Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week kicks off with a record international participation

International Events

17 Apr 2024

Catalonia Trade & Investment International offices in London, Seoul, and Singapore have promoted the participation of UK and Southeast Asian buyers and facilitated the presence of Catalan bridal boutiques in flagship stores in these countries.

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week (BBFW) has started with a record-breaking number of international participants. In this edition, 436 British buyers are participating, representing a 24% increase in presence compared to last year (352). This consolidates the UK market as the largest foreign source of buyers, only surpassed by Italy.

The event starts today at Fira de Barcelona, which has become one of the leading bridal fairs internationally and expects to exceed 21,000 attendees and generate a business volume of over €61 million.

The presence of these strategic key buyers from the United Kingdom at the BBFW has been supported by the government through ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment - the agency for business competitiveness belonging to the Ministry for Business and Labour. The Catalonia Trade & Investment Office in London, along with the Seoul and Singapore offices, has been working to promote and attract international buyers' participation.

“BBFW 2024 is witnessing a remarkable growth both in the number of brands and the international profile of its exhibitor base, as well as in the number of visitors expected”

Albasarí Caro, Director of the Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week

Specifically, the Catalonia Trade & Investment Office in London has been working since 2019 to identify and attract British buyers attending the fair. As a result, UK participation has grown to become the second-largest source country with the highest representation at the BBFW.

Emulating Catalonia Trade & Investment's London Office's work, the Seoul and Singapore offices have also worked this year to promote the participation of Southeast Asian buyers in 2023. In this regard, up to 26 South Korean buyers and 10 more from Singapore will participate. According to agency calculations, in the 2023 edition alone, only the key Southeast Asian buyers placed orders worth €350,000.

In fact, according to Fira de Barcelona’s calculations, at the BBFW’s latest edition, British key buyers alone placed orders worth over €4 million. As a result of this growing interest from the UK market, Catalan firms such as Yolancris and Jesús Peiró have projected a gradual expansion into the Anglo-Saxon market with 10 new points of sale in British boutiques.

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week goes international

According to Albasarí Caro, Director of the Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, “BBFW 2024 is witnessing a remarkable growth both in the number of brands and the international profile of its exhibitor base, as well as in the number of visitors expected”. “In this regard”, said Albasarí Caro, “it will be one of the world’s most comprehensive and highest-level platforms in fashion trends for the coming season, even transcending the bridal industry”.

Maria Musgrove-Wethey, director of UK shop The Pantiles Bride, commented, "Barcelona Bridal is the most important event in many UK bridal boutiques' calendars. Catalan hospitality, the Fira’s perfect location, and the shows during the fair are a perfect combination for the sector".

Svetlana Kravchuk, responsible for London's Wedding Atelier shop, added that "thanks to ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment's work in connecting us with BBFW, the Barcelona Bridal Fashion event has become one of the most important ones for us, allowing us to closely follow the latest industry trends and making it a congress that brings added value to all parties involved".

Finally, Clare Thompson, director of The Wedding Club, explained that "the Barcelona trade fair is an example of how to bring together the best designers and boutiques in the sector under one roof, which makes networking easier for luxury firms".

The wedding industry, a growing sector

The wedding sector in Catalonia has been undergoing growth for several years. At the 2024 edition of Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, there will be 400 exhibitors from 35 different countries, including around 15 Catalan bridal designers. The main key buyers come from Italy, the UK, Spain, Germany, the United States, France, and China. According to the latest data from Idescat, there were 27,100 weddings in Catalonia in 2022, a 15% increase over the previous year and the highest figure since 2018.

Source: Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week and Catalonia Trade & Investment

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Oriol Vidal Bayés

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