The name Agatha Ruiz de la Prada may have caught your eye as you’ve walked passed some fashion boutiques or even smart stationery shops full of snazzy children’s pencil cases and bags. Even if you do not know her name, you almost certainly know her unique style of design. She could be described as the Spanish equivalent of Mary Quant as she was prominent in eighties Spain, which was a time of innovation and experiment similar in many ways to the Sixties in Britain. She became a leading figure in the Madrid youth movement called “la movida madrileña” and has remained a significant figure in Spanish modern culture.
Agatha was born in 1960 to a Castilian aristocratic father and a Catalan aristocratic mother and studied art and design in Barcelona. She had her first fashion show in Madrid at the age of 21 opening her own shop just one year later.
Right from the beginning her work has been bright and colourful using geometrical shapes and primary colours with motifs of hearts, flowers and clouds on what she herself calls “happy clothes”. She also designs shoes, watches, furnishings and stationery, dolls clothes, theatric costumes, glasses, uniforms and labels and sells in more than 140 countries.
Another aspect of Agatha Ruiz de la Prada’s influence has been in fighting for the rights of women to inherit noble titles on an equal footing with men. She proposed a law to this effect which was passed by parliament in 2005 and after a further four-year court battle she won the right to inherit the titles XII Marchioness of Castelldosríus and XXIX Baroness of Santa Pau.
In 2011 she established the Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Foundation for the preservation of her own artistic, cultural and intellectual work. Her partner is the editor of the national “El Mundo” newspaper.