The traditional importance of textiles is reflected in Barcelona's drive to become a major fashion centre. There have been many attempts to launch Barcelona as a fashion capital, notably Gaudi Home. The Brandery, an urban fashion show, is held in Barcelona twice a year. Barcelona is the seventh most important fashion capital in the world.
Thus, Barcelona has become a straightforward “shopping destination” for millions of international visitors, developing a shopping-related image, various specialised “fashion clusters” for different market targets, and a number of fashion-related events attracting both professionals and a dedicated general audience, like the 080 Barcelona and Bread & Butter. Barcelona’s liberal and leisure-related image can be easily associated with fashion, so if the national capital Madrid retains its role of business capital of the country even in relation to fashion, Barcelona could be considered the emergent “catwalk” of the Mediterranean, challenging other fashion capitals of Europe like Milan and Paris.
The Catalan flair for beauty, which has evolved into an unique style, is evident all over Barcelona. Once the most powerful city in the Mediterranean, Barcelona suffered the regime of General Francisco Franco in the 1970s and had to overcome governmental attempts to erase the Catalan language and culture altogether. The city has only been experiencing cultural independence over the last few decades, nevertheless, Barcelona is currently a lively metropolis flourishing with bilingual signposts, newspapers and TV programmes. It has reclaimed its individuality and charm, all the while displaying traces of its difficult history.
The name Balenciaga has become a definition of timeless, classic elegance, synonymous with the exquisite beauty and rigorous perfectionism that his designs exemplified within the realm of twentieth-century haute couture. He is often credited with having elevated fashion to the level of a refined art. His life and dictums of style are a fascinating study in contrasts, an interplay of nostalgic Spanish themes and provocative innovations, which he synthesized and transformed with the consummate skill and brio of a masterful precision tailor. He created a distinctive vocabulary of calibrated shapes in somber blacks and earth tones offset by vibrant color choices and theatrical, often surprisingly playful flourishes, all evocative of his Iberian heritage and homeland, and expressive of a rare creative talent.
For Gaultier, the award represents how the business of fashion has evolved since he first began in the '70s. "Now the times are different and helping young designers is important." That assistance came last fall in the form of a lavish three-day event in Barcelona involving five-star hotels, celebrities such as Mango ambassador Scarlett Johansson and the international fashion elite. "I wonder if a prize like this would have been good for me or not," mused Gaultier on the grandeur of the contest, which included a sidewalk installation down tony Passeig de Gracia (Barcelona's version of Madison Avenue) of huge Plexiglas boxes displaying the competing designers' work. For the selected group of contestants -- an accomplished, globe-spanning mix that included London-based Canadian Jean-Pierre Braganza -- the competition offered a chance to build their business.
The emergence of new economic power holders in industrializing Barcelona and the subsequent coalescence of these families with aristocratic rentiers in the 20th century city entailed the meshing of complex processes of social identification, culture and control. Now wealth from expanding realms of finance, industry and trade did not in itself constitute either a structure or a consciousness of unity among those who controlled it. Indeed, major urban families had long competed with each other for power, and internecine rivalries were intrinsic to business as well as social life.
This paper analyzes the way in which designers create and one of the most important protagonists of creativeness in the street: young urban tribes. In order to understand the link between both kinds of creator, it is not just cultural climates and atmospheres that are considered to be important. Beyond the fizzy metaphor, there is a suggestion that there is a pneuma (or spirit) that tribes help to create and which designers must know how to find their way through.
The "dress code" in Barcelona is casual. Jeans and T shirts are normal attire and you will be able to enter practically all but the very exclusive restaurants with casual wear. The only exception are "Sleeveless T' shirts" which you will have a few problems getting into Bars and clubs. Some of the more expensive night clubs insist on shoes (no trainers) and will also not allow Sleeveless T shirts.
A growing international acquaintance with Spanish foodways has enhanced the demand for certain Spanish foodstuffs and wines. Spanish leather goods, ceramics, and other crafts have a heightened and increasingly global market. Additionally, the consciousness of touristic interest even in remote regions (and not always with the help of professional promoters) has broadened local people's awareness of the interest in their own cultural heritage. Consequently, a variety of festivals and local products now enjoy expanded markets that often make real differences in local economies. The market for Spain's local and regional folk culture is not dependent just on international tourism; internal tourism, once reserved for the wealthy, is now promoted by television and the growth of automobile.
With 7.8% of the municipal budget allocated to culture and an expenditure of €94 per inhabitant, what we have in fact is a culture budget for a capital (Barcelona houses a number of cultural facilities and creative industries, such as publishing, audiovisuals, design, fashion, while making a great contribution to added cultural value), as well as for local communities (the density of culture in neighbourhoods and districts is vital to a cultural and social capital)...Nevertheless, despite the great impetus of the city’s cultural scene over the past
two decades, there are still some areas in need of greater efforts. These include: Creating a wider acceptance for the new creative industries (design, architecture, advertising, multimedia, fashion...)
Lots of designers from the area of street and urban wear present their brands from the most famous ones to the undiscovered young ones on the Bread and Butter Barcelona aka BBB. The international trade fair moved couple of years ago from its original city Berlin to Barcelona and WAMP’s beloved fashionevents appears on 21-23rd January in the Fira Barcelona Arena. The huge arena is shared out to different sections like Denim Base, Fashion Now, Sport &Sreet;, Sportswear and Urban Superior. BBB is a must for fashion victims and designers longing for inspiration.
Barcelona has been described as an “exemplar cultural city” with a pioneering approach to cultural planning and the development of creative quarters and as a “top model fighting on a global catwalk." The seemingly contrasting tones reveal frictions between past cultural development strategies and the capacity to embed such strengths in a solid social and economic foundation. The former have undoubtedly been very successful to regenerate a socially divided city and establish a cultural capital with few equals in Europe, but today they face the contradictions of post-modernity: the emergence of stereotyped landscapes under the pull of global
power coalitions, the conflict between community ambitions and the “staged” city of tourists, the
erosion of embedded local knowledge and social structures. Barcelona needs to make a scale jump in the world of fashion to overcome its lost primacy in textile production and reaffirm its brand, which is perfectly possible under the new conditions of the “glocal” economy; but it does so with blunt instruments, a narrowly designed top-down system of governance of the sector, a conception of industrial relations still geared on the old manufacturing model, and an excessive reliance on tourism as the catalyst for the sector, together with little care of the intangible factors which today attract and retrain the hyper-mobile talent.