Vintage Collection 2021: Mediterranean Glamour


Interview of the Month
April 19, 2021

Edu Pitarch, Creative Director, Etnia Barcelona

Etnia Barcelona presents new designs for its Vintage Collection, paying homage to the eclectic atmosphere and glamour of the Catalan Empordà, frequented by celebrities between the 1930s and the 1960s. The source of the story for the campaign is the historic La Gavina, an iconic luxury hotel on Costa Brava’s idyllic Mediterranean coast. 20/20 EUROPE interviewed Edu Pitarch, Creative Director, Etnia Barcelona, about the collection and the historic inspiration behind it.

Q: The Vintage Collection, launched in January 2021, is inspired by the lifestyle of the Catalan Empordà coast at the time of the Golden years of Hollywood. Can you describe this ambience and the characters and places that inspired you?

A: Yes, the Costa Brava was a place of passage for a multitude of Hollywood artists and locals who met in the Empordà. That gave it a sophisticated but at the same time traditional air in a paradisiacal landscape like the Costa Brava. The coast became a set for dozens of films.

Q: I understand there is a hotel at the source of the story called La Gavina? Tell us more and particularly refer to any personalities who stayed there who will remind us of this style and way of life.

A: Liz Taylor, Kirk Douglas, John Wayne and Ava Gardner were movie stars who stayed at the hotel during their shoots. They imported their eccentric lifestyles and broke the monotony of the locals who flocked to watch the scenes being shot. This eclectic scene also included local artists such as Dalí, or Chagall or folkloric flamenco dancers.
In the end it was sophisticated people looking for a more rural and wild atmosphere. 

\\ Chic and nostalgic: campaign image, Vintage Collection

Q: How did you want to represent the concept of “Vintage” through this inspiration, and what shapes and designs are most representative of this mood and lifestyle?

A: We have recovered classic styles that we already presented in the first Vintage collection. Now we have gone deeper into metal shapes with flat lenses and we have mixed them with colors in the temples inspired by the "college" style. We have also used a range of vintage lenses and 70's acetates. The style we emulated is pure glamour represented in elegant shapes and colours but revisiting details such as the metallic pins slightly painted in colour. 

\\ Pearl District II by Etnia Barcelona

Q: What are the most significant attributes of the optical frames themselves in this collection – the materials and details that create the mood?

A: We have designed metal temples engraved with ethnic symbols, tips with herringbone acetate blocks and gold, silver and pink golds that make up a classic style with a creative twist. No one approaches vintage from this colorful yet elegant perspective.

Q: How do the sunglasses styles evoke this same mood and attitude and can you highlight two or three models that set the collection apart in your view?

A: The Quinn and Kirk models are great references for us. By mounting 2.5 base lenses gives them a modernity and style to glasses that emulate old designs. In the collection we present three lines differentiated by their thicknesses and we have played with many transparent acetates that let you glimpse the metallic soul of the glasses that breathe craftsmanship.

\\ Hamilton Sun by Etnia Barcelona

Q: What trends do you see unfolding in 2021, and how does this collection fit with this direction? Are consumers’ buying habits different in 2021?

A: Hexagonal, rectangular and pantos are already consolidated trends in 2021. The atomization of trends is a fact in 2021, there are a multitude of trends that flood the market and those that stand out are the ones that are able to superimpose mixed cultural layers in a pair of glasses to give rise to new paradigms that enrich and overlap styles.

“Those (trends) that stand out are the ones that are able to superimpose mixed cultural layers in a pair of glasses to give rise to new paradigms that enrich and overlap styles…”

Q: Finally, following a year of disruption due to Covid-19 and the continuing pandemic, is Etnia Barcelona operating as normal and are there any changes planned to how you will be releasing your collections during this year?

A: 2020 and 2021 will be the years that Etnia Barcelona has launched the most collections in its history. We have not slowed down, we have exploded in creativity and power and we are ready to dazzle the industry with an infinite flow of creativity. Etnia Barcelona is a brand that allows us to experiment and explore in many fields without losing a millimeter of our DNA. We will continue at this pace from now on. We have come to prove that we are the most powerful independent brand in the industry.

\\ Vintage Collection: a new glamorous campaign from Etnia Barcelona

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