Whether you’re thinking of upgrading your flamenco wardrobe, taking up flamenco, or hunting for a special flamenco present for someone back home, here are what I consider the best flamenco shops in Madrid.
Lola Almela. Cnr Calle Torrecilla del Leal and Calle del Olmo. Metro: Antón Martín.
These guys are passionate about flamenco dance clothes. As Juan, the owner, puts it, they dress dancers, they don’t sell dress up. The shop specialises in clothes that move fluidly (perfect for dancing!), but out the back they also hand-make flamenco-inspired clothes that are perfect for weddings, special occasions and parties. Celebrities like Valentino and Almodóvar have visited their shop, and they design and tailor dance clothes for flamenco artists such as María Juncal, Rocío Molina, La Truco or Paloma Fantova.
Qtoma. Calle Duque de Fernán Núñez, 7. Metro: Antón Martín.
Qtoma offers a wide range of flamenco dance skirts and dresses. But most importantly, they are the official distributors of the flamenco shoe brand Senovilla. The heel of these shoes is made of palo santo wood – a wood used frequently in Spanish guitars, which guarantees great footwork sound. They can also adapt the flamenco shoes for streetwear (a must for any hip flamenco hanger-on!) and they make flamenco footwear to order using a wide array of materials (as you can see in the photo above). They have an online shop and ship internationally.
El Flamenco Vive. Calle Conde de Lemos, 7. Metro: Ópera.
Flamenco isn’t all about looks. And that’s where El Flamenco Vive comes in. This is the one-stop-shop for all things – music CDs, DVDs, books (a few in English) – that deal with the art itself. They even sell guitars. On the second floor you’ll find flamenco clothes and a wide range of accessories. They also run an online shop and ship internationally. If you visit their physical shop, make sure you also check out the nearby guitar makers Guitarras Ramírez.
Maty. Calle Maestro Victoria, 2. Metro: Ópera.
This is more of a costume and dance apparel shop with a considerable section dedicated to flamenco. Perfect if you’re thinking of flamenco-inspired gifts: there is a huge range of flamenco accessories such as earrings, shawls, ornamental combs and flowers, but also pret-a-porter dresses, skirts and shoes. It was founded in 1943, and it’s worth the visit if only for its impressive interior. It’s one of the go-to places to check out dresses if you’re going to the Feria de abril in Seville. Beware though: the shop assistants aren’t the nicest and can be a bit rough on a busy day, but you’re there to get flamenco gear, not to make friends, right?
Ambiente Flamenco online shop. Do you live outside of Spain? I’ve got you covered for customised flamenco clothing too – check out Ambiente Flamenco for handmade flamenco dancewear, designed for everyone from dance students to professional dancers.