Spain

Designer Diaries – Queen Sofia and Alejandro de Miguel

Alejandro de Miguel grew up in the fashion world, his parents had an atelier where they worked sewing the creations of famous designers so fancy fabrics, dresses, needles and sewing machines were his toys. He started working in the family business when he was 16 and completed his studies later at Goymar Academy in Madrid. One day a journalist asked him: “Who would you like to design a dress for?” And he answered that Queen Sofia, no doubt, because he admired her elegance and sense of style. Some weeks later, Doña Laura Hurtado de Mendoza, her Majesty’s assistant, called him to tell him that the Queen would love to have one of his outfits but didn’t have time to go to the atelier to take measurements. The designer told her he’d send one of his dresses for free even if it wasn’t custom-made and the assistant answered that the Queen was going to pay for the design, whether she was going to wear it or not, because “you can give her flowers as a present, but she won’t accept an outfit.”

Sergio Gonzalez Valero.07/02/2017.Toledo.Miguel Esteban.Entrevista.Alejandro de Miguel.Modisto de la Reina Sofia.Pueblo Miguel Esteban.Toledo.Foto.Alejandro de Miguel

This is how Alejandro de Miguel became Sofia’s main designer for her last years as queen and still is. He’s said that his client only wants to feel comfortable, she avoids trends and prefers knee length skirts and sleeves reaching the wrist but not longer than that. She understands she’s going to wear the same outfit for long hours but also repeats them a lot, avoids big patterns, prefers solid colours and never wears fur. She also hates to try dresses and never changes her size, keeping the same measurements so the designer can make dresses nonstop without meeting her.

Spain, Spain’s King Juan Carlos (L) and Queen Sofia wait for President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma al-Assad before a dinner at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid on July 4, 2010. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

The first outfit by Alejandro the Queen wore was a green jacket with lace skirt to attend a lunch with the President of Syria in Zarzuela in 2010. From that day on, Her Majesty has trusted him for the most important occasions like the Princess of Asturias Awards or the Armed Forces Day, in 2014 she wore the blue jacket with green top, and recently the one with blue roses printed and satin lapels for the BMW Painting Awards in 2019. 

Alejandro de Miguel says he’s sent more than 30 outfits to Zarzuela in 13 years. Since Queen Sofía only has a handful of official events every year, I guess it’s safe to say that most of her suits are made by him lately.

Designer Diaries will return in three weeks. Next week is Christmas Eve, and we have a special Retrogravure for you. The week between Christmas and New Year is filled with some additional special programming, all week long. In 2021, we start a new year of diaries with Iselen’s fascinating take on some of the Classic Queen’s very beautiful Dior creations.