Last week I was lucky enough to be invited on a 48 hour trip to Barcelona, one of my favourite European cities, to attend the opening of the Barcelona Designers Collective pop-up boutique, hosted at the luxury designer outlet, La Roca Village. Needless to say, I was super excited – especially going back to Barcelona, where I used to live for three years during my studies. This is only the second time I have been back since moving from the city in 2009, so I couldn’t wait to get back and spend some time in this very special place…
After checking into our hotel, spending a few hours in the city, having lunch at Cerveceria Catalana (one of my favourite tapas restaurants in the city) – we were ready to head up to La Roca Village, around 45 minutes outside the city centre.
The village itself is incredibly stunning and picturesque, with typically Spanish features, architecture and colours. We just had over an hour to walk around the village and explore (and shop), so we waste much time! As with everything when it comes to shopping, I am (luckily) pretty decisive, and due to the limited time we had before the evening event, I had already honed down which shops I wanted to explore (as one can easily stay here for a whole day, with over 130 boutiques!).
After spending far to long in Loewe and seriously contemplating several leather and cashmere purchases, I dashed over to French labels, Maje and Sandro – two of my favourite brands. Not surprisingly, I settled on three amazing pieces from Sandro… All in all, I was very happy with my purchases (but can´t wait to go back again and spend some more time here!).
Come evening, we headed to the official inauguration of the Barcelona Designers Collective, a collaboration between FAD (Fostering Arts and Design) and La Roca Village – hosted by Elena Foguet (Business Director at Value Retail Spain), Nani Marquina (chair of FAD) and Fern Mallis (the creator of New York Fashion Week). The goal of the Barcelona Designers’ Collective is to discover, promote, and support emerging talent. It was so interesting to listen to these inspiring women, who were discussing about the importance of self-publishing, creating an ‘own’ brand, nurturing and sustaining new designers, and creating opportunities such as this pop-up boutique to encourage new and emerging talent.
After the inauguration, we attended the reveal and official opening of the pop-up boutique, were we had first access to all the designs from a collective of 50 emerging and established talents from all different areas of design; fashion, graphic design, illustration, product design, art, craftwork and contemporary jewellery. The result? An exclusive display of unique, one-of-kind designs.
After admiring my Sandro purchases, which included the perfect pea coat, statement silk shirt and novelty sweat – I spent the next day exploring the city. With glorious sunshine, blue skies and a lovely temperature; it was the perfect day to walk around the city, reminisce through my old hoods, local hangs and areas…
Hanging around in the area of Grazia – where I used to study and live.
Shoe of my dreams from one of my favourite local Spanish brands, Uterqüe.
El Borne, a downtown favourite – I could spend hours walking around the small streets, with local boutiques, eateries and charm.
The food market, Mercado de La Boqueria, is always a must!
I was recommended this gem of a raw cafe, Flax & Kale, located in the vibrant area of El Raval – which was one of the food highlights! Cold-pressed green juice, raw vegan lasagne and raw superfood chocolate (I was in food heaven, in other words).
Short but sweet, it was so amazing to be back in Barcelona after so many years! I have had this indescribable connection with this city, ever since I was 18 and I visited for the first time… 12 years later, the love is just as strong.
A special thanks to La Roca Village for inviting me to Barcelona to cover the Barcelona Designers Collective event.