Fashion, quite often, is a mirror or reflection of the times. And Sharam Sharei, the founder and president of Barcelino Continental Corp. the Bay Area's premier retailer of upscale international clothing for men and women, is certainly an authority on this subject.
Ever since he came to San Francisco in the sixties, Sharei has seen fashion trends come and go, reflecting the mood and spirit of the decade - the turbulent sixties, the jeans-crazy seventies, the upscale eighties and the "casual Friday" nineties. Despite all the fads, - from minis to midis to platform shoes to combat boots - there is one constant in fashion that never goes out of style, and that is style itself.
Barcelino started out as a single store in San Francisco's Union Square and has grown to five San Francisco and the Bay Area locations. In addition, Barcelino, known as the executive men's wear specialist, expanded in 1995 to include "Per Donna" a boutique exclusively for high-level career women located two storefronts down from the men's store In 1983.
Sharei establishing the first Barcelino store at Post and Mason by Union Square in the late seventies, was steadfast on his mission to enhance the already world-famous fashionable reputation of San Francisco and the Bay Area, by presenting current collections season after season, which would exude a spirit of confidence and the feeling of sophisticated elegance, offering handsomely fresh and distinctive alternatives to an executive's wardrobe.
When it comes to fashion, Sharei's passion fills the room. "At Barcelino, we search the world to select, design, produce, and offer the finest collection of international apparel for sophisticated,
fashion-conscious men and women who prefer natural fibers and refined, continental styling over trendy or extremely conservative looks.
The styles we present are contemporary, yet classic. Our philosophy is the lasting stylish image. Our commitment is to world-class service." Because of the insight into the fashion industry, Sharei determined that designer labels did not always measure up to his standards. They generally, but not always, passed the first two tests of style and quality, but fell short on value. Designer customers, he found, had to "pay for the hidden costs of royalties, advertising and promotion." That "two-inch designer label" was an unnecessary and costly premium passed on to customers.
Today, designer labels do not always mean exclusivity. Designer lines, sold in almost all department stores, often are the same from store to store. This replication of merchandise offers customer's limited choices even among the top designers. At Barcelino, up to 70% of Barcelino's exclusive designs are manufactured in Europe by the same manufacturers who produce for the couture designers. In addition, Barcelino offers its customers true exclusivity because it does not sell its designs to other stores in this country
Sharei contends his clothing may not be for everyone. "By no means is it inexpensive. But considering the quality and workmanship, rich fabric and exceptional styling that goes into each garment, Barcelino clothing represents a wonderful value. And there will always be a market for quality, style and value.
Barcelino's skillful tradition of Hand tailored Italian Suits and Jackets for men by Belvest, Ravazzolo, and Pal Zileri, are beautifully showcased alongside some of the most elegant body fitting cocktail dresses and evening gowns for women. Barcelino’s passion for the art of fashion design is clearly present in its unparalleled collection of sportswear, business wear, and formal wear, through out its five San Francisco Bay area stores. From the unique and exquisite fabric and textile designs of Jhane Barnes sport shirts to an eclectic and extensive assortment of Italian made sweaters. The rich array of Lamb skin leather and baby goat suede outerwear by Torras of Spain are tastefully displayed next to some of the most sought after selection of slacks by the popular Italian pant maker, Zanella. Barcelino’s Italian pant selection is unmatched with plain front as well as two pleat and three pleat pant models. From Germany, you can also find a huge selection of five pocket jeans and casual pants by Alberto which is famous for the wrinkle free, stretch fabric Ceramica pants, great for travel.
Barcelino hosts a wide range of fabric swatches in super 120, super 150, and super 180 fine wool in addition to its collection of wool and silk mélange at hand for its made to measure suits and jackets program as well as a superb selection of fine cotton available for its custom made shirts. We encourage our clients to take advantage of our complimentary wardrobe assessment and consulting services.
Barcelino is renowned for its fantastic tie collection, offering Pancaldi, the famous Italian tie designer with its large seasonal collection of fancy designs in solids and patterns of discriminating taste, as well as most unique collection of plisse ties and bow ties decorated with Swarovski crystals making it an absolutely magnificent one of a kind collection.
“Quality, Fashion, and Value,” the key tenet of Barcelino’s mission statement, is what has kept Barcelino at the forefront of the high-end apparel business for more than two decades. And this distinction has worldwide recognition; L’uomo Vogue, Europe’s leading fashion magazine, featured Barcelino as one of America’s top 20 fashion shops in their “New Guide of World Wide Shops & Show Rooms”. San Jose Magazine has also selected Barcelino as the “best men’s store” in Silicon Valley, five years in a row.
Barcelino was featured in the “Best by the Bay” TV in the San Francisco Bay Area.