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Named after the periodically submerged salt marshes that dot the Venetian lagoon, and intent on evoking a time when the lagoon, the towns of the Veneto, and the surrounding fields hummed with workers dressed in what would now pass as formal attire, Barena Venezia offers an ever-evolving coupling of sportswear (in both classic and contemporary senses) with sophisticated tailoring. The emphasis on location is not incidental—founders Sandro Zara and Massimo Pigozzo both hail from the region and take great inspiration from historical documentation of fabric production and garment design, while the Barena Venezia production and design atelier is located just outside Venice proper. Pigozzo, serving as creative director since the brand’s launch in 1994, emphasizes a fabric-first design methodology in which styles are designed after a season’s fabrics are selected. Primarily sourced from Italian and British mills, the carefully chosen fabrics are all intended to be machine-washable, no matter their composition—cotton, linen, or woolen. Matching trousers and unstructured jackets; fleeces, rib knit crewnecks, and beaver cloth three-quarter coats; vivid prints and checks, subdued twill and hessian; Barena Venezia’s soft-spoken yet immediately identifiable sensibility offers an irresistible temptation to take work as play.
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