This week we are heading back to Barcelona for what we are sure is going to be an awesome project. We are teaming up with Marketing Leeds and LeLook to create Leeds in Barcelona: A Creative Encounter. We are really excited about this project, we feel it fits perfectly with what we are trying to achieve with Hebe and can't wait for everything to kick off.
What Is Going Down?
There are two main parts to this event. The first is a discussion to be held at the European Institute of Design (IED) on Friday evening, during which creatives from Leeds and Barcelona will discuss what they are up to and the creative ‘scene’ in both cities. There will be some really cool people involved in this discussion including Jürgen Salenbacher, Imran Ali, Dominic Al-Samarraie, Juan Antonino Ávalos, Guiseppe De Luca and Chidy Wayne. The discussion will be chaired by our very own Lee Hicken.
The following evening a showcase event will be held at the amazing Hotel Me. The event will include live fashion shoots with designers including James Steward, Dom, Dick & Harry, Kitschen Sink and we are delighted to say the awesome Nicholas Deakins. There will also be a live performance from Leeds band ICS (formally I Call Shotgun). Then we will give Barcelona a small taste of the Leeds house music scene in the form of a showcase from legendary Leeds club night BacktoBasics with Tristan Da Cunha and Dave Beer.
The Story Behind The Project
Last year we kind of gatecrashed an event already taking place: Marketing Leeds were heading out to Barcelona with a massive delegation (around 120 people) to meet with their Barcelona counterparts from various sectors. We heard about the event by chance and asked them if we could do something with ‘our crowd’ in Barcelona. Our crowd is made up of fashion designers, DJs, bands, journalists, bloggers, photographers, artists etc. We have this network in Barcelona because 3 of our team studied there for 3 years at the Institute of Design.
The event we put on was a great success... so much so that lots of the people we invited to the event in Barcelona wanted to come and visit Leeds. A group of these people then visited Leeds a couple of months later. During their visit we held a reception where the Barcelona gang met some of our favorite Leeds people, They also toured the city, held photo-shoots at Temple Works, drank in Nation of Shopkeepers and we generally showed some of the Barcelona ‘cool kids’ that Leeds had stuff going on.
So the first stage was complete: Some of the main opinion leaders in one of the world’s most creative cities had been introduced to Leeds and what was going on here but obviously you can not just leave it at that and expect suddenly for Leeds to be spoken about in the same way as Barcelona, or for all these people to start booking their summer holidays here. We needed a new project, something that would take the relationship between the two cities one step further.
We feel this project definitely takes things a step further for a number of reasons. First of all there is the sheer scale of what we are doing. The first event we did in Barcelona last year was for around 50 guests. The two events this year will be attended by around 1000 people. Last year we showcased Leeds talent with a video on a big screen. This year we are taking out Leeds' fashion talent and products, in addition the entertainment will be provided by live musicians and DJs. If we are serious about impressing and establishing relationships with European opinion leaders this is what we need to do.
There are lots of opportunities for the talent involved in this project. There will be buyers, writers, tour-bookers, DJs, producers and others who will attend, so there are some great opportunities for new business and personal relationships to be formed. There will be international press including TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, bloggers, photographers and general opinion leaders who will get their first taste of Leeds during this event.
This is the type of project that suits us perfectly. We are really passionate about promoting and marketing Leeds based on the talent, stories and brands we possess. We have a great connection with Barcelona because we have lived there, so it feels great for some us to go back and bring some of the experience that we spent 3 years telling people about while studying there.
Our areas of both expertise and love are fashion, music and art and this project provides a great chance for us to put some of the talent out there that we have been championing and pushing for a long time now. We really believe that the group we are taking out are of a really high standard and will generate international interest.
This event and project is innovative, interesting, is packed with interesting names and ideas and bottom line... is just plain cool, something that I think we can sometimes lack in the eyes of people not from here.
Stay tuned to the site over the next couple of weeks for loads of videos, reports, photos and much more about the project and the people involved.