How to Do Barcelona Like a Fashion Insider

Barcelona-based fashion designer Berta Cabestany, 2018
Barcelona-based fashion designer Berta Cabestany, 2018 | © Image courtesy of Berta Cabestany
Photo of Sarah Leigh Bannerman
Fashion Editor9 July 2018

After a year of living in London for work, fashion designer Berta Cabestany moved back to her hometown of Barcelona to launch her namesake label, which is influenced by her personal heritage and the vibrancy of the city. Culture Trip asks what she find so inspiring about the city and gets her top tips on what to do and where to go.

Culture Trip:
How does life in Barcelona differ to life in London?
Berta Cabestany: The atmosphere in Barcelona is partly what makes it such a great place to be – it’s relaxed in comparison to London and everything is only about 15 minutes away. It’s very cosmopolitan with a lot of modern architecture but it’s inspiring at the same time.

CT: What makes it the perfect city for your label?
BC: I feel happy in Barcelona, which means I work more efficiently. Everything is inspiring: the art, the food, the beach. My collections lend themselves well to life in the sun – I think I would be more reserved with colour if I was working from London, but that’s what makes my designs reflective of their heritage.

Berta Cabestany Resort 2018 collection, Barcelona | © Image courtesy of Berta Cabestany

CT: How would you describe the style in Barcelona?
BC: It’s effortless and casual just like the surroundings. I create oversized silhouettes that are well-suited to the heat and that feel comfortable but also look good.

CT: What three items should every fashion lover pack in their Barcelona suitcase?
BC: Sunglasses, a linen dress and a swimsuit – there aren’t many cities in the world that you get the option for a beach day on your doorstep as well so I’d definitely recommend making the most of it.

Cotton House Hotel in Barcelona | © rosn123/Shutterstock

CT: Where do you go for your morning coffee?
BC: Federal Café. The coffee is great and there’s an outdoor terrace if you’ve got the time to sit and ease yourself into the morning.

CT: What are your top 3 places to eat at in the city?
BC: Pez Vela under the W Hotel is right on the beach, Disfrutar, which means ‘enjoy’ in Spanish is also lovely – as you can imagine its really laidback. Tickets is a great tapas bar and La Balsa has leafy green interiors, which I love. That’s four, sorry. There are just too many to choose from!

CT: Where is your favourite spot to head to with your laptop?
BC: Cotton House is a stylish venue that you can chill at all day without feeling like you’re outstaying your welcome. I go there if I need to do a lot of admin.

The MNAC, Barcelona | © Mariamichelle/Pixabay

CT: Where are the best places for people watching?
BC: Historical sites and museums are a great place to sit and watch people go about their day. I love the Picasso museum and the Santa María del Mar cathedral because they attract all sorts of tourists and locals every single day. Casa Batlló, one of Gaudi’s buildings, is also a good place to stop for a while, as is the inside of the old catholic church, Sagrada Familia.

CT: Where can you find the best views of the city?
BC: The top of the MNAC museum is a great spot but if you want to enjoy the view while having dinner or a drink then I recommend Bellavista del Jardin in the city.

Seaside resort of Llafranc, Costa Brava | © Hans Geel/Shutterstock

CT: What are your favourite hidden fashion boutiques?
BC: NOTÉNOM is my favourite concept store and it stocks contemporary labels like Raf Simons and Moschino, but Els Encants is the city’s flea market and if you’ve got the patience to look through the stalls you can find some gems.

CT: Where do you go to unwind?
BC: Llafranc in the Costa Brava is simply beautiful.

Interested in learning more about Berta Cabestany? Check out more about her collections here.

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