Style and the city

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FABIANA FINETTO MOVED TO Barcelona four years ago to start up Barcelona Shopping and Image. Oryx caught up with her to get the scoop on how – and where – she takes visitors and locals for the best of the city’s fashion.

What exactly are ‘personal shopping’ and ‘image consulting’?
I take people shopping according to their brief and budget – whether for a new wardrobe or one specific item. I also do tours that introduce the best of Barcelona – barrios (neighbourhoods), restaurants, and hard-to-find boutiques. Alternatively I can shop for my clients. Looking for last season’s See by Chloé bag? I’ll find it! With image consulting, it’s more about defining and developing a person’s style.

How do you gain an understanding of your clients’ style and maximise your time together?
I ask about designers and celebrities they like and where they shop at home, then we cover budget and they’ll send pictures. After that we establish what they’re seeking from the day – something very specific or an introduction to shops that will inspire them…

So what should we be investing in for summer 2010?
It breaks down like this: the clutch bag (perfect for evening); the blazer (simple and classic); jeans (skinny or ‘boyfriend’); clogs (they really are back!); sandals (I covet a pair encrusted with Swarovski crystals); and leather (despite being hot in warm weather!).

Why did you move from Rome to Barcelona?
I worked as an advertising art director in Rome for ten years – it became a stressful place to be! I needed a change and Barcelona was the right combination. It’s a city made up almost of villages, a human place where traditions are preserved. Even in the very centre, everyday life continues. You’re always in a neighbourhood, wherever you are.

What are your favourite Barcelona barrios?
I love Gr?cia. Until the city’s expansion in 1897, it was actually a separate town. It’s not really covered in the tourist guides, so you’d only go there to shop because someone like me has taken you. There are small placas (squares) where children play football while their parents watch, drinking coffee. It’s informal, but with gorgeous, tucked-away boutiques. It’s also for people with a different kind of budget to those going to Zara or Mango, because these boutiques are about individual, bespoke pieces rather than mass-produced lines.

What brands are important to know about when visiting Spain?
Spain is known for leather…Loewe is a famous luxury brand dating back to 1846, and then there’s Camper, its most famous shoe brand. Their shops are an experience – check out the one at Placa de Los Angeles 4, near their hotel. (For more on Camper see Lifestyle, p86). There’s also Vialis (Carrer Elisabets 20), which does modern, high-quality shoes. Purificacion Garcia (Passeig de Gr?cia 21) is like a Spanish Carolina Herrera. It’s a classic label for the classic girl. But it also does menswear – her signature bold V-necks are an essential.

And finally, what are your three best-kept Barcelona secrets?
They’re all in Gr?cia: Philo (Carrer del Montseny 21) for feminine brands owing something to vintage – Motel, Naughty, French Connection, and Hoss Intropia; Plisados (Carrer d’Asturies 23) for carefully chosen labels like Muka and Sinéquanone; La Col•lectiva (Carrer del Doctor Rizal 22), for its vintage corner that sits perfectly with Spanish brands like Dora Romero, Lia Lee, and Malahierba. OK, so now they’re not a secret!

Tel: +34 93 238 9113
Calle Enrique Granados, 114 1/2B
08008, Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain
Distance: 4,865 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 25 minutes
Frequency: Daily

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