El Born has become a mecca for independent brands and boutiques in the last few years. Here are some of our favourites...
C/Antic de Sant Joan, 4
Munich is a beloved local brand of trainers boasting the made in Barcelona tag since 1939. Worn by everyone from hipsters to nerds alike, the distinctive X logo can be seen walking along nearly every street in the city. The brand started out by providing shoes for boxing and running, but has now branched out and makes all kinds of trainers for everyone, even baby trainers for those first steps. Casa Munich in El Born is their flagship store, showing off the best Munich designs like works of art, all just ready and waiting for someone to buy them and show them off around the streets of Barcelona.
C/ Rec, 22
Dolores Promesas (Hurtful promises in English) is the alter ego of this Spanish fashion brand's founder and brings her life lessons and vivacity to her collections, she even has her own manifesto which tells us to only ever cry happy tears and to take the steering wheel in life. The main collections are named Heaven, Hell, and Earth, offering a variety of designs from elegant evening dresses to fashion conscious day wear. With over 250 points of sale in Spain, Dolores Promesas has proved herself the go-to brand for fashion savvy women who want up to the minute designs with the best quality fabrics and fit.
C/ Comerç 17
This huge design showroom and shop in El Born boasts over 300m2 and two floors of the best creations by local and international young designers. Basing their manifesto on the ideas of ‘back to basics’ and collaboration, the studio and its store brings together a creative, young, fun collection of design pieces, from cardboard stag's heads to custom made neon signs. Featuring well-known and up coming designers such as Sheriff & Cherry, Woouf and Paco Rueda, the pieces put the fun and creativity back into the design world whilst being designs the owner can truly live with and make use of. The founder; architect and designer Lafede (Federica Sandretti) who is specialized in retail and lighting design, wants Studio Store not just to sell design pieces or act as a design studio for various projects but to really promote art and culture and so the space is not only used as a shop but for events, exhibitions and pop up boutiques. To put yourself in a creative mood or if you're looking for some design inspiration head to Studio Store.
For hundreds of years fashion designers have sought to express femininity and all it entails through their clothes and the beautiful dresses of Natalie Capell are no different. In her atelier in El Born, Natalie and her team seek to create dresses that show her interpretation on modern femininity; delicate but strong, comfortable yet still elegant, her creations show the different sides of a modern woman. The dresses are often beautifully embroidered and the designs are reminiscent of turn of the century Parisian fashions. Experimenting with fabrics, skills and different European traditions has led to two different lines; one, La Garde-Robe, offers a simpler aesthetic using clean lines and classic designs to create a more wearable garment. The other line feature the Unique Embroidered pieces, each one made by hand and taking 4 to 8 weeks to finish due the the intricacy of the work. Each Unique Embroidered piece comes with its own catalogue number and the date it was created in the atelier. If you are looking for something utterly unique then Natalie Capell's boutique is the perfect place.
C/ l'Esquirol, 5
El Born has attracted many young designers and Ariadna Guirado and Ernest Vidal from About Arianne are among the best. Their shoes are 100% Made in Spain with them being handmade in their workshop in La Rioja and designed right here in Barcelona. The age old skill of shoemaking is combined with modern, extremely fashionable designs showing that products made with techniques that haven't changed in centuries can still be relevant and completely on trend. The artisan nature of production means that each shoe has its own story, this process takes time, expertise and creates a final product that is unique and special. Ariadna and Ernest are often influenced by classic design but want to put their own spin on it, creating seasonal collections of which even the strictest fashionista would approve. This blend of old values and a contemporary, fresh outlook is quite like El Born itself, combining the past and present in one environment.