The Golden Needle is the name under which Dª María Rosa Salvador Ramonacho distinguished designers from all over the world for twenty-six editions, from 1981 to 2006, consolidating the history and prestige of an Award it was deemed necessary to maintain and promote, given the relevance it had acquired.
Since opening her first store, in 1965, Salvador’s sixth sense and intuition for discovering new promises or capturing the best international Couture firms, have been documented in the wardrobes of numerous generations. Over the years, María Rosa’s atelier gained a unique reputation in the almost deserted Spanish haute Couture scene. Self-taught, constant and with a memory brimming with recollections, like the personal fitting she gave Mademoiselle Coco Chanel in her atelier on rue Chambón when she acquired the licence for an haute couture prototype that she would later produce in her workshop in Madrid. The stories she could tell and the knowledge she holds about major figures in the world of fashion would fill volumes. A faithful friend of designers and clients alike, the “petite espagnole”, as she was known in the fashion salons of Paris, dedicated her enthusiasm for style to an Award that would be forever linked to her name.
This award granted institutional recognition to a creator whose work shone with special significance in the world of fashion. The worthy task of the award winner was compensated, highlighting their outstanding contribution to culture and artistic creation.
The early years of the Golden Needle award were discreet, in line with the opaque and secondary role played by fashion in many areas and its limited repercussions in society. Behind closed doors, traditional couture was undergoing a crisis and a new generation of young designers were about to change things. The French catwalks were immersed in a sort of lethargy, the Italians were awakening curiosity and the North American fashion platforms barely existed in the Spanish media. In this setting ripe for the picking, a fascinating saga of designers began to take shape, that laid the foundations for a magnificent and profitable industrial works in which fashion combines culture, society, commerce and economy in equal measures. In this scenario, the businesswoman María Rosa Salvador embarked on the project of setting an award in motion that would serve to distinguish work, personality or talent in fashion. The profile of the jury members has gone from the discreet group of journalists and figures from the society pages of the 80’s, to an extraordinary representation of the written and audio-visual press, a reflection of its prodigious growth in recent decades. The awards ceremony has always surprised the winner with the expectation and affability their presence awakens.
After 26 editions, María Rosa believed the time had come to relinquish her role as organisation guide. The Ministry of Culture took up the torch and granted the last award in 2007 to Nicolas Ghesquière (Comines, France, 1971).
In: INDUMENTA. Museo del Traje Magazine
Lola Gavarrón Writer and journalist, expert in fashion
Awards celebrated in the Museo del Traje: