Ever since he was very young, Ion Fiz knew he wanted to be a designer. He learned his trade with his grandmother, a designer and tailor. When he was 17, Ion began his fashion and design studies at the Basque fashion school where he excelled as an honor student.

In 2002 he worked with the master, Pertegaz. A fashion designer since 2002, he designs ready to wear collections for men and women and presents his collections in the Cibeles Fashion Week runway shows. He also designs accessories, optics and lingerie lines. Amongst other awards, he has won the Fad Award for the best designer, the L’Oreal Paris Cibeles Prize and the Marie Claire Mode Prize.

You can find Ion’s fashion in various shops in Spain, France, Italy and the United Arab Emirates.

Ion, what would you say to someone who has never been to Bilbao to convince them to come visit?

That it is a beautiful city full of modern architecture, excellent cuisine and so much art: the fantastic Guggenheim Museum, the Bellas Artes Museum, La Alhóndiga…that you can enjoy meandering down the Ría to cross the city, and every day it is more and more beautiful and cosmopolitan!

What do you miss the most when you are not at home?

The Bilbaino lifestyle, the cuisine, the proximity and accessibility we have to different things… it is a city where in one day you can do so much: you can come home from work and go to the beach or to the opera or theater in a second, and then there’s the urban landscape, the architecture, the Guggenheim (this is essential for me, even more now that I’ve celebrated my 10th anniversary in fashion this year with a runway show in this spectacular and unique museum), the people are kind, going out for a round of amazing wines… I just miss it when I’m not here!

What would a perfect day in Bilbao be for you?

I would have breakfast at Lepanto, and then go shopping: For on the Gran Via, the classic store that’s been here forever as well as the new store for46 where I find cool and quality casual clothes. Persuade is a temple of the most avant-guard design where you can find true treasures, Idrisi for a good suit or blazer or a men’s trench coat. After that I like to go to my clients’ shops where I find a selection of my women’s collections: Coquelot in Licenciado Poza who supported me from the beginning—when I was a child it seems!—and De Los Pies a La Cabeza on Heros Street. And finally I would go to a small corner women’s boutique I have on the first floor of the Corte Ingles. After that I would visit La Alhóndiga, a very inspiring escape! I’d have a little lunch on the patio of La Alhóndiga (really great views!) and then I’d go antique shopping: Silvia Marqués, an antiques expert in toys, old dolls, jewelry, vintage clothing, she’s an charming woman with tons of experience in collecting luxury finds, I really recommend that you go by to see her amazing place! I’d go to the Bellas Artes Museum, their art collection is one of the best, and their elegant building which I’ve loved since I was very little. Finally I would finish my day with a visit to the Guggenheim (essential!!). I could spend days and days in this museum! For dinner I’d go to the restaurant Nerua. Josean Alija, the chef, is one of the best at the moment, watch for his name; his meals are delicious and even better combined with marvelous views of the Guggenheim Museum from the terrace! In the evening I would go to the Old Town (Casco Viejo) of Bilbao and I’d go to my friend Lourdes Madow’s shop, Charada, where you can find very original and unique gifts for everyone from babies and children to grown-ups. I’d go for a round of wine and pinchos in the Seven Streets: Irrintzi, Txiriboga, Gatz (Santamaria Street the 3) and then a final round in Lamiak.

And a perfect night?

To start with I’d go have drinks at the Dando La Brasa bar and after La Antigua Cigarrería to have a gin and tonic.

Where would you have supper and a drink?

For supper I’d go to Etxanobe and for a drink to Distrito 9.

Is there some little part of Bilbao that is not well-known that you’d recommend?

The bar La Karola—it’s a very unique place—and that entire area is turning out to be spectacular!