Held twice a year, 080 Barcelona Fashion Week is the Catalan capital’s platform for introducing emerging Spanish designers to the world. The 22nd edition will be held at the spectacular Art Nouveau-style Sant Pau museum from 25 to 29 June this year, during which up-and-coming couturiers will compete to be named the show’s best emerging designer.
Barcelona-born Ester Ferrando learned how to knit and crochet from her mother and grandmother at a young age. After many years in the fashion business, she finally launched her own knitwear-focused clothing line for men and women in 2012. Using exquisite natural materials like Egyptian cotton, alpaca wool and cashmere, she challenges preconceived notions about the limits of the humble knitting needle. Ferrando’s recent collections include a jewel-tone knit-panel cocktail dress trimmed with tulle; a waffle-knit mini dress finished with multiple silk kimono panels; and a shimmering, Viking-inspired sleeveless crêpe cardigan.
This ethically minded women’s clothing brand was only launched a few years ago, but it has already made a name for itself on the Catalan fashion scene. Its sportswear, prêt-à-porter apparel and accessories are handmade in small Barcelona ateliers using mostly sustainable, recycled and organic fabrics sourced from ethical European suppliers. Founder Adrià Machado designs with the strong and contemporary woman in mind, and strives to create minimalist garments inspired by nature. The result is on-trend collections, but with a timeless aesthetic.
Seville-based designer Jaime Álvarez recently turned the final project for his fashion design degree into his first major runway show at the 21st edition of 080 Barcelona Fashion Week. The tailored collection of pinstriped blazers and sporty shorts, which was titled “Make America Great Again”, poked fun at the Trump administration and played with private school uniform tropes. It’s safe to say he scored an A, as the collection earned him the title of best emerging designer. Álvarez says that his ultimate fashion fantasy would be to dress James Dean; indeed, his creations channel the legendary actor’s understated masculinity and smouldering charisma.
Although this will be Xevi Fernández’s first 080 Barcelona Fashion Week, he has already won prizes in Berlin and Bilbao for his designs. Growing up in a village on the Costa Brava, he spent his afternoons surrounded by piles of fabric, spools of thread and buttons in the family haberdashery. He later studied pattern-making and made his catwalk debut in Madrid in 2016. His handmade haute couture collections feature futuristic fantasy looks and playful pastels – think candy-coloured latex bodysuits, cropped metallic vests and transparent collared shirts in duck-egg-hued silk georgette. Fernandez creates bespoke designs in his atelier in Barcelona but will begin distributing his clothes internationally soon; he also has plans to collaborate with a yet-unnamed footwear brand.