February 20, 2024

The Catalan designer Teresa Helbig (Barcelona, ​​59 years old) has been awarded this Tuesday, June 6, with the National Fashion Design Award, the highest award that recognizes fashion creators in Spain.

The Ministry of Culture, which awards the prize, explains in the issued press release that “the jury unanimously wanted to recognize in the winner a long career characterized by her innovative drive and the artistic quality of her work based on her origins in the family business. Her brand celebrated its quarter century a year and a half ago. “We have been in the trade for 25 years, we have dressed two generations, we have already adapted models from a mother to a daughter or a granddaughter. A Helbig is for life ”, she recounted in an interview in EL PAÍS a year ago.

“It is a shot of confidence”, the designer herself declared to the Efe agency, who is still living the news “with surprise and emotion in her body”. The designer, who learned from her mother, also a seamstress, the ins and outs and love for her trade, has celebrated the news, precisely, together with her and in the company of her workers: “She is happy. We are all happy, dancing and celebrating with the workshop”. The award for an entire career in which the designer has been “doing something we like”: “It has never been fashionable to make jewelery dresses, work with surpluses, claim crafts… We are doing school so as not to lose trades that with fashion quickly disappear. The desire, having that unique look that we have, makes everything go forward ”, she added.

The award has been granted annually since 2009 and is endowed with 30,000 euros. Helbig is preceded by Ángel Schlesser (2022) and Antonio Alvarado (2021). They follow in the wake of Ana Locking, in 2020, Adolfo Domínguez (2019), Miguel Adrover (2018), Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada (2017), David Delfín (2016, in an award that his mother collected a year later posthumously ), Sybilla (2015), Josep Font (2014), Amaya Arzuaga (2013), Manolo Blahnik (2012), Elio Berhanyer (2011), Paco Rabanne (2010) and Manuel Pertegaz (2009).

One of the proposals from Teresa Helbig's latest autumn-winter 2023/24 collection, inspired by the figure of Anne Boleyn.
One of the proposals from Teresa Helbig’s latest autumn-winter 2023/24 collection, inspired by the figure of Anne Boleyn.JAVIER SORIANO (AFP)

In addition to her career, the jury has highlighted the work of the creator “for the sake of training new professionals. The international relevance achieved by her work, her continuous dialogue with other arts and cultural industries, as well as, especially, her research work, updating and incorporating crafts into the most avant-garde lines of Spanish design, make her a recipient of this award. ”. As a graffiti on the wall of his atelier in Barcelona, ​​which sums up the essence of Teresa Helbig’s designs: “A Helbig woman never goes unnoticed”. “Wearing a Helbig really empowers a woman. She gives you weapons to face any moment. This is what our clients tell us. We sell security ”, she assured in an interview for this newspaper in the summer of 2021.

Helbig is a regular on the main Spanish catwalk —Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, whose last show, in February, was attended by Pedro Sánchez, the first Prime Minister to attend a fashion week, which was with his wife, Begoña. Gómez, who was the guest and with whom Sánchez appeared—and also on red carpets such as the Goyas, where her romantic dresses and her marked taste for white, black and symmetries are especially successful. Among others, her designs have been worn by actresses such as Leticia Dolera, Macarena Gómez and Úrsula Corberó, as well as Queen Letizia. But, in addition, she has dressed numerous Hollywood faces thanks to her presentations to stylists and publicists in Los Angeles, where she has a physical outlet. Among others, they have worn her designs Halle Berry, Emily Blunt or Zendaya. “It was a huge investment and work for a company as small as ours – it has 15 employees – but in the end, it was worth it,” she told this newspaper three years ago. In addition, she has made the latest uniforms for the Iberia airline, for which she dresses more than 7,000 employees. During the pandemic, she created Petite Helbig, focused on girls from 4 to 12 years old.

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