Barena Venezia, a small, family-owned company has significantly influenced the way men (and women) dress in and outside of Italy over the past twenty-seven years. Before “sprezzatura” and “soft tailoring” became go-to terms for fashion editors, Barena was showing men how to dress casually and with class utilizing sartorial fabrics for rather sporty, workwear garments.
The brand’s history reaches all the way back to 1961 when its founder, Sandro Zara, got his start in the fashion industry. Zara, a Venetian entrepreneur, began his career as an agent for a textile company. Over time his curiosity, in particular for traditional textile, led him to visit the archives of old closed- down wool mills in and around the lagoon areas of Venice. He uncovered original patterns and stitching books, which eventually became the main source for Barena collections, including those from Lanificio Cini, lately acquired by the company.
In the late 80s, Zara met Massimo Pigozzo and appointed him as Barena’s creative director, a role he still holds for the menswear. The two decided to develop a full collection of menswear, officially founding Barena Venezia in 1993.