Barea Barcelona promotes bridalwear line and plans to open new points of sale
13 February, 2014
A bridalwear line, new points of sale and the consolidation of the party-wear collection are some of the projects Barea Barcelona has on the go.
The team formed by Maria and Anna Gómez-Papí and Alícia Arteaga is bustling with energy, teeming with present and future projects and enthusiastic about continuing to promote the fashion label they created four years ago, Barea Barcelona. Since then they haven’t stopped – and although the initial concept remains the same, new initiatives and business strategies have sprung up around it, some of which will materialise in 2014. “We are now launching our first bridalwear collection, creating a space where future brides and wedding guests can find everything they need, i.e., the dress, of course, but also a makeover consultancy, makeup, flower designs and invitations,” Alícia Arteaga says.
This challenge is being undertaken at the same time as they consolidate the party-wear line. “Right now we have two labels and three lines. Barea Novias has one collection per year and new models in-season, while Barea, with two lines, i.e., party wear and casual wear, has four collections per year, two per line”.
One label, many faces
The Barea Barcelona umbrella therefore covers different projects but, as its creators say, everything is driven by the same spirit. “The brand has a very clear purpose, which is to dress a woman in a way that highlights her attributes, emphasising and understanding the female shape. We seek elegant, feminine forms, quality fabrics and neutral tones. We are guided by the ‘wardrobe staples’ concept. Our lines are fresh and are conveyed to a bridal gown, a dress for special occasions or a frock for everyday wear”.
The three enterprising businesswomen also decided that another of the firm’s distinctive features would be local production. “We produce in the Barcelona metropolitan area. For us this is a strong point which guarantees immediacy and a balance between demand and supply. We can monitor production and control quality,” says Anna Gómez-Papí, who together with Alícia Arteaga is in charge of brand distribution and customer service. The designs and patternmaking behind Barea Barcelona are mainly the work of Maria Gómez-Papí, while the finance and communications departments are outsourced. This structure has provided them with the stability needed to establish and promote the label in a clearly difficult economic context.
However, it seems that for Barea Barcelona adversity is a good time for growth. That’s why they aren’t slowing down but rather embracing new challenges. In May 2013, for example, they opened their first point of sale in carrer Laforja in Barcelona. “Our party and bridalwear ranges are both shown there, along with a more casual line, and we anticipate new openings in 2015,” Arteaga says.
One highlight of 2013 was the implementation of the online store. “This is a slow-moving channel, particularly for lesser-known labels, but we would classify this first year of operation as positive in terms of sales and for the fact that our customers use it to check out the collections. That’s a function we hadn’t anticipated and it’s very useful because it encourages customers to try the designs on in-store,” she adds.
The three businesswomen say the start-up and development of Barea Barcelona has taught them “to trust our own instincts”. There is no doubt that the customer base has been another major source of learning for them. “Opening our own store and having direct contact with the end customer has been the company’s steepest learning curve. It has allowed us to improve and better understand all the other elements”.