The Spanish capital has found a silver lining beyond the pandemic and made renaissance its theme for 2021. Spaniards moving back home and newcomers avoiding harsher restrictions elsewhere have brought the city a new creative energy.
With independent brands and retailers prioritising the #hyperlocal, sustainability and all things artisanal are on the rise. We love Balakata, the Salamanca boutique that offers decorative items for home and highlights artisan techniques and more sustainable practices. It embraces the imperfections and the uniqueness of each handcrafted piece.
Ecoalf is a fashion and lifestyle brand using breakthrough technology to create clothing and accessories made entirely from recycled materials with the same quality, design and properties as the best non-recycled products. One of its signature offerings is a sneaker line made from ocean waste. Flabelus on the other hand, is changing the slipper game with insoles made of recycled cotton and soles from bicycle tires, locally produced in Spain by espadrilles artisans.
It has long been Madrileños's culture to spend much of their disposable income on food and leisure, be it groceries or eating out, so it is no surprise that a great deal of innovation and investment is seen in these sectors. Located in a repurposed 19th-century building on Salamanca’s Jorge Juan, Club Matador is an artsy members' club that can only be accessed by fingerprint. The club is known for its robust rotation of cultural programmes, from flamenco nights to poetry readings. Zest focuses on healthy food by reinterpreting favourite dishes in a low-calorie version, such as zucchini-crust pizzas and brownies that sneak veggies in.
The tech-powered culture in Madrid is one not to miss. Museums are incorporating technology such as video mapping, holograms and livestreaming. The Velázquez Tech Museum has caught our eye with its immersive, 360° experience that features projectors, video mapping and light and sound installations. You can even talk to the late artist through holograms.
If you’re a WGSN subscriber, delve into the Spanish capital via our Madrid: Inspiration City guide. Live now on the site.