When you're out shopping in Barcelona, you want something original to bring home, whether you're on holiday, redecorating your local flat, or in search of that one-of-a-kind item for your wardrobe. In these 13 shops you're sure to find just what you're looking for, and possibly even a few unexpected surprises, all made in Barcelona.
The Ailanto brand, created by the brothers Iñaki and Aitor Muñoz, is recognised and admired for its prints, fine materials and its patterns based on geometrical shapes and artistic forms. Visit their exclusive boutique and you will find it difficult not to walk away owning one of their timeless pieces of haute couture.
Lydia Delgado has been in the fashion business for more than two decades, her designs have been shown on catwalks in Barcelona and Madrid, and she's managed to create a brand with a very personal style that is feminine, elegant, Parisian and with leanings toward the sobriety of black. Delgado shares a line with her daughter Miranda Makaroff, and their clothes hang together naturally in this sophisticated Gràcia boutique. Fun sweaters and finely knit jackets cohabitate with pleated skirts and cute sleeveless dresses that give a wink to the 1960s, elegant transparent tops and delicate gowns. Everything you need to create your own look, whether it's a bit serious or more adventurous.
Talent, determination, enthusiasm, tenacity, confidence ... These are some of the qualities you need to start and build an independent brand. Designer Isabel Vallecillo and Javier Blanco know all about it and have managed to turn Colmillo de Morsa into a cult brand. They've shown their work three times during Madrid Fashion Week, won a competition in the prestigious Parisian fair Who's Next, and opened outlets in Moscow and Taipei. But what's taking them to the top of the class nowis their studio-showroom-shop they've opened in Gràcia, a space that's also open to a stunning pool of young designers, with whom they share tastes, curiosities and a particular way of living and seeing fashion. In record time, they have managed to bring together an interesting batch of designers of clothes, accessories, jewellery and shoes.
The Born is where Carola Alexandre and Alba Neddermann have set up this small but exquisite shop where they sell their label, Alexandre Neddermann, defined by the use of vintage fabrics and retro-inspired silhouettes. But Ivori also has room for other labels and designers the pair are related with, such as Maria Roch, Borne by Elise Berger, Mus&Roew shoes, and Lubochka handbags, among others.
Iriarte Iriarte is the line of handbags by Carolina Iriarte, an Argentinean with a degree in Fine Arts who traded in her shoes for handbags. The long journey from the moment of inspiration to the finished product of a designer leather bag all happens right here in the loft of this white, stark space.
Maria Roch and Anaid Cano share RooM, a well-kitted-out space where you'll find silk clothing from Roch and shoes by Cano, under the label Anaid Kupuri. For autumn 2013, Cano has created Women & Horses, a collectionof shoes that features bold colours, wooden heels and wedges, and playful designs in leather and fur.
The jewellery shop owned by sculptor Daniel Bellido and architect Marta S. Blanco, Koetània, specialises in tailor-made pieces. A stone, a bit of glass, your granny's pendant and even a word game – anything goes as an ingredient to create a new story in jewellery. They're also big on creating wedding rings that are far from conventional.Marta and Daniel's interest in contemporary jewellery has also turned Koetània into a meeting point for some 20 designers with different languages and styles, where they can create and produce one-of-a-kind, experimental and artisanal pieces. Among them are Pilar Coter's works in porcelain, re-created tree sections from Dalia Jurado, Amalia Rojo's minimalist geometries, and Lluís Duran's jewellery with modernist influences.What also makes the shop on C/Blai stand out is the space itself, with the glass wall that lets customers see all that's going on and brings back a more direct contact between designer and client.
There are bags for seasons, and there are bags for life. Those at Pinza't are for life. They're made with recycled materials from lorries, including old seatbelts and their buckles, and are hand painted by urban artists with a dye of their own creation that never fades. So says Pinza't's Samuel Nualart. The bags are practically bomb-proof, ideal for urbanites hauling their iStuff all around town – they're all waterproof and come with double stitching and sealed zips.The shop's catalogue is brief: 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. Art is also part of Pinza't, with these singular works painted by the likes of Zosen, Ovni, OA, Sensible... Nualart swears you'll never want to cast off one of these creations. But be warned: once you've become a fan, you'll be hooked.
The osleñas, as the creative team of the Oslo project call themselves, run this space that features the work of some 40-odd artists and artisans in Gràcia. This is not your typical shop but a place of refuge for those who want to introduce themselves to the DIY lifestyle. Throughout the year they put out monographs (books specialising in one subject), so keep an eye out.
BD Barcelona, formerly known as BD Ediciones de Diseño, was born in the 1970s as the love child of architects and designers Pep Bonet, Lluís Clotet, Cristian Cirici, Mireia Riera, Oscar Tusquets and Oriol Regàs. The company is alive and well in their Poblenou showroom, where they exhibit pieces that have been reproduced from plans of well-known designers and artists, such as furniture by Gaudí and Dalí, Tusquets chair and pieces from Jaime Hayón and Martí Guixé, among other contemporary designers.
Furniture and home decor
To find the origins of Amato Sole you have to go searching in the Raval, in a space that was somewhere between a creative laboratory and an underground art gallery. Annamaria Amato and Ramón Solé passed on a lot of verbs there: design, recycle, transform and exploit. Instead they found a balance in just two: restore and create. Wooden chairs with an iron armchair fill a need. They didn't know much about upholstery, but iron dominated. Playing around with improvisation, invention and economisation, their own unique style began to take shape. And the recovery of objects (or pieces of them) to create others did the rest. Their passion for wood is a given.
Antique cups and plates, piano keys, a bicycle fender ... You can make a lamp out of anything, according to Imanol Ossa, and he should know: Ossa creates designer lamps with objects he's found here and there. Get over to the Raval to discover these irresistible pieces.
Made in Italy, but designed in Barcelona designed with aesthetics, geometry and image at the forefront. This is the formula at Dosnoventa, the brand of fixie bikes created in 2010, which has filled its pockets with half the cycling world. It turns out they're irresistible; make an appointment and see for yourself.