The success of the Asturian Mnica (34) and Mara (29) with the Cordera brand it is proportional to the humility that surrounds them. The oldest began designing in 2008 and six years later her sister joined this adventure that has led them to achieve global success.
It is not a journalistic concession. Your garments they are exhibited in almost one hundred points of sale around the world, especially in the United States (more than half of his designs end there), in Asia, but also in much of Europe. It is possible to see his collection in multi-brand points such as Vestige (Philadelphia), No.6 Store (New York), Kick Pleat (Houston), Bshop (Japan), or soon on the Ssense platform, where he will rub shoulders with other firms such as Prada, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, or Jil Sander.
And here, in Spain, the majority still do not know. Perhaps because, unlike other brands, they have never made any pretense of approaching a celebrity to promote your designs.
The sisters attend us by video call from their workplace in Galicia. Both studied fashion and went on to open three physical stores in A Corua, Ourense and Oviedo. But before long they understood that his future was in the online business and multi-brand stores. And they dedicated their effort and time to this. Up to fourteen hours a day to carry out these collections that will travel the world more than many of us on foot could afford throughout our lives.
The clothes are like the sisters themselves: sober, austere, warm and discreet. But when you see them, you know that you want to keep them with you for a long time. They ennoble comfort.
They are an ode to minimalism and timelessness. Loose t-shirts, knitted wool jumpers and fluid pants, always in neutral tones. Beige, camel, gray and black. They bet on these colors that serve as a wardrobe background and are timeless, “so that one does not get tired”, says Mara. A wake-up call against production Here and now, here and now, that floods different fashion platforms.
His are made with materials such as cotton, recycled and wool with the “cruelty-free” label, always in workshops in Galicia (the same ones they started with) and with a small human team, to which Mnica dedicates more praise than to his own talent.
QUESTION – Why do garments triumph around the world and in Spain go unnoticed?
ANSWER. MNICA. At first it frustrated us, and we thought, why is it that where we have our roots is not valued as much as outside? Why if we try so hard? We would love that they did it in Spain, not just in the United States. Now we are in an acceptance phase and, although the consumer does not value us, we continue working.
Q. But then what goes wrong?
MARA. I think that in Europe they have another style and another way of understanding femininity. In the United States, in Japan or in South Korea they like the type of silhouette that we provide, but in Europe it seems that there is another concept, another aesthetic.
MN. Our garments seek to go further, comfort, something that does not mean being laughed at with femininity. I do not feel less feminine for wearing a flat shoe than some stilettos or pants that are not tight.
The success they reap has led them to invoice almost a million euros last year and this year they hope to multiply the figures. They flee, by the way, from the banks. They only invest with what they earn. But they have trouble talking about numbers, in fact they blush and shrug their shoulders when asked about them. They think that, by saying them, it is “dehumanized” and the identity of their work is lost.
Q. At what moment do you take the pole to make this jump?
M.N. I was always a creative, restless person, I like to undertake. And I was never afraid. No support of any kind, something we are very proud of, because we have come this far on our own merits. At the beginning we were focused on our own points of sale, but we wanted to go international. We spoke with Sara, a friend who has a multi-brand store and she recommended that we visit a fair in Paris, which is where the international market moves. We went to MAN / WOMAN SHOWS, and from there the network of clients spread abroad. Then we traveled to New York. Social networks were also decisive, especially Instagram, it was a very important pillar to attract customers.
Q. You work in fifteen countries around the world, but have you thought about who you would like to wear in Spain?
M.N. We don’t have that kind of fetish. We are happy to see any woman with one of our garments. It would make me the same illusion to see Queen Letizia or any other person on foot.
Q. Will you see your models on a catwalk like Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid?
MR. You can never say never, but it’s not in our plans.
Success has not led to histrionics or excesses. On the contrary. Going to the beach, a meal with family or friends is the ultimate luxury. A “rare warning” of an industry dominated by events, flashes and presumption: “We like to talk about the brand, not about us.” Harmony is only broken when they maintain one of their daily rias. “At the end of the day we are sisters, we know each other for the best and the worst,” they justify. As if it were necessary.
Monica and Mara have in mind to continue exporting their designs. They are already planning the next campaign, for which they are preparing bags and footwear for the first time, as well as a men’s collection. Do not stop.
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