Girona's fashion designers allow local people to dress fashionably without the need for large corporations or Asian production. Some of them are small family businesses that design, cut and sew fabric, inviting you to find a more authentic, personal style than what is dictated by 'mainstream' fashion magazines. Others are world-famous but design and manufacture their clothing right in Girona — sometimes even getting you a lower price!
Many of these collections are inspired by the Costa Brava light and its way of life, but what's most important about them is that with every piece of locally made clothing that goes into your wardrobe, you're helping to ensure regional job security and reducing the ecological footprint of an industry that's a huge source of pollution. Acting with consciousness has never been so chic.
Many Girona residents remember the mythical Partisano in Plaça de l'Oli, one of the city's landmarks of the ska movement during the '90s. And they were overjoyed when, in 2015, a new Partisano opened, situated just 50 metres from the original venue but with an up-to-date remit. The way music is sold has changed irrevocably but at Partisano you'll still find the most savage protest T-shirts, not only because of their anarchist and feminist slogans but because Partisano has taken on the power of the Asian textile industry to create pieces woven and cut in Catalonia, illustrated by local artists and printed in their workshops in Celrà. In terms of must-have products, we suggest the T-shirts with the feminist phrases of activist Angela Davis and an all-in-one for republican babies. You should also check out the official T-shirts of Valencian band Obrint Pas and the merchandise from St. Pauli, a football team from Hamburg (Germany), which is generally agreed to be pretty bad but is known for having a lot of moral strength and for being a symbol of the working-class struggle and the anti-racism movement.
The name doesn't lie: this is an authentic 'maison' of design and production, and all the pieces are sewn by Marina herself. In this small, welcoming shop in the centre of Girona, you'll only find very limited edition clothes, all extremely feminine and personal and which make seasonal trends their own, as designed by Marina and her daughter Patricia. The price of these almost-unique dresses, which can be adapted to the shape and preferences of each client, rarely go above €150. If you need yet more reasons to go to this amazing atelier, you should know that all the materials used are of Catalan or Italian production: mother and daughter travel each year to Prato, the temple of Tuscan textiles where hundreds of small family businesses fight tooth and nail against globalisation with pride in what they make themselves, to buy the best they can find. And they are very aware of lineage: originally from Medellín (Colombia), Patricia is the third generation of dressmakers in her family. She dresses clients aged between 2 and 85, and nowhere will you find better sewn zips!
The Catalan swimsuit and bikini label, Red Point, designs and manufactures all its pieces in nearby Llagostera, and has its own shop in S'Agaró that's only open between Easter and the end of the summer. We like their comfortable and fashionable designs made using indestructible materials. They also do towels, long blouses, scarves and light cotton pyjamas for men and women that will make you the most chic in your Costa Brava hotel. The price of their designs might be higher than the high-street chains, but we never tire of reminding people that when you buy local products, you're helping the local economy and community.
Jewellery designer Nausica Masó is the granddaughter of Girona architect Rafael Masó (1880-1935), and her work is strongly influenced by the modernist movement of which Masó was a key member. In her creations, which she makes using either new precious metals or recycled ones brought by clients, we can easily see the duality of a style that is halfway between the organic and the search for rational balance. Having said that, as well as various geometric pieces that have clear architectural inspiration, there are others that tend towards ethnic styles and still others directly inspired by the work of the famous architect. The stained glass featuring a fly and a hen, installed in the birth house of Masó on C/Ballesteries (it can be visited if you book in advance) are constant reference points in her pendants and earrings. Nausica never knew her grandfather, but she profoundly admires his work, and feels they're united by their respective work: Masó also designed jewellery for his wife.
This is a real secret only for the initiated. Yes, you can find outlets of the mythical 'espardenyes' (espadrilles) made by Castanyer at the Roca Village outlet centre (close to Granollers), and even on the brand's website, but nowhere else will you find the bargains that appear, from time to time, in this shop. Display items, leftover stock that's been heavily marked down and models from a few seasons back are what you'll find there. The store is located close to the church of Santa Maria, a little out of the way but still in the lively commercial zone of Banyoles, and very close to the unusual Museu Darder. It's paradise for all lovers of sophisticated shoes who can't always afford the full-price items and are interested in buying locally made goods.
Two young designers gave up everything to embark on an adventure that, from Figueres, has arrived as far as Japan. Imma and Xènia are Rita Row, a female character who dresses in a very urban style, halfway between vintage and naïf, without losing sight of the practical and sexy characteristics of the Mediterranean woman. They sell online and in shops across Europe as well as in Japan, but they also offer the possibility of visiting their workshop for private sales, a glamourous option that, let's be honest, not all the high-street chains have available. Send them an email, go with friends and enjoy the exclusivity.
A year ago, Jone and Edurne – a mother with 25 years of experience in dressmaking and daughter who has academic training in fashion – launched themselves out onto the road, literally, on board a caravan from where they sold clothes that they'd designed and put together themselves. Now, the project has moved onto the next stage in the shape of a shop-workshop, where they make and distribute their own take on sustainable fashion: designs made using surplus from material from Catalan textile companies. The clothes from 6970 respond to the needs of women who, with the passing of time, have seen their figure change but don't want to dress in dull or conservative clothes. The pieces from 6970 are fluid, and the cut generous: in the mass market, clothes tend to be small because the producers use less material as a way to save money. The seamstresses assure us that there is a numbers (6970) game behind this, that they'll happily explain to you when you visit their shop.
In 2011, Greta was born and the life of her mother, Montse Pou, did a 180-degree turn: she left her job and, between nappies and bottles, made a start on fulfilling her dream of becoming a fashion designer. Three years later and Delicada Greta is a reality. A clothes label with a retro, indie style that's inspired by the personalities of two very important women in the life of Montse: her grandmothers Nita and Cinta. The shop, located in the pretty heart of Girona, looks like it's come straight from Pinterest.