Bringing Barcelona to NZ

Etnia Barcelona means ‘ethnicity Barcelona’ in Catalan. The name, style and story, all very much represents the essence of Barcelona, said Sophie Pottecher, Etnia’s Asia-Pacific sales manager who was visiting Auckland with CMI Optical’s Brad Boult.

Etnia Barcelona is a third-generation, family-owned company. Its designs are inspired by the Mediterranean Sea, art and culture, said Pottecher. “The best way to truly understand the soul of Etnia is to visit the Barcelona flagship store. It has seven stories and each floor provides a whole experience around the culture of eyewear. It has two shops, showrooms, workshops, a terrace and a bar on the rooftop from which you can enjoy a fabulous view of the city.” It’s open to everyone, she said, adding if you’re a stockist, they’d happily pull out the red carpet if you visit.

Just like Etnia’s flagship store, the brand’s collections are bright with popping colours. “Etnia was very early introducing colour to the world of eyewear and the very first to launch a yellow and a red frame,” said Pottecher.

Boult agreed the range of colours is unique to Etnia. “For one model we can sometimes offer as many as nine different colours.” He was attracted to the brand because of Etnia’s original designs and story, he said. “Etnia has a design concept that is unique and it has such a broad range, it offers something for everyone.”

Etnia’s four product ranges cater to different ages and tastes which has allowed CMI to focus solely on the brand, explained Boult. “We are going narrow and deep with Etnia, which is opposite to what many players in the market are doing.” Though they are still building the brand in New Zealand, the response to date has been very positive, with a thriving new account group, he said.

While focusing on establishing and growing Etnia’s optical ranges in New Zealand, Boult said he’d like to add sunglasses. “Etnia’s sunglass range comes with Barberini’s mineral glass lenses offering fantastic clarity.” New in the sunglass and optical range is the titanium collection, a tribute to Japanese tradition and craftsmanship, he said. Another tribute collection to be released at Silmo later this year is the David Bowie range, inspired by and honouring the iconic musician.


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