an article written the 3rd of April, when al-Shabab killed 147 non-muslim students from Garissa University, Kenya. It is an article written by the BBC that asks “Who are Somalia’s al-Shabab?” The terrorist Islamic group is a radical youth group from Somalia that has carried a numerous attacks to its neighbor Kenya. The BBC answers questions as what is al-Shabab doing in Kenya? How much of Somalia al-Shabab control?

“The Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahidin—commonly known as al-Shabaab—was the militant wing of the Somali Council of Islamic Courts that took over most of southern Somalia in the second half of 2006”. The roots of al-Shaabab written by the Counter Terrorism Guide, a US guides that analyze issues pertaining to international terrorism. Unless the Somali Council of Islamic Courts has defeated, al-Shabab continues with violence and insurgency in southern and central Somalia and also in Kenya.

“A small group of militants, most likely between four and 10, roved from dorm to dorm, separating Christian from Muslim students and killing the Christians” The New York Times explains in this article the Somali al-Shabab terrorist attack to Garissa University students, emphasizing the division the terrorist group made between muslims and Christians.

Somalia is the second Christian persecuted country in the world, before North Corea. This is the World Watch List of 2015, which scores the Christian persecution in the world every year.


Alicia Lanau

Is football a synonym of waste?

In recent times of crisis it is common to see that people complain about the huge amount of money or wages that football players earn or that football clubs invest on their issues. What most people is not aware about is that this money that the clubs invest is also a quite important part of the GDP.

As people know football is the main sport practiced in most countries of the world followed by thousands of people, but what people doesn’t know or isn’t conscious about the depth that the football clubs have with the public finance.  This is the reason why people should know the amount of millions that, at least, most of the Spanish football clubs with their governments with a total depth of 3.600 millions of euros excluding the depth of Real Madrid and Futbol Club Barcelona (27.8% out of the total depth).



The biggest struggle here is that insidea football clubs, players argue that they should earn the entire incomes from publicity and advertising rights. The clubs hold that as they are the ones that give wagesto their players they should be the ones to earn the entire quantity of money coming from advertising and from their player’s image rights. But the AFE (Spanish footballers associations) defend that every single player should be the owner of its rights, because everybody deserves to have a minimum budget in order to have a kind of pillow once they finish their career as sportsmen which, by the way is reallyshort. So apart from those who earn millions every year (Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta…), second level  athletes don’t have enough money to carry on their lives as they usually doing if they don’t find a well payed job, besides that many athletes do not have any studies.11335779_10153872459124392_519266115_n

Concerning sponsors, it is important to know that the part that the football clubs earn must go in part to the GDP because they are public entities. That’s why it is important to know how much incomes from sponsors and advertising does every club have. So by the one side it’s true that there’s too much money invested in football in general but it is also true that a good part of it goes directly to the states’ public finance.

So it is somehow difficult to make a clear statement wether if football wastes too much money or not because taking into consideration that part of the budget of a football club is directed to the GDP, it is not good to say that football is an entire waste.  

RIP to the funerary monopoly

The City of Sant Boi promises to change the ordinance against the abuses of the Funeral Services. Catalan Competition Authority fined 1.7 million to the City of L’Hospitalet, Hospital de Bellvitge


The funeral trap of Lower Llobregat

The municipal government of the city takes a step forward in this struggle that has turned the organization to end the monopoly that there is covered in this sector. Sant Boi Town Council agrees to change the bylaw that regulates the funeral business to fight, according to explain and defend the monopoly rights citizens.

The new ordinance that is preparing the City of Sant Boi with the co-operation of José Luis Manzano, founder of the association, aims to defend the rights of citizens and foster competition in a very tight up the time and working in a virtual monopoly regime. “The current ordinance is outdated and should be revised, we want to add competition and that citizens can choose between different funeral homes, that prices are lowered and that they can defend their rights,” says the third deputy mayor head of the Department of Territory and Citizenship of the City of Sant Boi, Juan Antonio Tamayo.

Catalonia and by analogy the Lower Llobregat, is the region of the State in which to bury a deceased is more expensive, and this is due to the monopoly situation that exists in the territory covered up after the liberalization of basic services that Spain did in 1996 which left the way open to municipalities to regulate in this area.

“At the same Lower Llobregat products and services are 25% more expensive because they have no competition and funeral homes set prices according to monopoly,” said Manzano. And that the situation “can be considered a clear abuse of market dominance, because they have divided themselves the business and have limited competition, you do not work in my area, I do not work in yours, and thus it can only exist an only offer”, states the head of the association.

End of monopoly?

This situation, however, seems to changing after that, thanks to a persistent pressure by the association, the councils of the region began to be aware of the problems. “The law that has caused this situation of low competition in the region, which is still in force today, was due -in its moment- to a lack of space in the cemetery of Sant Boi; but things have changed and so, the ordinance must adapt to changing times, “says Juan Antonio Tamayo.

This amendment of the bylaw that regulates funeral services in the city of Sant Boi was agreed for the first quarter of this year, i.e., the end of the current legislature, but Tamayo said that “if we do not manage to change this situation before the end of this legislature, we will try to open the following one with the proposal of the law”.

However, the City of Sant Boi is working with José Luis Manzano in order to have a draft to pass the law transact in the city council session and thus favor any suggestion from the other political groups present in the City of Sant Boi, that could contribute with their ideas in favor of citizens. “Having started coworking with the City of Sant Boi in changing ordinances gives us hope for change in other municipalities, as there are still things to change, “adds José Luis Manzano explained that they expect the initiative of the City of Sant Boi is the piece that willdo the rest fall as in a row of dominoes.

L’Hospitalet, fined half a million euros

The City of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat has been sanctioned for misconduct in the monopoly of the funeral business with a fine of 500,000 euros by the Catalan Competition Authority (ACCO). This sanction that punishes the council together with the funeral home Altima (one of the most important of the sector) and the Bellvitge Hospital requires a total of 1.7 million euros to the institutions involved, and makes it clear that everyone was taking a lot of profit from the funeral business. According to the resolution, this funeral home benefited from getting 90% of funeral services supplied between 2009 and 2013 from these hospitals of which the City of Hospitalet took the 12%, and Bellvitge Hospital received 80,000 euros each year from the mentioned funeral enterprise in research.

L’Hospitalet City Council has defended arguing that it acted lawfully and that all are mere presumptions and therefore has decided to appeal against the fine like the Altima funeral home. Moreover, Bellvitge Hospital has chosen to publish some leaflets in which are explained the procedures to be followed in order to contact all funeral services in the territory. In any case, this sanction has already had political repercussions. Ciudadanos (C’s), through its spokesman, Miguel Garcia, has asked political responsibility for the bad practices.

The penalty that been given to these organizations was due to the denounce that the funeral home of St. Sadurní in 2011 decided to file them, after having being denied the right to collect the bodies of several dead in Bellvitge Hospital.

The complaint referred to the failure of an ordinance of the City of Hospitalet reserving Bellvitge Hospital all deaths to the funeral home in the city which violated the law that had put an end to the monopoly of the 15 years ago.

The game of the football sponsor throne

The two giants of football sponsoring Nike and Adidas are in a constant coming and going to achieve more and more notoriety in$_45side the football structures. The most important club tournament, the Champions League, has leave this year the german brand with the only representation of Lionel Messi, the brands most important player but facing two Nike sponsored clubs: FC Barcelona and Juventus FC. The two biggest representatives of Adidas (FC Bayern Munich and Real Madrid CF) have crumble into elimination and Adidas has suffer with it.

Des equilibrium of budget in Adidas

The intervention of Adidas into two major clubs to join his side has proclaimed the germans to become the principal power in football sposoring next season but the american brand seems to be waiting to counter-atttack the offensive and take from Adidas hands the most valuable club in the world: Real Madrid. The operations made by Adidas with Juventus, Manchester United and Bayern Munich have leaved a des equilibrium in the sporonsing possibilities of Adidas: the brand has given away more than 1000 millions euros into these three operartiions. This decision has consequences such as the abandond of other sponsor as the South-American clubs. This situation can be profitable for Nike.casacasss-620.jpg_787813774

Nike’s counter-attack

The intention of Nike to join Real Madrid to their side could be an effective stand point for the american brand. But the operation intended by the Oregon offices could cost a lot for them. It is true that to mix the sponsor of the club with Nike’s biggest football star Cristiano Ronaldo could signified a massive economic strike for Nike as both combined can reach the movement of 500 million euros a year. This can launch Nike to the top of the football sponsors. One must not forget that the inversion of Nike in Real Madrid would supposed a des equilibrium in their own budget and can become a problem for them as well.

Open door for new competitorsUnknown

New brands are starting to see a break throught in this two sides monopoly and they already starting to enter in the market. New Balance, Puma and Under Armor are becoming more and more strong in the football market. Puma has always had a position in the football market, centered in Africa and South America, the other german sport brand has sponsored important teams such as Arsenal or the national team of Italy. Under Armor is threating nowadays one of the biggest clubs in the world sponsored by Nike: FC Barcelona. The offer of 100 millions euros made by the other american brand is putting preasure in the Oregon offices that see how the acquisition of Real Madrid can signified the loss of FC Barcelona. New Balance has already putted in place it’s notoriety by acquiring clubs such as Lille or Celtic. All the parts are in place to beging a season that can change the landscape of football market and every movement can signified a counter-atteck of the competitors.  new_balance_celtic_img2