Barcelona is synonymous with creativity and design. This is something that visitors will quickly come to realise as they stroll its ancient narrow streets, from the architecture, the way people dress, the small boutique stores, laid back cafes, not to mention the art nouveau. And small boutique style stores are something Barcelona does well, stores that express the true character and creativity of Barcelona and Catalan culture in a way that larger, better known chains such as Zara and mango cannot.
Lydia Delgado is a fashion designer whose feminine, chic and somewhat Parisian designs have graced Catwalks in Madrid and Barcelona. With over two decades in the industry, Delgado sells her designs from a boutique store in Gracia, sophisticated designs, often in black, that she creates working alongside her daughter.
Another family business, Lurdes Bergada and her son Syngman Cucala are a clothing brand with a very elegant, deconstructed, and very Catalan look. Lurdes Bergada designs the women’s clothing and Syngman Cucala the men’s. But both design the same style of unstructured pieces, with simple colour palettes and casual styles. The silhouettes of Syngman’s shirts, jackets, trousers and shorts show traces of his Asian heritage.
Their space in the Born opposite Santa Maria del Mar has a minimalist and refined interior that is reminiscent of their designs (Lurdes designs the interiors of their stores).
Pl. de Santa Maria, 2
Colmillo de Morsa
Designers Isabel Vallecillo and Javier Blanco are the creative force behind cult brand Colmillo de Morsa. Note their ascent – they’ve shown their work at Madrid Fashion Week, won a competition in the prestigious Parisian fair “Who’s Next”, and have recently opened stores in Moscow and Taipei.
Check out their studio cum showroom cum shop in Gràcia, where as well as Valecillo and Blanco’s own designs you will find work from a dazzling stunning pool of young designers who share a similar vision. As well as clothes you will find accessories, jewellery and shoes.
A bag is not just for Christmas a bag is for life could be the motto of Pinza’t. Their bags are made with recycled materials from lorries, including tarpaulins, seatbelts and buckles, and are then hand painted by artists with a custom made dye that never fades.
Virtually indestructible, these funky looking bags are waterproof and come with double stitching and sealed zips. Think Berlin meets Hoxton meets Barcelona, these are wacky post modern looking designs that will stand out from any crowd you can care to name. The shop’s catalogue is as pragmatic as its recycled bags are: three sizes of shoulder bags and backpacks that are perfect for cyclists – with pockets designed for bike locks and straps to attach safety lights for night riding.
As well as clothes and fashion, furniture is another of Barcelona’s specialities, with brands such as Santa & Cole selling all over the world. BD Barcelona, formerly known as BD Ediciones de Diseño, was opened in the 1970s by architects and designers Pep Bonet, Lluís Clotet, Cristian Cirici, Mireia Riera, Oscar Tusquets and Oriol Regàs.
Happily this Barcelona institution is alive and kicking and still operating out of its Poblenou showroom. As well as selling pieces from contemporary designers such as Jaime Hayón and Martí Guixé, BD also sells classic designs pieces that have been reproduced from plans of well-known designers and artists, such as furniture by Gaudí and Dalí.