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KNOWING WHAT HE’S GOOD AT: On his way to Singapore to officially open Custo Barcelona’s first store there, designer Custo Dalmau stopped in Hong Kong to check on his year-old unit and to host a luncheon at Aqua, famed for its panoramic views of Victoria Harbour. During the lunch, Dalmau told stories of his two-and-a-half-year motorcycle adventure across the U.S. and through South America, which he and brother David completed 30 years ago. “There were no cell phones, no e-mail, just telex. Does anyone remember telex?” he said, recalling that the trip led directly to the founding of Custo Barcelona. “We saw these printed T-shirts in California and we had never seen anything like them,” he said, noting psychedelic surfer shirts inspired the Dalmaus to print graphic designs on T-shirts in their native Spain.
The trip also prompted Dalmau to give up studying architecture. Asked if he uses his background to help create store concepts for Custo Barcelona, Dalmau laughed. “No, it’s better I don’t. I was terrible at it,” he said.