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Italy calls to mind various associations. The country is best known for its rich culture and history, its delicious cuisine, the temperament of its people as well as their love for beautiful things.

This last point holds good for Italian fashion, also, because Italians seem to possess an inner compass for elegance. Though difficult to measure, few would contest that Italy is still the number one in the world of fashion. It is not really clear why this is so. Some have pointed to the inspiring of effects of the cultural heritage or even the natural landscape. The label ‘made in Italy’ in any case continues to represent craftsmanship, tradition, and an eye for detail.

Food for thought

We have already expressed how the past period has given us much food for thought. It has made us realise (even more than before) that we can often do with less. This involves – perhaps surprisingly, coming from us – buying fewer clothes. Yet, in fact, we have always supported buying fewer but better clothes. Being made of higher quality fabric and in a more durable way, such clothes last longer and are therefore the more sustainable choice. This is reflected in the price, to be sure, but in our experience these clothes are not just more durable—they are enjoyed for much longer.


A label whose traditional and certainly tasteful clothes are made with decades of love and experience, is Barena Venezia. We came across the brand by accindent and instantly knew it would be the perfect addition to our online store. No surprise really, because their elegant designs are not just produced traditionally and hence sustainably, but also have an extraordinary cut. Barena Venezia was founded in 1994 by designer Sandro Zara together with Massimo Pigozzi, located in splendid Venice and initially dedicated to designing men’s collections; think timeless classics made from high-quality and exclusive fabrics with the inimitable Italian eye for detail.


It is perhaps interesting to note that ‘Barena’ is the Italian word for sandbank, which refers to the lagunes and swamps which originally surrounded the city of Venice. Hunting, fishery and agriculture were and to some extent continue to be an important source of income for the region. The Barena collections honour the capable inhabitants of this region with their practical and beautiful designs. As expected, the entire production process takes place in Venice and makes use of just the best wool, linen, cotton and silk.


The women’s collection is a recent introduction to Barena by the creative polymath Francesca Zara. After a spell studying language and literature, and after travelling and working abroad for a few years, daughter Francesca returned inspired to Venice and to fashion. Per fortuna. The women’s collection like her bigger brother combines historically inspired features with modern and even unconventional femininity. Expect functional and beautiful designs. Expect new ideas, things which are just slightly surprising, but nothing too much out of the way. Expect, finally, elegant and timeless designs which are just as tasteful as the endearing nickname for Venice: La Serenissima.