Ester Maria Laruccia, Director of Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week
1. Why should American buyers attend Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week?
BBFW is the leading international event for brands and designers from all over the world to have the opportunity to present their collections. Due to their location, the European market has the biggest representation at BBFW. The quality and design of European bridal fashion is undoubtedly a major focus of attention for American buyers who seek these values and who want to introduce them into the U.S. market. They also look for new and fresh offerings that preserve the long couture tradition held by many European countries.
2. The American market is gigantic. How does your market see the American bridal customer?
The large U.S. market brings a great deal of business opportunities - that’s what makes it so attractive - along with the importance its culture gives to the ceremony and the wedding and economic resources invested within. Additionally, the market is a major trend amplifier. Having a presence in the U.S. market allows for greater recognition in Latin America and Asia, whose markets are just as big (even more so) than the U.S. market.
3. Many small American retailers do not have large budgets or have already completed their buying for the season. Is there a reason they should shop Barcelona?
American retailers should come to Barcelona not only for business, but also to witness the trends of the future - both product and business trends. Aside from the U.S. trends, many European and non-European companies do not showcase their collections in the U.S., and this yearBBFW has more than 350 brands and more than 25,000 dresses that will be presented throughout the week. We plan to discuss concepts related to the digitalization of the point of sale, which is now a reality in other sectors of the fashion industry. Being informed and up-to-date on these trends allows one to make the best purchases regardless of where their purchase is made.
4. How are the exhibitors at your show equipped to accommodate the American bridal market?
With our established presence of quality and design, many of our brands and designers have been exporting their products to different markets for years and are willing to adapt their styles to attract more U.S. buyers. We're certainly ready to take business to the United States.
5. What are your goals and objectives for your bridal brands?
Our goal for all our brands and designers is for them to achieve overall success, while also gardening great success in their business objectives and brand positioning. As an international platform, we want to offer the maximum visibility to each brand at BBFW, in order for their style, message and designs to reach their clients.
6. What kinds of marketing and advertising do you do to support your shows?
The marketing and advertising campaigns are held in different key markets through the most relevant media, social networks, bloggers and influencers. The catwalk shows are also a powerful marketing and communication tool. Because today's quality of production is so great, media and influencers in attendance, along with analysts and thousands of people who follow our shows online, stream from more than 120 countries.
7. For exhibitors, what is the opportunity for them to participate in Barcelona?
As previously stated, brands need to be present where trends are presented to a wide qualitative audience. Both buyers and media are needed to boost sales and build up their brand image.
8. What is the sentiment for American products, given the current political climate? Do you think that American brands will be embraced at the show?
BBFW is a fashion event open to the world and functions as a sender and receiver of trends, messages and impulses that move the bridal fashion market. We consider fashion as a cultural phenomenon. Fashion is art and art is a universal language - common among all human beings regardless f their nationality. Ultimately, creativity knows no borders.
9. How many exhibitors do you expect to show in Barcelona?
We will have more than 360 brands, 67% of which are international and coming from 28 different countries.
10. How many American exhibitors do you expect at your show?
More than 30 brands from the U.S. have confirmed their attendance thus far. Reem Acra is presenting her bridal collection for the first time on a European catwalk and we are so happy that she has chosen BBFW to present her brand. More American brands participating include Allure, Amsale, Badgley Mischka, Demetrios, Jovani, Justin Alexander, Maggie Sottero, Mon Cheri, Morilee, Nina Shoes, Theia, Watters and more!
11. How many American buyers do you expect at your show?
In the past three editions of our show, the presence of American buyers has grown exponentially with buyers from Bergdorf Goodman, BHLDN, Kleinfield, Mark Ingram, Neiman Marcus, Panache and more - many of whom are planning to return this year. New buyers for this year including LOHO, Saks Fifth Avenue and Stanley Korshak. We are confident that more than 100 buyers from the U.S will be in attendance.
12. Who are the top five brands showing in Barcelona?
It's difficult to make this kind of selection as it depends greatly on the criteria chosen: Sales, creativity and design. We have well-established brands, along with fresh new brands that will surely surprise guests.
13. Do you think American buyers will come in for the runways and then stay for the show?
Multi-branded stores are offering a great selection of brands this year will most definitely be with us for a big part of bridal fashion week. Aside from the great shows being organized by Pronovias, we plan to surprise you this year with a wider calendar of shows and events throughout the week. We look forward to welcoming all U.S. visitors to Barcelona.