Hortense, where are you from and how did you get to Barcelona?
MYBARRIO was brought to life by Hortense Giraud with the intention of giving visibility to a carefully chosen selection of brands, designers, artists and local projects. Hortense is a Parisian, but she feels as if she was a local in Gracia neighborhood; she likes the "barrio" lifestyle and discovering all hidden secrets. Her intuition and sense of design played an important roll to consolidate a creative community, attractive to all entrepreneurs arriving in Barcelona.
I feel a citizen of the world. I am French, but I was born in Madrid and until I was 15 years old I was traveling and living in different countries due to my father’s work: Miami, Quito, Casablanca and Caracas. Hence my South American accent when I speak Spanish! From that way of life, I have been very curious, I am always looking for new experiences. Barcelona has been a good choice, when choosing a place to settle, it gathers everything that I like and what I want to surround myself with: sea and mountains, architecture, design, art, culture and great quality of life. It was the ideal place to start… and found MYBARRIO! After 10 years working in the fashion and business sector, I decided to create something by myself and contribute my knowledge to a world closer to my personal values, an independent and local project.
Tell us what you do, what is the concept behind MYBARRIO?
MYBARRIO unites my passion for design/fashion/lifestyle and the day-to-day life of Barcelona, with a business project. Before founding MYBARRIO, I worked as a buyer, a product manager… for a variety of brands and concept stores, from the luxury sector to the fast fashion industry. This 360º vision of the retail market gave me a priceless global experience. I founded MYBARRIO in 2016 launching the Instagram account @mybarrio, with the aim of uniting and promoting a careful selection of Barcelona’s creativity, design and lifestyle projects, all under the same stamp and identifiable style. I also wanted to create a close creative community formed by photographers, artists, architects, artisans and entrepreneurs from the creative world. The account grew exponentially and naturally, with a public that understands the proposal and defends it. MYBARRIO acts both online, generating daily content through social networks, and at the same time creating cultural events (as the visits to Antonio Bonet’s La Ricarda, Ricardo Bofill’s Walden 7…) as well as PopUps. So far we have made 5 different markets, with a selection of local designers and fashion, art, decoration projects… they all had place in environments with their own identity and soul.
Where do you like to get lost in Barcelona?
I like to get lost anywhere! I love Barcelona and all its neighborhoods. I see its beauty in any detail, the colors, the graphics… I think I am developing a photographic vision that I did not know I had. I am always looking around me. It’s part of my innate curiosity. I’m going to tell you a secret… I like to run and at each running session I like to get lost in streets I’ve never been and while I’m working out and meditating, I’m discovering new places. And what I like most is to share it with my friends and I also take the opportunity to share it online with our followers. For example, I wanted to take pictures of CAN MERCADER by Barba Corsini in Badalona, a jewel of architecture, and I ran from Gracia, through Raval, Barceloneta, and Poblenou to Badalona until Estupendu, my favorite beach bar.
What neighborhood have you chosen to live, and what do you like about it?
I’ve chosen the neighborhood where I like to walk around and lose track of time: Gracia. I live near Mercado de la Llibertat. When I looked for an apartment, I looked around the center of Gracia, I loved all its charming squares, like La Virreina, Plaza del Sol, La Vila, El Norte, Rovira i Trias… but I couldn’t find anything! Now I’m happy where I live, it is less touristy, more authentic, with a lot of local people. I love Plaçeta de Sant Miquel, and going down to Séneca street, it’s a real pleasure. I love that Gracia has many pedestrian streets, it’s like a small town, with a lot of charm, a lot of life, it has small indie stores, it’s quiet, familiar… I really like the organic fruit shops, the old town houses, the small squares and terraces. It is said that the people of Gracia don’t move from their neighborhood and do not go beyond Diagonal street. And it’s true. I understand them… thank God I have MYBARRIO to have an excuse to cross the border!
If you only had 24h in Barcelona, what wouldn’t you miss?
This is a tough question. I am unable to choose! Even so, I would say a walk through Gracia for sure, to see all its squares, walk along Torrijos and Verdi streets, take a beer in the Pietro Bar or a vermouth in La Vermu, go shopping in the Atlantic House, and do a yoga class at Yoga con Gracia in Alegre de d’Alt street. Then I would go to the Fundació Miró or the Mies Van der Röhe pavilion, walk along Joaquín Costa street in Raval, go running to see the sea, then have a picnic in the Ciutadella Park and take some pictures of the Hivernacle. All of this is not done in 24 hours, right?
Any restaurant tips?
In order to suggest you a restaurant, I would need to know first your mood. I will give you some names so you can choose: Bar del Pla, La Singular, Cañete, Frankie Gallo Cha Cha Cha, La Panxa del Bisbe, Il Giardinetto, Rooftop Smokehouse, La Pubilla and Dream Café. Let me know if you liked them!
We want to thank Hortense Giraud for her time. The next MYBARRIO XMAS HOUSE Vol.6 will take place at Margot House Hotel on December 16th and 17th from 12pm to 8pm.