Custo Dalmau – Custo Barcelona


Within only a few years he managed to turn a brand of vividly colored and printed t-shirts into a world famous label that produces… fashion! We met Custo Dalmau in the Custo Barcelona store on the celebrated Las Ramblas and he confided to us what comes after success.

Twenty seven years after the first printed t-shirts by Custo Barcelona what do you think is the secret of your brand’s success? I think the secret is being faithful to our original philosophy when designing every collection and not worrying about trends.

Every season must be a new challenge for you and your design team. Have you ever found yourself worrying about alienating your new product from what we call the identity of Custo Barcelona? This is a concern that is always on mind when we start working on a new collection. But as I said, we have a very clear philosophy and we work very hard on keeping it.

Will graphics, prints and colors be in the focus of the brand in the forthcoming collections, even if minimal aesthetics hit the catwalks globally again? The combination of prints, color and fabrics is really in our DNA so we always create all the collections from this base. We don’t care much about trends; we‘d rather focus on what we want to propose for the season. There definitely are other brands for minimal lovers. Could you describe us briefly your perception and attitude towards the financial crisis around the world? Crisis of course exists but I think that one way of fighting is not giving it more power than it already has.

What is the next big step for Custo Barcelona? We are quite satisfied with 2008: we have opened stores in new markets such as Hong Kong, Kuwait or Venezuela; we have launched an eyewear collection, watches collection and our first fragrance. For 2009 we are focusing in opening more flagship stores in Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the US.

What has impressed you most recently? Is there something really striking, like a breathtaking design, a new film, some band that you have listened to recently? I was touched by the victory of Obama in the American elections. It was really moving, the reaction of people all over the country and the world.

Is Barcelona still your favorite city to live? It’s one of them, yes. I could see myself living somewhere else though, like Rio de Janeiro.

Could you describe your typical 24hours? I never have a day like the previous one. I travel a lot so I hardly have any routines. I can work with my cell phone no matter where I am. Fashion Weeks, trade shows, celebrity social events.

How, when and where does Custo Dalmau relax? I am lucky because I can just switch off as soon as I leave the office. I also love doing sports and in August I always spend at least a couple of weeks enjoying my family and kite surfing in Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands.

Before starting your Custo Barcelona adventure you had a two – year trip around the world on your bike. Do you ever miss taking a similar trip again, away from business plans, deadlines and new collections? I haven’t given up yet… I hope I can repeat it someday!