Honorary Award I Edition

Elio Berhanyer


“Clothes are the house we wear, for me its a little bit like architecture,” says Cordovan designer Elio Berhanyer. In 2011, he did his last runway show at Cibeles (Madrid) ending his extensive career as an haute couture designer which began in 1960. However even after so many years he vowed to continue working on perfumes, bags, accessories, etc.

This is not surprising coming from a man who never went to school, has an innate sense for drawing and learned to read and write at 15 years old.

Berhanyer originally wanted to be an architect however with a struck of luck at 15 years old he was called upon to replace an illustrator for the publishing agency El Sur which edited the magazine Estela. From there he moved on the Astra magazine in Madrid, costume designing, and finally, to creating his own design studio in 1960.

Open until l978 the designer´s studio reached the level of fellow Spanish designers like Balenciaga, Pertegaz and Pedro Rodríguez. After the fall of haute couture in Spain, Elio moved on to design pret-a-porter always with a colorfulness and the two colors innate to his hometown Cordoba: black and White.  He dressed the likes of Queen Sofia, Princess Pilar, Ava Gardner and Cyd Charisse and has designed costumes for different theater shows like Anillos para una dama, as well as uniforms for Iberia, IFEMA and RTVE.