Desigual (Barcelona, Spain)



Unlike Zara or Mango, Desigual was one of the Spanish brands I had completely forgotten about until I started strolling along the streets of Barcelona and noticed that every second passer-by seemed to be toting a Desigual shopping bag. And even though I don't mind any of their clothes or accessories, browsing their collection never really occurred to me, because I've always associated their colorful streetwear with something you'd wear to the beach or another summer destination. It didn't take me long to find one of their stores, so of course I popped in, just to see what the fuss was about.

Current Desigual campaign (images: Desigual).

Desigual was founded in 1984 by Thomas Meyer, a Swiss who based the company in Barcelona. The goal was to offer bold, original and good quality clothing at accessible prices. The original company philosophy 'we are not the same' is something that still holds true - I believe the current brand slogan is 'atypical Spanish wear since 1984'. These sentiments were mirrored in the store window - the first thing that caught my attention and made me want to enter the store. Displayed amidst a flock of white (wooden) sheep, stood a black sheep voicing "I'm not the same". In the background, a colorful Desigual handbag, among a display of simple white purses, was telling shoppers "you are not the same". Standing out from the crowd seems to be the key here, so what exactly would that entail?

Store window - how cute is that?

According to the current Desigual range, it's color. Lots and lots of it. Preferably patterned and combined with a unique tailoring or materials which can range from distressed linen to fine cotton. Details include everything from hand embroidery to funky buttons and graffiti print - one of the brand's signature looks. Of course colorful clothing is nothing new, especially in a season when Liberty prints, animal prints and tie-dye are making a huge comeback. What I quickly realized though, was that Desigual was very different and bold in the sense that you will find all kinds of vivid shapes and patterns... in one outfit. While most clothing brands will settle for a floral design on one dress and block colors on another, those who can't decide what they want should just get something from Desigual. The majority of their jackets featured a patchwork of different prints in various materials and colors. It was definitely a bit too much for someone like myself, who still favors black and grey when she can't decide what to wear, but for those who embrace patterns and color, it's probably a dream-come-true.


Of course not all clothing was that over the top. Once I started browsing, I did see the potential in a lot of the outfits... mainly those in more subdued shades. A black top (yes, they do stock the occasional black) with an asymmetrical hemline and interesting ruching on the side was something I almost walked out with. It did have some embroidery, but it would have been really easy to give it a rock-chick vibe. In fact, most of the dresses in muted greys or olive green were quite versatile and could have easily been mistaken for something from an avant-garde label.


Those who want something more 'Barcelona', i.e. fun and cheerful will not be disappointed either. I'm guessing this is the reason most tourists end up purchasing the colorful dresses and bags. The menswear range is worth looking at as well - like most menswear, the collection was slightly less trend-driven and more timeless casual, so if you like the style but prefer something less bold, I'd give this section a try.


The store design itself is unique as well. Unlike the bare and simple interiors you tend to find in most high street stores, this one was kept darker with ceiling spotlights that gave the impression of stars in a black sky. The idea of the Desigual stores was to resemble a traditional Spanish marketplace filled with contemporary goods, which explains why many of the items are laid out and very visible. For some reason the changing room area seemed to be illuminated by UV light, but I later found out that this building actually used to house a legendary concert hall called Sala Zeleste - the blue background with its glass bricks was a characteristic feature of the venue and has now been conceived as a 'backstage area' of the store. Graffiti adorned some of the walls and pillars throughout the shop area, but what I liked most was that you didn't have to fight your way through people or racks of clothing to look at the different pieces. The staff made a great effort to keep everything neat as well, so it was really easy to get an overview of where certain items were.


I believe Desigual has many locations throughout the world and is stocked in various department stores (check out their homepage to find one of the 3000 worldwide stockists). The first standalone U.S. store just opened in NYC recently so I'm guessing they plan on expanding more in that territory. While I never paid too much attention to them before, I'll probably start checking out their seasonal collections more frequently in the future. If you're like me and are wary of anything too bright and bold, have a look anyway. You'd be surprised at how wearable many of the items actually are.

Click on above images to purchase or see more.

Address: Carrer de l'Argenteria 65, 08003 Barcelona
Opening Hrs: Mon-Sat: 10:00-22:00

Desigual Homepage & Online Shop

33 comments:

  1. desigual is pretty impressive. i was in the store in london.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Honey,

    Thanks for sharing. I don't really know this brand, but until all of them promises the new one. Hungary haven't got Desigual boutique. I like combining designer bag and shoes with cheaper brand's items. I spend more on designer footwears and purses. Haha!

    Desgual window is really amazing. ;)

    XoXo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey gorgeous!
    Thanks so much for your birthday greetings and your best wishes!!! Not an easy day since my beloved sister couldn't be with us. She is missed always and yesterday made no exception of that.
    Wishing you a succesful and interesting week with fab finds!
    Feel very, very hugged!
    Bis kiss + much love, s.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had never heard of this brand before until now. I am pretty impressed with the dresses and coats on the last images. I can actually see myself buying some of their dresses to take on holiday.

    Oh, you are going to have such a great time in Cannes this summer! let me know if you need any info about the best hotels etc.

    Have a great week.
    Anna xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, yeah i've never heard of Desigual brand before this too.. Their collections are towards the cheerful side & i am definitely liking them very much :) i'm not sure, but i noticed Brazil & Spain's clothes designs are very much consist of bright and colorful elements. However, i am so sorry to say this but their showroom was not too impressive it seems, could have been better in my humble opinion.. Anyway, i have added their site into my web address organizer. i will be on the lookout for their brands online, if possible. Thank you so much for unleashing to us ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello to you...

    I probably love at the moment every post about Barcelona! Never went to this beautiful city before; me and my bgf´s plan since months a weekend trip and hopefully we will get it started in August ;)

    Love the shopping window!!!

    Have a joyful and sunny stay in Barcelona!!!

    Beautiful Blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. those clothes look so much fun! I love the ruffles... Have a great time in Barcelona!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Never heard of this label, thanks for the heads up Im liking what I am seeing!

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. eeep! i want to go! such gorgeous clothes!
    thank you so much for your comment love (:
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had never heard of this label before ~ what a fabulous name and shop! Your pics and review are fabulous, and the clothes look like fun!

    xoxox,
    CC

    ReplyDelete
  11. There's a Desigual store in soho and I never go in there because its just way too much color for me but the manner in which you've presented the store in this post has inspired me to at least go and check it out, with an open mind :-)
    xo!
    -Gisela
    www.heightsoffahsion.typepad.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love all of this!
    I like your blog too!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Between the brightly colored bags and the ruffles...I think I'm in love! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cath and I spent 4 months in Spain (only a few days in Barcelona)- and I'm so disappointed I missed desigual! The concepts (black sheep) of both the store and the clothing is very appealing. What a great review! Must buy ticket to Barcelona asap (sure NYC would be cheaper- but I think this has to happen in it's birth place ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. i think you had me convinced at ROCK CHICK! i was worried before that! but i do love their displays! cool find.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love those dresses in the campaign photos! I never saw that store in Barcelona when I went. It was my first time to Mngo (sp?) though and fell in love! It was before we got it her in the US. Love seeing your travels.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I haven't heard of this before! And one in NYC? How perfect, another reason I need to get back there!

    I love joining you on these adventures! so fun!

    XO

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hooray you posted I get to go on an adventure today! First I luv the window display it's adorable and secondly I have never heard of Desigual but now that I have I know where to buy colorful and patterned clothes! p.s. As I've gotten older I prefer grey and black as well!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi! thanks for your comment. I understand now my disapoiment with the film...My wrong expectations were because the name of the film... I love some desigual dress. kiss

    ReplyDelete
  20. Just a one thing more: cpuld you add me to your haute blogs? This is mine: http://inlovewith-fashion.blogspot.com/ Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are now in my international blog lis ;-) Thanks to add me in yours. Have a nice day you too! Kiss

    ReplyDelete
  22. Woah, that shop interior looks really cool!
    The clothes seem to be really fun aswell
    The shop front is pretty cool also!
    All and All It seems an awesome place. Not my style, but still awesome!

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  23. Gorgeous photos, darling! As always!

    FM~FP~AF

    ReplyDelete
  24. hey thanks for your comment, and i adore your blog as well (you have earned yourself a new follower hehe)!

    this post was sooo cute! i want all of those clothes + accessories. frankly, i want to be out of the US and have cute boutiques and designer labels at my fingertips (so jealous of you!)

    ReplyDelete
  25. You are doing my dream trip!
    Amazing store!
    I can't wait to see everything by myself next year :))))

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sigh. I love Barcelona and all your posts are just making me pine for it even more!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hmm so many Spanish chains have locations in Latin America, but I don't recall seeing a Desigual in Mexico City. Are they just located in Spain right now?

    ReplyDelete
  28. i wish i could have lights like the Desigual boutiques. it's a great portrayal! take me with you!! hahaaha

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have to admit I didn't like the clothes there and only entered the store out of the same reasons: everyone had a bag from that shop so of course I was curious! :)

    Nesli

    ReplyDelete
  30. it is really appreciable and beautifull ,the clothes and presentation is osim,
    they are good combo dresses

    ReplyDelete
  31. Have just discovered Desigual brand while shopping on ebay. Gorgeous stylish, funky clothes with vibrant colours to brighten up winter and summer!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Desigual is probably my favourite store since I love to be different. I don't believe in the idea that certain colours don't look good on certain people and I am very fair so if anyone wouldn't look good in certain colours it would be me?! I fell in love with it on my vacays to Europe. Great that London and NY have stores too and I've shopped in them too. hehe. In Canada, there are limited collections selling at some of the Bay (Dept store) stores. Its not enough though - Toronto really needs a Desigual store. On the other hand, I may not be so different if that happens! You just have to pick and choose with this brand as its not all wearable for everyone. I love this jacket I got recently in a Desigual store in Italy. I get stopped in the street when I wear this one!


    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=15157585&l=14ec892813&id=553525583

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=15157586&l=097efc854b&id=553525583

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=8172696&l=c095a42cd4&id=553525583

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi - i love desigual but nearest store is 3 hours away! I have used www.loveithaveit.com in the past. they also have some other colourful Spanish brands, similar to desigual, like Savage Culture.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate every comment, unless it's spam (which will be deleted) and hope you'll visit again soon.

You can now also follow Haute World on Twitter @haute_world!