Twice a year, the fashion pack descends on the colourful Catalan capital of Barcelona for a fashion week that encompasses womenswear, menswear, childrenswear and accessories, both on the catwalk and in the form of exhibitions and pop up stores. The 080 Award is an integral part of each season, providing essential exposure and support to the best of the region’s designers and brands.
This June, the catwalk was not limited to the beautiful buildings of the Recinte Modernista Sant Pau but kicked off with two swimwear shows at ‘Barcelona Fashion Beach’, allowing guests to view the swimwear collections in their true context. Swim and beachwear play a significant role in Catalonia’s clothing industry, so it’s no surprise that the MODACC Best Collection Award to Exporting Brands went to Red Point. Founded in 1982, the family-run brand focuses on quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail.
The Government of Catalonia Award for Best Collection went to Antonio Miro, who was also a joint recipient of this prize in January 2017. The luminous paintings of Sorolla provided the starting point for his collection El Mar, which featured pastel colours combined with cotton, rustic poplars, voile and linen in unstructured sheer dresses and draping suits.
Perhaps the highest profile of these awards, the Government of Catalonia’s National Prize for Emerging Design was sponsored by Desigual and decided by a panel of local and international press and industry experts, including Schön!’s own Fashion & Features Editor. Eight young designers and brands competed for this coveted prize but, for the second season in a row, Jaime Álvarez Pérez, whom Schön! spotted as an exciting new talent back in January, triumphed with his brand Mans Concept & Menswear. His SS19 collection took its cue from 1990s Berlin and “raves in broad daylight that went on for hours”; his muses part of “a street gang, a boys’ tribe” overcoming the hardships of their Soviet childhood and expressing their newfound freedom through dance, fashion and music.
The judges were also impressed by Xevi Fernández, whose fascination with fashion began with a childhood spent observing the clients in his family’s haberdashery business. He has already swept up the Young Talent Prize at Bread & Butter Berlin and Best Men’s Collection at Creamoda in Bilbao. The inspiration for his Fifteen Minutes Fame collection came from Andy Warhol’s Factory and the counterculture of the 1960s. Warhol covered the walls of his studio in silver paint, tin foil and broken mirrors and this is reflected in finely pleated silver jackets, jumpsuits and wide-legged trousers – shots of metallic in a sophisticated colour palette of mint, caramel, olive and navy.
Every year, 080 Barcelona Fashion also pays tribute to a Special International Guest. Past luminaries to have received this honour have included Manolo Blahnik, Iris Apfel and Angela Missoni. This time around it was the turn of former American Vogue editor André Leon Talley. Participants were treated to the European premiere of his documentary The Gospel According to André and a Q&A session where Talley talked frankly and animatedly about his “life in the chiffon trenches”. His first visit to the city left the fashion icon impressed by “the generosity and sophistication” of the people of Barcelona.
Generous and sophisticated are apt words to describe 080 Barcelona Fashion, where government and industry backing rewards creativity, whilst never losing sight of commercial viability. It’s a model that ensures the future of fashion in this sunny part of the world.
Don’t miss our backstage report on this season’s 080 catwalks.
All images courtesy of 080 Barcelona Fashion. For more information about 080 Barcelona Fashion click here.