Awards Barcelona és moda 2011


At only 20 years of age, a young Swiss man named Thomas Meyer dreamed of a future where people could dress differently, wearing clothes that inspired positive emotions. And so, in 1984 Desigual was born. Twenty years later, Manel Adell joined the team as its CEO, leading the company’s international growth. These international investments have certainly borne fruit, and now, Desigual is present in over 70 countries, with 7,000 multi-brand stores, over 200 Desigual boutiques, and 1,700 store-in-store outlets in department stores.

Enthusiasm, dedication, tolerance, quirkiness, and fun. Every one of these words expresses the values this company hopes to convey with its designs; indeed, these
concepts are summed up in the first part of their slogan, Fun&Profit. The second half of this catchphrase stands for investment cost controls, rigor, and innovation – strategies which have led to sustained annual growth topping 50%, 2010 year-end figures of 440 million euros, and hopes to expand to more than 8,000 distribution centers.

The company continues to work hard and has seen 20% growth this year, with international sales forecasts representing 70% of that total. Despite their international
growth, the fashion chain remains loyal to its roots. With a staff of more 2,900 people from 72 different countries, the company will continue to invest in the Catalan market; they are building a 22,000 m2 corporate headquarters in front of Barcelona’s Hotel
. Because of this investment and their international strategy, the jury of the “Barcelona és Moda” Prize is pleased to present Desigual with the award for international business dimension and growth.


But why? Why create a children’s fashion business? Because passion for design and the creative outlets offered by children’s fashion are the strengths of its three founders, Andrea Miró, Beth Gilberga, and Elisenda Herrera. The trio – who started out as entrepreneurs in 2006 and face 2011 as full-fledged businesswomen – have spread their children’s clothing brand to 25 countries across the globe.

yporqué has infused innovation and creativity into each of their product lines, creating entertaining, stimulating, comfortable pieces which bring together the imagination and visions of these three professionals from the worlds of marketing, design and psychology. These three diverse fields find common ground in children’s clothing (and especially in T-shirts), leading to pieces whose sounds, smells, textures and games are designed to stimulate the senses of youngsters.

After presenting their collections at international industry-specific showrooms and fairs such as Playtime (Paris), Kleine Fabriek (Amsterdam) and Pitti Imaginne Bimbo (Florence), yporqué expanded its collection to include accessories and baby clothing. In each of their pieces, the designers endeavor to unite the essence of play and fashion, rethinking patterns and boosting added value, and in doing so, have created a distinctive look which makes it easy to recognize children who wear yporqué.

This children’s fashion firm didn’t hesitate for even a moment when picking a name. Inspired by that constant curiosity kids have to learn, they turned to the age-old question, Y por qué? (But why?). Through their clothing designs, they seek to provide answers to the inquisitiveness embodied in this very query.

In honor of their multi-disciplinary nature, their presence at major international fairs for children’s fashion, and of course, their innovative abilities, it is our pleasure to present yporqué with the “Barcelona és Moda” prize for creative business.

Isabel Castañer


Some companies go down in the history of fashion, while others make history itself. Castañer and its leader, Isabel Castañer, fall squarely into the latter category.

The year was 1968. The place: Paris. The owners of a family-run business from Banyoles with a legacy more than two centuries old headed to the fashion capital par excellence, looking for a way to weather the crisis their firm was facing. It was the first trip the couple – Llorenç Castañer, the heir to the espadrille company, and his wife – took to seek out international clients. They were following their dream to turn the espardenya, a peasant’s shoe, into a fashion item. This new type of footwear would prove capable of withstanding the fierce competition of the ‘50s.

To make a long story short, they succeeded. Spurred by values such as drive, courage, innovation, and a bit of intuition, Isabel Castañer worked for her family business and would come to meet Yves Saint Laurent firsthand. At that same Parisian fair where they met, this icon of fashion offered the Castañers their first change to turn their dreams into reality, hiring the Castañer company to design a unique high-heeled espadrille for one of his fashion collections.

Over the years, this first haute couture commission would lead to many more orders from major fashion houses, all of which were a result of the ability of Castañer – and its driving force, Isabel Castañer – to combine tradition with trends, artistry with exclusivity, and love of one’s roots with luxury. This is the reason that Castañer is now present in 35 countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas – especially in their primary foreign market, Italy – with exports representing 80% of sales. For these reasons, and for turning the long-standing family espadrille business into a major exporter in the fashion and luxury markets, we are pleased to present Isabel Castañer with the “Barcelona és Moda” Prize for a fashion professional.



Santa Eulalia

In 1843 a luxury boutique was born. Over the years since then, it has become one of the most emblematic brands in Barcelona, a symbol of the city. This cutting-edge company, adaptable as a chameleon, was the first in the city to organize fashion shows in its showrooms, launching a trend which would later be imitated by many other stores. In the beginning of the 20th century, Santa Eulalia’s designs became a symbol of modern life for Catalan society and a paragon of excellence for fashion magazines of the time.

After four generations, Lluís Sans stands at the helm of a company which seems invincible, a brand where no challenge is too difficult to overcome. Today, Santa Eulalia underscores this reputation by inaugurating a store in the same location on Paseo de Gracia street where they opened a boutique specializing in menswear in 1944.  The nearly 2,000 m2 store openly defies the economic crisis, and will include sections for menswear and womenswear, a café with a terrace, and a pop-up store which will feature different offerings each month, a constantly changing parade of new products and designers. The craftsman who has fashioned this venue—a space which melds the history of Santa Eulalia with modern times—is architect William Sofield, who has also designed stores for Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, and Tom Ford. Lluís Sans shares his thoughts on his company’s latest endeavour with us.

This highly ambitious project, which entailed an investment of nearly 6 million euros, aims to showcase Barcelona from one of the best windows in the city. This commitment to the future led the "Barcelona és Moda" Prize's jury to present the company with the award for the best business initiative of the year.

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