Barcelona’s July Fashion Week
3 September, 2012
080 Barcelona Fashion, The Brandery and Little Barcelona: Barcelona held more than 10 major fashion events and shows in a single week.
The week kicked off with 080 Barcelona Fashion, then The Brandery showed once again that despite the financial downturn, Barcelona is keen to have a firm date on the international fashion-show calendar. Finally, it was the turn of Little Barcelona, which looks destined to consolidate a name for itself as the children fashion-sector’s go-to event of southern Europe.
“Major fashion labels keen to communicate with end consumers have found a perfect place to do so at The Brandery,” explains Miquel Serrano, director of the Fira de Barcelona-promoted event. The Brandery is not just about the clothes, but also art and music as essential elements of explaining fashion to customers and young people specifically, and these were the ingredients that The Brandery fostered at its most recent show, held from 13 to 15 July.
We asked Miquel Serrano for his views shortly after the show ended and preparations for the next edition, which will be the eighth, began. “Without the financial crisis we would be talking about a strong and consolidated show, but the current economic outlook is making things very difficult,” Mr Serrano said, referring to the fall in sales among many multibrand boutiques that formerly considered fashion shows such as The Brandery as a lynchpin for programming purchases for the upcoming season. “Everything would be easier if the situation was different,” he said. “We have a very well-designed show, we look after our brands, we seek new offers and boost demand. We have collaborators that believe strongly in the project, but maybe they didn’t think this was the right time to enter it.” The Brandery show featured 135 fashion firm exhibitors, 30% of which were foreigners, and 15 major purchasers from around the world. However, for the director of The Brandery the message is clear: “The goal is to grow in quality and quantity and we will continue to try to do that”.
In three days, The Brandery attracted close to 12,000 professional visitors and Fira de Barcelona says there was a rise in the number of accredited journalists. Meanwhile, the general public this year enjoyed a calendar of shows, acts and an attractive offer for getting a good look at the new trends from the show’s exhibitors. The Barcelona Chamber of Commerce also organised a series of conferences entitled “Cross Channel”, which addressed new multichannel strategies in the retail sector.
080: More Fashion
However, the first event off the block in the busiest week of the fashion year was the 10th edition of 080 Barcelona Fashion. This catwalk for up-and-coming and independent designers once again strengthened its bonds with the fashion industry. There was a collective show featuring the designs of firms in the Catalan Fashion Textile Association. Under the name 080 360º Barcelona Fashion Brands, houses such as Punto Blanco, Naulover, Aldomartins, Yerse, Escorpion, Bóboli, Cris Zarel and Cóndor presented their designs for the upcoming 2013 spring/summer season. The barriers that used to separate emerging designers and industry are now a thing of the past and today 080 is a fusion of these two segments of the fashion sector.
Palau de Pedralbes was the perfect backdrop for an 080 event which year after year is strengthening its influence in the city. The budget came to a million euros and the Catalan Minister for Enterprise and Employment, Francesc Xavier Mena, was keen to stress that while 70% of the funding came from the public purse, the remaining 30% was brought to the table by private sponsors. This, he said, represented “a 53% rise in private sponsorship”. The Minister told the public at the 080 opening event that the government aimed to “continue to support the Catalan fashion sector, the 2,000 businesses involved and the 59,000 people who work in the field”.
The star turn of the opening event was Míriam Ponsa, a 080 regular who showed a collection entitled “Collita Daurada” (“Golden Harvest”) that was typically faithful to the designer’s values: organic colours, natural inspirations and innovation in the composition of the fabrics. The other big names on opening day were BrainyBeast, Juan Pedro López, Desigual and Miranda Makaroff for Lydia Delgado.
As part of converting the traditional fashion parades into 360º events, 080 also had its own laboratory of ideas. This was “080 Llunàtics Ovni” a networking and discussion space where over 15 experts assembled to address the business opportunities afforded by smart clothing technology.
More names, including Guillermina Baeza, Justicia Ruano, Lurdes Bergada & Syngman Cucala, Mango and Manuel Bolaño, among many others, rounded out the 080 programme. Designers Daniel Lierah and Arturo Martínez took home the €20,000 prize for the best collection at the event. The award highlighted the young designers’ work called “Sardonicus”. 080 also featured the Elite Model Look 2012 competition, where the men and women were chosen who will represent Spain at the international modelling competition the agency will organise in Shanghai.
Children’s fashion is carving itself a place in Barcelona under the name Little Barcelona, the trade fair which closed the week dedicated to fashion. Organisers Javier Royo, Sílvia Tarrés and Ana Castán are all businesspeople with longstanding links to the children’s fashion sector either with their own labels or as representatives of international brands. Their enterprising spirit led to the idea, around a year ago, of making Barcelona an international showcase of alternative children’s fashion trends. “This is an idea that marks a break from the traditional notions of blue for boys and pink for girls,” Ana Castán told Barcelona és Moda. Thanks to the founders’ firm conviction and strategic vision, Little Barcelona was able to celebrate its second outing at Barcelona’s premiere fashion week on a stage of the ilk of Palau de Pedralbes and to attract around 100 children’s clothing labels.