The son of a famous fabric master, Luciano Barbera grew up around his family’s textile mill near the town of Biella. His father, Carlo Barbera, founded the mill and began creating superfine fabrics in wool and cashmere. Time and care were a mainstay of his textile workshop, and he rested his materials in the mill’s “caveau” (yes, that means cave) with the perfect temperature and humidity to preserve their impressive qualities. To this day, all the fabrics are still placed there after being processed.
In the early 1960s, Ugo Mulas of Uomo Vogue photographed Barbera for the magazine. It wasn’t long before American fashion icon (and founder of Louis of Boston), Murray Pearlstein, saw the pictures and contacted Barbera. At the time Barbera was only producing and designing fabrics with his father’s mill — the Carlo Barbera Mill. Pearlstein, however, wanted to purchase the Luciano Barbera collection, which didn’t exist. At the advice and encouragement of Pearlstein, Barbera set out to create his own collection and in 1971 did just that. His philosophy was simple: “Clothing for people who believe in individuality and intelligence.”
Throughout the years, Barbera has expanded to new markets while still maintaining his commitment to elegance and craftsmanship. With daughter Carola now at the helm, the brand has positioned itself for a younger audience, continuing to innovate their mix of fabrics and yarns in intriguing and exceptional ways.