By  on February 25, 2013

MADRID — The situation couldn’t be worse: Consumer spending is on the skids, unemployment reached 26 percent last year and the government instituted a string of austerity measures.Still, the show went on. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, with a budget of about $4 million, ran Feb. 18 to 22 in the fairgrounds here. The five-day event featured 42 runway shows (two fewer than last February), including a group of 10 up-and-comers under the banner El Ego.Organized by IFEMA, a self-financed public consortium, 60 percent of MBFWM is under-written by such sponsors as the German automobile company, cosmetics firm L’Oréal and, for the second season, Inditex, owner of the retail chain Zara. An additional 30 percent is put up by IFEMA, and roughly 5 percent is generated through participating designers who pay an entrance fee of 4,000 euros, or $5,300 at current exchange.

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