Many people have not heard of the brand Custo Barcelona. I stumbled onto the brand in a small boutique in Saginaw, Michigan. I bought two dresses that day and have since purchased other items online. This brand is very fun and colorful. Following is the story about the designers:
In the early 80´s the brothers David and Custodio Dalmau set up their first fashion business, first with men’s shirts and then with women’s, gaining invaluable experience in this field. Later they went on a round the world bike trip and returned to Barcelona impressed and inspired by the Californian lifestyle and the bold and sometimes psychedelic surf wear they had seen there. It was from this that a few years on Custo was born. The business was started in 1996 when the brothers had realised that there was a niche in the market for bright, well-designed, funky T shirts, with the emphasis on creativity and individuality. At the time, minimalism was in fashion and the brothers were effectively taking quite a risk.
They showed their first collection at the 1997 New York fashion week and the business has never looked back. Syl Tang reporting from New York Fashion Week said of Custo “Flashy. Cool. The look is Faye Dunaway gone British urchin meets 1970´s housecoat prints”!
The bright colours and humorous graphics captured the attention of the US market and soon began what the press dubbed ´Customania´! The brothers had chosen the name Custo, purely because they thought it sounded slightly more exotic than David-Barcelona!
The firm went from strength to strength, renowned for its originality of design, and of course helped by celebrity endorsement from Julia Roberts, Penelope Cruz and the Backstreet Boys to name but a few. The clothes have also appeared in programs such as Friends and Sex and the City.
Custo now has some 3000 points of sale worldwide, including world famous stores such as SAKS NY. The line has had incredible success, with the international market accounting for almost 85% of company sales. It is rated as a top level designer brand, award-winning and internationally coveted, and with this in mind the retail prices are actually extremely reasonable.
However despite its availability worldwide Custo is after all a Barcelona bred brand, and because the shops cater for their locality and what sells best in their area, you will encounter different designs in each shop..making it worth while having a look round.
Whilst the line may have been inspired primarily by California, Barcelona has really taken Custo in as one of its own and is very proud of being home to such a famous brand.