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Barcelona Boutique Caters to Gay Grooms

by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Boston Contributor
Monday May 28, 2007

Spain’s new tradition of marriage equality will be made complete this week with the opening of Europe’s first matrimonial boutique designed specifically to serve the needs of gay men heading to the altar.

The Independent reported today that the boutique, called By, will offer grooms bespoke suits, with optional gold inlays, for a cost ranging from €1,500 (about $2,000) to €6,000 (the equivalent of a whopping $8,075).

Spanish designers have also created a selection of rings, underwear, and bathrobes, among other fashion items, for the his-and-his needs of impending marriage. By seeks to serve nervous, excited gay couples with the same sort of individual attention that boutiques provide for heterosexuals planning their weddings.

Located in the so-called "Gaycelona" district of Barcelona, where numerous shops tailor their services to the city’s gay clientele, By is set to open its doors on Wednesday, May 30. Not coincidentally, this is also Barcelona Bride Week, which takes its name from a fashion show.

Owner Santiago Porrero said, "We saw there was a gap in the market for gay men, though we are not only aiming for homosexuals."

Porrero acknowledged that shops that once catered exclusively to heterosexual brides are now entering the gay marriage market, "but it is only because they think they should." By takes the business of providing for gay weddings further: "It is called By because each person can have a unique creation by one of our designers. There will only be one of these suits in the world."

Porrero, a graduate of Barcelona’s Esade Business School, said that he saw an emergent market with the passage, in 2005, of marriage equality in the Spanish Parliament. "I saw the opportunity to do business after the law was approved," Porrero said. "I didn’t know of any other country that had a shop or boutique for gay weddings. It was obvious that gays, who also marry, needed their own bride shop."

Barcelona seemed the right place to launch his new venture because, Porrero said, Barcelona is an "open-minded and modern city, very linked to design and an important tourist destination for gays." By’s service to this niche has Porrero thinking that grooms from other countries where marriage equality is the law of the land might take a trip to Barcelona to have their wedding needs met in one stop. To this end, By will offer traveling grooms an express service, allowing for a new, more global, take on "one-stop shopping" and making follow-up visits unnecessary.

Kilian Melloy reviews media, conducts interviews, and writes commentary for EDGEBoston, where he also serves as Assistant Arts Editor.


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