Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week will be the centre of attention for the world’s bridal fashion market between 25 and 30 April, with the twenty-seventh edition of the event in Hall 2 of Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via exhibition centre. With catwalk shows by 25 leading firms, more than 300 brands, 65% of them international, over 800 key buyers from 70 countries and the presence of international fashion stars such as Ángel Sánchez and Galia Lahav, the show is set to host its most international-ever edition.
The BBFW catwalk will be the main scenario for the new designs of 25 leading national and international firms, which will be presenting their 2018 collections of wedding dresses and accessories, grooms’ attire and ceremonial wear to influencers, buyers and the media from all over the world. Rosa Clará will open the fashion shows on 25 April, followed through to 28 April by Studio St Patrick, of the Pronovias Fashion Group, making its world debut at BBFW; Jesús Peiró; Cristina Tamborero; Sophie et Voilà Collection; YolanCris; Isabel Sanchís; Inmaculada García; Ángel Sánchez; Marylise & Rembo Styling; Isabel Zapardiez; Ana Torres; Raimon Bundó, celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary; Jordi Dalmau and Matilde Cano; Marco & María; Cabotine by Gema Nicolás; Galia Lahav; Cymbeline; Ramón Sanjurjo; Carla Ruiz; Sonia Peña; and Morilee Madeline Gardner and Demetrios, two North American firms showing at BBFW for the first time. On the evening of Friday 28 April, Pronovias will bring this year’s catwalk shows to a close.
International business at the trade fair
The trade fair will coincide with the catwalk when it opens on 28 April and run until 30 April. The trade fair this year will feature more than 300 brands, 78 of which are taking part for the first time. International brands represent 65% of the total, from 25 different countries, primarily the United Kingdom, USA, Italy and France. This is the biggest percentage and also the largest number of international firms in the show’s 27-year history. In the last three years, BBFW has recorded a 13% increase in the number of firms, and this year the numbers are up by 15% compared to 2916.
Notable names taking part in the show, as well as those appearing on the catwalk, are the Italian designers Alessandra Rinaudo, Nicole Spose, Pat Maseda and Cleofe Finati; US firms Justin Alexander, Morilee, Demetrios, Allure, Maggie Sottero and Sachin & Babi; David Fielden, Charlie Brear and Ellis from the UK; Marylise, from Belgium; Leila Hafzi, from Norway; Reha Costa and Ersa Atelier, from Romania; and Greek firm Atelier Zolotas, amongst many more. Even Randy Fenoli, the famous US television presenter from the programme ‘Say Yes to the Dress’, will be exhibiting his own line of bridal dresses at the show.
Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, organised by Fira de Barcelona, will also welcome more than 18,000 visitors and 800 key buyers – double the numbers of 2016 – who have been contacted directly by the organisers. These key buyers come from 70 countries, mainly the USA and Europe, joined this year by Latin America and Asia, especially Mexico and Japan. Buyers who have confirmed their attendance include Bergdorf Goodman, the legendary fashion store (and flagship of the chain of the same name) from New York’s Fifth Avenue, founded in 1899; the iconic Neiman Marcus, with 19 establishments in the USA; Kleinfields – the set of the reality show ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ – and Japanese retailers Hatuasko Ento and Matsuo International, two real magnets for Japanese brides looking for top quality Western-style dresses.
Barcelona Bridal Night
Among the major companies presenting their collections this year is Ángel Sánchez, the famous New York-based Venezuelan-born designer who is a favourite of celebrities like Beyoncé, Meryl Streep, Eva Longoria, Salma Hayek and Giselle Bündchen. Sánchez will be presenting his creations to the backdrop of Barcelona Bridal Night, the show’s gala evening that takes place on Wednesday 26 April in Pedralbes Palace. There will be plenty more activities, such as the soirée offered by Rabat – the official jeweller for BBFW – at their premises at Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona, which will star the famous Israeli designer, Galia Lahav. Meanwhile, the main entrance of the Gran Via venue will be taken over by Hola magazine which, in collaboration with BBFW, will be setting up an exhibition of some of its most iconic front covers featuring portraits of celebrities over the last few decades on their wedding day.
‘The atmosphere at BBFW 2017 will be more cosmopolitan than ever’, says Estermaria Laruccia, the show’s director. ‘The attendance of the leading Spanish and international firms put BBFW on the world’s ‘front row’ of events in its sector, so the objective of this edition is none other than to continue our process of internationalisation to consolidate BBFW as the hub of the international bridal fashion business and turn Barcelona into the world’s bridal capital, strengthening the international expansion strategies of the brands that take part in the show.’
From the results of the study ‘Millennial Brides, Born in the 1980s, Getting Married Today’, commissioned by the show in 2016 to IESE Business School professor José Luis Nueno (an expert in the fashion industry with a PhD in Business Administration from Harvard), it transpires that the bridal sector in Spain posted a turnover of around 1,300 million euros, representing 12.9% of the textile sector as a whole. The sector has a network of 700 companies, provides employment for more than 6,000 people, produces 755,000 wedding dresses every year and is the only Western country whose production exceeds domestic demand. Indeed, Spain is the world’s second exporter after China. In this respect, Catalonia accounts for 41.6% of the total. Thanks to the internationalisation strategy of the sector’s biggest brands, exports account for 40% of the turnover in made-in-Spain wedding dresses. According to data for last year, provided by the Textile and Clothing Information Centre (CITYC), Spanish exports of bridal fashions (w
hich include wedding dresses, grooms’ attire, party wear, accessories, etc.) increased by 11% in 2016 compared to 2015. Meanwhile, the huge impact of the digital revolution on the retail channel is set to be one of the major challenges facing the sector.
Barcelona, April 2017
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