The 2016 edition of Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week kicks off with the catwalk shows of 21 Spanish and international labels between 26 and 29 April in Hall 8 of Fira de Barcelona's Montjuïc exhibition centre in Barcelona. This is followed, from 29 April to 1 May, by the professional trade fair, featuring the creations of over 260 brands, half of them international, from 17 countries, especially the United Kingdom, the United States and France, filling the entire exhibition space with their collections of wedding dresses, grooms' attire, ceremony dresses and accessories for the 2017 season.
Rosa Clará kicks off the catwalk show which for four days will host the shows of a total of 21 firms, presenting not only bridal gowns but also evening wear and ceremony dresses. Among the designers who are only showing wedding dresses this year is Pronovias, which is responsible for closing this year's catwalk show; Rosa Clará; Jesús Peiró; Cristina Tamborero; YolanCris; Inmaculada García; Marylise & Rembo Styling; Israeli designer Galia Lahav; US designer Justin Alexander; French firm Cymbeline and Ramón Sanjurjo, who is appearing at the show for the first time with his creations for grooms.

Isabel Zapardiez, Isabel Avendaño and the Canary Island firm M&M will be showing wedding dresses as well as evening and occasion wear, perfect for wedding guests or for any other event that calls for an especially stylish outfit. This is also the case of Indian-American designer Naeem Khan, whose catwalk show will showcase his latest bridal and evening wear collections as part of ‘Barcelona Bridal Night', which brings together key players in the sector and the specialist media in Hall 8 of the Montjuïc Exhibition Centre. Meanwhile, Isabel Sanchís, Ana Torres, Matilde Cano, Carla Ruiz and Sonia Peña will be presenting their evening and occasion wear outfits on the catwalk. 
According to Estermaria Laruccia, the director of Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week: ‘It's a huge pleasure for us to be hosting such important firms from the bridal universe, who will be presenting wedding and party dresses that are sometimes genuine works of art, the result of the artisan expertise and profound technical knowledge of these great designers'.
A huge range of products in the trade fair
The show is reaffirming its European leadership with the presentation of the latest products from 260 exhibitors, a 13% increase on the previous year. International participation has also grown: this year, foreign brands account for 58% of the total, some eight points higher than in 2015, from a total of 17 countries. These firms, along with the big Spanish brand names, will be showing their collections of bridal wear, ceremony dresses and accessories at the fair, adding up to a total of over 20,000 items. 
In view of this huge offering, as well as the thousands of trade visitors expected, the event is looking forward to welcoming around 400 foreign buyers who were contacted directly by BBFW through its ‘Special Guest Program' to attract international buyers with high purchasing power to the show. According to forecasts, this year the number of key buyers is expected to double compared to last year, with a particular emphasis on buyers from the USA, Germany, the UK, France and Italy, the aim being to consolidate the US and European markets. 
According to the show's president, Marta Raich: 'Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week is a platform with global resonance and a unique occasion for both national and international producers to showcase their creations. It is also an outstanding promotional tool for the values that make up the DNA of ‘Made in Spain' bridal fashions: quality, design, craftsmanship, hard work and a passion for fashion.'
Barcelona Wedding Summit, the sector's new forum for debate 
The trade fair also includes a range of events being organised around the city in relation to the bridal fashion world. Once of these is the ‘Barcelona Bridal Summit', a series of seminars organised by the publishing house Wedding Media International and BBFW, which bring together business owners and trade professionals from the sector at Caixaforum on 25 April to discuss the main challenges and transformations in the bridal fashion industry in Spain and internationally.
The presentations will be kicked off by José Luis Nueno, a fashion industry expert and IESE professor with a PhD from Harvard, who will talk on the results of the survey entitled ‘Millennial Brides: Born in the 1980s, Getting Married Today', commissioned by the show. The survey presents the latest economic data on the sector in Spain and worldwide as well as a forecast of how sales will progress in the next few years. It also includes an analysis of the most popular trends with ‘Millennial' brides and grooms – i.e. those born between 1980 and 2000 – who are now both current and potential customers of the bridal fashion sector. 
Other speakers include Luis Lara, senior advisor at KPMG, where he head up the fashion division; Manuel Ródenas, the manager for sales, marketing and international expansion at Raimon Bundó; Marta Raich, the president of BBFW and director of Novia d'Art; Pepe García and Lucía del Portillo from CuldeSac, and event organiser Toni Seguí, amongst others. The inaugural address of this first edition of the Barcelona Wedding Summit will be given by Joan Aregio, the Secretary of Business and Competitiveness at the Catalan Government, along with Rosa Oliva, the director of WMI, and Estermaria Laruccia, the director of BBFW.

Edition jornalist Jussara Maria Pires de Moura
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