Having been part of our selection at Goods for quite some time now, Barena feel like old friends to us. With casually clean lines and yet distinctly Italian garments, the brand is becoming a favourite - not only with us - but also with our customers at Goods. And thus we decided to delve a little deeper into the story of this great brand.
The brand itself dates back to the beginning of the 1960s, when founder Sandro Zara started the label. He was inspired by his love for textiles as well as the history and way of life of his hometown of Venice.
For more than 20 years, Massimo Pigozzo has been the creative director of the brand and Sandro's right hand man, Massimo manages everything from the business side and production - all the way through research and development aspects of the brand and even keeping an eye on areas like marketing. Massimo has been described as a unique force within the Italian fashion industry; possessing ”da Vinci-like qualities” and an eye for the extraordinary, whilst staying true to the foundations and core values of the company.
The current menswear line could be described as a workshop collaboration and partnership between Zara and Pigozzo. Being curious gents here at Goods, we, naturally wanted to hear some of the thoughts, processes and secrets behind the great collaboration and brand that is Barena. And so, we asked mr Pigozzo a few questions, and certainly weren't disappointed by his answers!
What’s your favourite occupation at the moment?
At the moment, I'm in my open-mind scouting period, this is a mix of vacation, free time and looking for inspiration for next season. This means that I'm spending a lot of time with myself; listening to music, reading books, living in open nature and doing a trip on my small boat around Barena and Venice It's relaxing and a stimulating period at the same, which I absolutely love.
Where do you find inspiration?
Mainly from memory, it's a "digging in my soul" process, I think a lot about my childhood, my family, the places and the people that I love, my passions in life. Fortunately, I have a very good memory, but of course I need to feed it continuously, so I try to grow my knowledge through relying heavily on my emotions every day - if that makes sense...!
What is your most important task in life and in your work?
In my life the most important task is to try living as freely as possible and not hurt other people. At work, I try to do my very best every day all day, in order to build a company which is the best it can be - a place in which people are happy working together, and of course trying to do the best I can with the garments and design so that every season seems like our best collection so far.
"In my mind success is not a goal in itself, it's the consequence of the best that I can do on a project."
What makes your partnership with Goods relevant for you and for Barena?
Working with the people I feel are "in tune" with us - they give me richness and let me continue riding my positive wave, I feel that what I'm doing is understood and a meeting point for mind, these things are priceless for me.
What does it take for an Italian brand to succeed in Scandinavia?
In my mind success is not a goal in itself, it's the consequence of the best that I can do on a project. In my opinion, people from the north (in general) love "substance", they are more interested in shape, good fabrics, function - instead of decor and over-structuring which makes no sense to them.... I try to mix classic knowledge across unusual fabrics and up date contemporary shapes in my collections for Barena, looking for an apparently simple minimalism but simultaneously full of "substance". This blend is something I feel appeals to people in Scandinavia.
What are Barena’s goals for the future?
Growing naturally and organically following the main line of the company's success, working with a general sense of quality; not just meaning with regards to "product", but also in regards to life, relationships etc.
Would you like to recommend something?
I like to know the opinion and thoughts surrounding my work from friends and/or customers, especially if these thoughts and opinions are negative, so please do not hesitate to talk to me if you want - contact me and write me what you feel about my products so I can start improving them and get the feedback necessary to become better.