Throughout its history, the Catalonia region in northeastern Spain has become synonymous with some world-renowned artists–from Joan Miró to Antoni Gaudí, Salvador Dalí, and Antoni Tapies. Because of the region's revered but progressive art history culture, it's no wonder that Barcelona, its capital city, has become a hotbed for the arts. The Spanish fashion community, in particular, has grown immensely, with Barcelona-based cult brands and it-girls inundating our Instagram feeds while influencing the fashion industry at large.
“In Barcelona, entrepreneurship is booming and it’s increasingly more common to hear that people are creating their own brands,” explains Gabriela Comella of Barcelona-based brand, Gabriel for Sach. “It’s mostly independent designers who maintain local production processes, which is very well-valued here. This makes you more faithful to your company and your origins, and it generates a personality that is quickly embraced by the fashion world.”
This emphasis on locality and small-scale production also adds an element of fair trade and sustainability to the backbone of the Barcelona fashion scene. But what most defines the city’s fashion community is its individuality and departure from industry norms and trends. This new crop of Spanish fashion designers is unphased by what’s already been done in fashion; they are focused on the looks consumers need in their wardrobes. What does a girl really want to wear? It’s this design mentality that has onlookers wondering, “Where’d she get that?” upon witnessing a covetable ensemble from a Barcelona-based brand.
Below we rounded up the coolest Spanish fashion designers to check out right now, so you'll know exactly where to look to sartorially embrace the creative energy of Barcelona.
Gabriela Comella's Gabriel for Sach is a line of covetable bags and accessories donned by it girls like fellow Barcelona-based Blanca Miró, as well as Olivia Lopez and Bella Thomas. The Spanish fashion designer is inspired by the diversity of her city: from the mountains to the ocean, to the architecture and the art, it provides her the perfect backdrop for creation and expression. Focused primarily on quality, all Gabriel for Sach accessories are manufactured by artisans in professionally staffed studios in Barcelona. Comella fuses her love for geometrics with practicality, ensuring a line that is as edgy as it is timeless.
“Above all, functionality and practicality is what’s important in Barcelona," says Comella of her creative approach. "Here, we are quite versatile. We don’t differentiate our way of dressing so much according to social circumstances or events. So with my bags I try to be versatile, that is, you can use them in various situations, both to go to work but with a chic point of view that allows you to take it to the dinner you have that night.” Shop the collection here.
Gimaguas is the brainchild of stylish twins Sayana and Claudia Durany. The Spanish fashion design duo founded the brand based on their mutual love for travel and cultural handicrafts. The result? A stylish and super covet-worthy line of limited goods best worn during dreamy barefoot travels in untapped locales. They source their collections while traveling: handicrafts from India, Peru, Colombia, and other exotic isles are some of their chosen few, yet their collection still feels unabashedly them as they give each line its own cohesive spin. Both sisters identify as citizens of the world, and view Barcelona as a melting pot for international emerging artists in not only fashion, but in architecture, music, and art.
“This influence and motivation has inspired many to create small niche brands and people to actually follow and support them,” the Durany sisters add, which explains why their brand has such a global appeal. “There are cool things going on right now in Barcelona, such as Abstract talk, which are monthly artists talks in different galleries around the city. Also Hotel Weekend or Vasquiat and some of their pop ups….[And] Llum Bcn, which are light installations all over the Poble Nou area during February.” Shop the collection here.
There are few people cooler in fashion right now than Blanca Miró, owner of members-only e-commerce platform Vasquiat and co-founder of fashion line La Veste, which she designs with Maria de la Orden. While La Veste directly translates to blazer, the brand has evolved into much more than quirky outerwear. The Spanish fashion designer and veritable it-girl describes the brand as “new vintage,” drawing inspiration from whimsy vintage styles. From picnic hats to graphic pants, La Veste is the ultimate brand for girls with eclectic souls.
“I think we’re living a good moment in Barcelona,” says Miró. “I was waiting for it because it’s a beautiful city with a lot of talented people designing and creative in so many ways.” Barcelona’s creative and cultural immersion can be best digested in neighborhoods like the Gothic Quarter and El Born, she says. Shop the collection here.
Spanish fashion designer Paloma Lanna's now cult-brand, Paloma Wool, is a multidisciplinary project inspired by the process of getting dressed. The line is wearable, graphic, and crafted in collaboration with local artists and photographers. As Lanna makes her own rules, she has become a pioneer in the Barcelona fashion community. Her line is produced locally and doesn’t succumb to the seasonal fashion calendar–instead, she drops capsules on her own time, which adds to the brand's general excitement, rawness, and novelty. As for where Lanna gets her inspiration? “My biggest influence is my circle of friends and the community here," she says. "There is so much artistic diversity and young people doing things that precede our generation's values. I admire that so much.” Shop the collection here.
The city of Barcelona is known for its colorful geometry–be it in architecture or art. The same can be said about jewelry when it comes to Levens Jewels. Former actress Mar del Hoyo creates her collection of ceramic jewels out of her Barcelona studio, reimagining an important Catalonia trade typically used for home goods as a material beautiful enough to wear. Shop the Spanish designer's game-changing collection here.
Xevi Fernandez is not your usual slow fashion brand. The Spanish fashion designer’s well-tailored and highly textural wares feature patent trenches and metallic suiting, which gives the collections a modern sophistication that still feels stylistically very Barcelona. The pieces excuse a wearable ease that will be sure to shake up the contemporary fashion market. Shop the collection here.
About Arianne’s key philosophy is about combining design and comfort while supporting local craftsmanship, with all shoes made at their local studio in Poblenou, Barcelona. By focusing on quality Spanish materials and leathers, the brand's collection is a thoughtful and stylish assortment of shoes for women on the go in Barcelona and beyond. Shop the collection here.