BBFW rises global bridal fashion’s creativity and business to its highest expression

With a steady step, Barcelona declares itself the world’s bridal fashion capital. A leadership that will be proven once again from 19 to 23 April during the Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week (BBFW), a benchmark event for the industry’s major international brands, emerging talent and haute couture firms presenting their creations for the upcoming 2024 season. The catwalk, with the fashion shows of 34 designers and ELIE SAAB as protagonist, will anticipate the trends while the trade fair, with over 350 exhibiting brands, will boost business and commercial contacts with buyers and distributors from 90 countries.

Organised by Fira de Barcelona with the support of the Ministry of Business and Labour, BBFW encourages the sector to take a leap forward towards new markets and project creativity, innovation, and inclusivity to achieve a more sustainable and responsible fashion that meets the demands and tastes of new brides. Hence the slogan “Rise” with which it presents its catwalk this year, which will take place from 19 to 22 April, and its powerful trade fair, with 76% of international brands from 34 countries, open between 21 and 23 April in halls 1 and 2 of the Montjuïc venue.

The director of BBFW, Albasarí Caro, said: “our event breathes fashion, creativity, business and internationality thanks to the support of the bridal universe at a global level and the presence of major haute couture brands. We are the leaders, and we help the indusrty in its growth and evolution, gathering the latest trends and creating the right atmosphere to boost sales as buyers from all over the world visit us”.

Fashion shows
BBFW will kick off with the catwalk where 34 designers from 15 countries will be showing their new collections for 4 days. The new collections of national bridal leaders such as Jesús Peiró; Rosa Clarà; Atelier Pronovias; Nicole Milano; Isabel Sanchis; Sophie et Voilà; Yolancris; Marco & María; Ramón Sanjurjo; Ogadenia Couture, Pedro Palmas, Lucas Balboa, and Lorena Formoso will be showcased. On an international level, Cymbeline (France); Agnieszka Swiatly (Poland); Marylise & Rembo Styling and Carta Branca (Belgium); The Atelier Couture by Prof. Jimmy Choo (Malaysia); Julia Kontogruni (Bulgaria); Demetrios and Carlo Pignatelli (Italy); Modeca (Netherlands), Joli Poli (Vietnam); Wona Concept & Eva Lendel (Ukraine); Madeline (USA), Madam Burcu (Turkey) or Ines di Santo (Canada) will take the stage.

There will also be the chance to meet emerging talents who are bursting into bridal fashion with groundbreaking proposals that embrace new styles. This is the case of Andrea Lalanza, Lorena Panea, Mireia Balaguer, Poesie Sposa, Camilla Elena, More and Studio Serravalle.

In general terms, the brands are proposing increasingly handcrafted and personalised pieces with rich fabrics, embroidery, beading and high-quality embellishments, and many designs are inspired by nature, with floral motifs setting the trend.

To achieve greater impact and reach worldwide, the BBFW fashion shows will be streamed live and will also serve as a source of inspiration for future brides who will be able to see the collections live or recorded.

ELIE SAAB, protagonist
ELIE SAAB, the Lebanese haute couture brand favoured by stars on the red carpet and by European and Middle Eastern royals, will premiere its world’s first bridal collection exclusively in Barcelona. It will take place on April 19th during the Barcelona Bridal Night held at the Museu Marítim de Barcelona with national and international guests attending including professionals, designers, buyers, influencers, and media.

The Lebanese designer will present dresses of rich fabrics, delicate handmade lace, embroidery, and transparencies of intense tones, combined with designs of elegant sensuality that he creates in his ateliers in Paris, Beirut and London.

Commercial showcase
And from catwalk to business. The trade fair, which brings together more than 350 brands from 34 countries, will begin on 21 April. In addition to Spain -the world’s second largest exporter of bridal fashion-, USA, France, Italy, Poland, and the Netherlands are the countries that bring the most exhibiting firms to BBFW. Some 30% of the brands are participating for the first time in the fair, drawn by the event’s high level of attraction (70% of its visitors are international), and by its proven effectiveness in closing sales, as it is a global leader in the sector.

In addition, the presence of international haute couture brands that come to the show to present their bridal proposals to buyers and retailers has increased this year. BBFW has grouped them together in the Showroom space, which will feature ELIE SAAB, Stephane Rolland, Zuhair Murad, Tony Ward, Jenny Packham, and Inés di Santo.

Likewise, with the aim of boosting business opportunities for exhibiting brands, BBFW has directly invited strategic buyers and influencers from Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Holland, Portugal, the USA, China, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and Southeast Asia through various internationalisation programmes.

Bridal & Fashion Awards
This year BBFW is launching its own awards, the Barcelona Bridal & Fashion Awards, which will distinguish design, creativity, and excellence in the various areas of the bridal and ceremony fashion industry. A committee of experts will select the nominations and choose the winners who will receive their awards on the night of April 22nd during a gala held at the Montjuïc venue and hosted by model Judit Mascó. In addition to the best wedding dress; the best bridal, groom, party, and ceremony collections; and the best image campaign of the year, there will also be awards to the best emerging talent and the best career in the bridal industry.

Social value and sustainability
BBFW also takes a step forward in its commitment to create social value in the community and generate a positive impact on the environment. That is why this year it is collaborating with the Fundació Ared, which works with people at risk of social exclusion, and whose tailoring workshop has designed and manufactured the staff T-shirts and tote bags that will be given out as an exclusive welcome pack to buyers, influencers, and other guests.

Likewise, to reduce the environmental footprint of the event, the event will use recycled carpeting, and reuse materials and furniture from the catwalk and common areas or return them to the vendor to provide a second life for them; it will reduce single-use plastic in the catering areas; reduce the consumption of printed paper; the merchandising will be made of sustainable textiles; and to avoid food waste it will donate surplus food and drink to the NGO “Nutrició sense fronteras”, which will distribute them to social organisations.

Special collaborators
The excellence and exclusivity that BBFW breathes also comes from its sponsors. This is the case of the professional make-up brand Danessa Myricks Beauty, which increases its presence backstage as the official make-up of the catwalk, as well as the Australian firm with sustainable DNA for hair care, Kevin Murphy, which is once again the official hairdressing brand. For its part, the AIRE Ancient Bath experiential massage, ritual, and spa centres will be in charge of VIP MODELS, the space for the models to relax after the shows. Additionally, the Kimpton Vividora Barcelona, the luxury boutique hotel located in the Gothic quarter of the Catalan capital that will host the influencers and celebrities invited to this edition, will add a touch of distinction.

Barcelona, April 2023