The Venetian term “barena”, of Celtic origin, is little-known in Italian, and indicates the territory of the lagoon between land and water. Originally Venice was comprised solely of the lagoon, marshland and some small islands. The activity of the people living in this territory alternated naturally between agriculture, hunting and fishing.
A love for this unique place, a curiosity and desire to penetrate a centuries-old tradition and research the manners and fashions of great charm, together with a know-how handed down over generations - all these things lead up to the birth of the BARENA brand.
BARENA derives its inspiration from the people that populated the Venetian estuary; many of the pieces in the collection are reinterpretations of unique garments found in museums, or in books and antique prints depicting the everyday life of a bygone era. BARENA honours the poetics of the imperfection and requisite slowness in reaching places dear to the heart of every individual.
Each of BARENA’s collections respects tradition and unites this with the use and interpretation of high-quality, natural fabrics, from wool to linen, the choice of which is dictated by a wish to safeguard the heritage of the textile tradition.
The history of BARENA is closely linked to the people who work there, all united by their passion for tradition and for a simple style that is however unique.
At the beginning of the 1960s, Sandro Zara, a true explorer of the past and of his land, started a business enlivened by a love of costumes and the textile tradition.
Through his meticulous research, he salvaged and brought back to life clothing of a certain lifestyle, producing and marketing them with scrupulous attention down to the very last detail.
His long-time “right-hand man” is Massimo Pigozzo, a possibly unique figure in the fashion world: with his da Vinci-like versatility he skilfully manages all aspects of the business from production to process, from research to marketing. As in times gone by, the success of each collection is largely due to “workshop”collaboration and partnership between the two. For twenty years Pigozzo has been Creative Director of BARENA’s Menswear line.
The more recent dawn of the women’s line came about with Francesca Zara’s joining the family business. In line with the great Venetian tradition to travel, having amassed extensive work experience outside of Italy, and stimulated by new knowledge and sensations, Francesca became the creative force of the womenswear collection, in full compatibility with Massimo Pigozzo, assimilating her father’s passion and talent. Her creations are inspired by the search for raw materials and structure, for simple and harmonious lines that convey an unconventional femininity.