Barrett Heritage The simple story of a difficult job.

1917

Fine craftsmanship since 1917 Discover

1940

The first decades of the twentieth century Discover

1952

The watershed in the aftermath of the two World Wars Discover

1970

The success of the '70s Discover

1999

A new challenge Discover

2000

Expanding internationally Discover

2020

An eye to the future Discover

Barrett heritage

Fine craftsmanship since 1917

Barrett was first established in Parma in 1917 as the result of a partnership between a tannery owner from the East End of London called John Richardson Barrett and a long-standing shoe store in the region of Emilia called "Zanlari e Tanzi".

During one of his trips to Italy at the start of the century, Mr Barrett fell in love with the extraordinary comfort and elegance of the shoes crafted in a small cordwainer's shop from Parma. He started off as a loyal customer and ended up as its main supplier of tanned English calfskin. From that moment on, all the items crafted from his premium leather would bear his name.

That was the start of Barrett's story, a tale steeped in tradition, fine craftsmanship and close links to the area of Emilia. It is a 100-year tale spun by passionate minds, strong spirits and fierce determination which has always invested in the product itself, Barrett's abiding strength.

• Mastery and devotion • So, the secrets of our Barrett's craftsmen are handed down from generation to generation

Barrett heritage

The first decades of the twentieth century

Barrett's product range continued to grow and it soon became a household name in Italy, synonymous with high quality and uncompromising excellence. All the best Italian stores sold Barretts and they graced the feet of actors and politicians of the day.

But when the Second World War broke out, the Parma factory was adversely affected in more than one way. It was forced to suspend its shoe manufacturing activities and supply the Italian army with whatever they needed.

• Mastery and devotion • So, the secrets of our Barrett's craftsmen are handed down from generation to generation

Barrett heritage

The watershed in the aftermath of the two World Wars

When the wars finally came to an end, manufacturing activities resumed but the business struggled to survive.
Then in 1952 an enterprising gentleman with a passion for luxury footwear, Eliseo Putzolu, decided to buy into the company and to guide Barrett back to its past glory.

• Mastery and devotion • So, the secrets of our Barrett's craftsmen are handed down from generation to generation

Barrett heritage

The success of the '70s

The resurgence of Italy coincided with the recovery of our company and Eliseo found to his delight that Barrett had soared back to occupy a top position as a premium brand for male footwear.
Internationally eminent authors, professionals and entrepreneurs all chose Barrett shoes. A successful blend of sharp style, comfort and timeless elegance put Barrett in a league of its own.

• Mastery and devotion • So, the secrets of our Barrett's craftsmen are handed down from generation to generation

Barrett heritage

A new challenge: Blu Barrett

In 1999, Barrett created a new product line of sports shoes under the name of BluBarrett. With a fresh modern design and mellow elegance, these new sneakers quickly made inroads onto the shoe market and encountered the favour of consumers because they retained Barrett's signature fine craftsmanship and luxury core.

• Mastery and devotion • So, the secrets of our Barrett's craftsmen are handed down from generation to generation

Barrett heritage

Expanding internationally

In the noughties, the company began its international expansion project under the guidance of the incumbent chairman, Paolo Putzolu, and the deputy chairman, Antonio Putzolu, respectively Eliseo's son and grandson.

And so it was that the Barrett brand turned into a symbol of luxury, representing fine Italian manufacturing on the foreign market where it continued to gain ground in countries key for its growth.
The cordwainer's store in Parma exported Barrett shoes to over 25 different nations worldwide.

• Mastery and devotion • So, the secrets of our Barrett's craftsmen are handed down from generation to generation

Barrett heritage

An eye to the future

Opening the door to innovation without jettisoning the precious secrets of the past, bringing high-end Italian workmanship to the rest of the world and handing down the secrets of Italian craftsmanship from generation to generation.

Cherrypicking the leather hides and putting them together to create a unique product. Paying the utmost attention to details and turning out products whose beauty does not pall over time.
This has been Barrett's corporate mission for the last 100 years.

• Mastery and devotion • So, the secrets of our Barrett's craftsmen are handed down from generation to generation

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