By  on July 14, 2005

BARCELONA — Vendors attending the Spanish edition of contemporary apparel and accessories fair Bread & Butter, held here July 8-10, were rewarded with strong sales from a flood of international buyers.

The show's organizers estimated that nearly 18,000 visitors swamped the Montjuic fairgrounds for the show's first day — 30 percent coming from Spain, 20 percent from Italy, 12 percent from Germany and 8.5 percent from the U.K., among other nations. By the end of the show's three-day run, 45,000 people had registered, 51 percent of them attending from outside Spain.

"We had 300 visitors on the first day and 50 to 60 percent were international retailers," said Armand Basi, the 82-year-old founder of the eponymous sportswear label based here. "That's significant because upscale Spanish vendors have the domestic market covered. We're looking for new contacts and a wider customer base outside Spain. The fair is a huge success. We couldn't be happier."

Anna Camprodon, Basi's international sales manager, rattled off a list of buyers from the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Belgium, the Netherlands and the U.K. who stopped by. She praised Bread & Butter's directional product offerings and its international environment, which included djs playing frenetic music, a Ferris wheel and swimming pool, open-air barbeque, endless bottles of sparkling regional wine and epicurean tastings from Catalan chef Ferran Adrià. There was even a stand where dolls were made out of flour, and the ultimate prize — a "Love Boat" cruise to Ibiza.

Basi's women's line for next spring was designed by Miriam Ocariz and features superfine feminine knits with detailing that includes cabbage rose prints and a sexy black floor-length dress with allover sequined bodice. Basi also launched a women's and men's footwear collection at B&B Barcelona that included raw-edged canvas sandals on flat jute and corrugated rubber bottoms. Camprodon said Basi has inked a deal, effective this month, with New York-based Berger & Stevens to act as its U.S. showroom and agent.

The 710 exhibitors — a mere 75 of which were Spanish brands — stretched over a handful of halls. The Spanish contingent included labels such as Mallorca-based footwear manufacturer Camper, Sybilla's junior line Jocomomola and iconic T-shirt company Custo Barcelona.

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