Twenty years have passed since when, back in September 2001, for the very first time, Etnia Barcelona presented the most colorful collection the market had ever seen. David Pellicer, CEO, and owner of the company, still fondly recalls the surprise in peoples’ faces when they first saw those frames colored in chessboard checks, yellows, blues, greens, oranges …. “Back then, the eyewear market was totally unfamiliar with such pulsating colors. The collection broke all molds, was a total disruptor”.
Over the last 20 years, the brand has seen meteoric growth. It has crafted its own history, working with global artists to create adventures that bridge from Japan to New York, to Africa.
This year, the brand anticipates billing in excess of 72 million and is preparing to extend its portfolio (recently, it informed the market of its purchase of the Catalan brand, Lool eyewear). Over the last two decades, the Barcelona firm has supplied opticians with designer eyewear, unique color concepts, and the very best service in terms of speed of delivery and warrantee commitment.
To David Pellicer, it is clear that it is not merely a question of offering a top-quality product, but also of helping the optician in all ways possible to ensure a completely trouble-free service. One of the main ways in which the firm has stolen a lead over the other independent players is that it boasts its own, fully automated production facilities. Thus it is able to control quality, costs, and indeed the entire value chain, offering a speed of delivery unachievable by other market players.
Ever since 2018, sustainability has been one of the firm’s mainstays: it has reduced the amount of single-use plastics it employs and ensures all packaging material is eco-friendly. Etnia Barcelona is one of the few eyewear firms to have opted right from the outset to use completely plastic-free, pure mineral glass lenses which, moreover, offer superior visual qualities. Thanks to the HD technology of the Barberini lenses it uses, Etnia’s clients are privileged to be able to see enhanced primary colors with up to 70 times greater clarity. The color experience is vital to Etnia.
Equally important to the firm is the work of the Etnia Barcelona Foundation which, ever since 2016, has sought to guarantee the care of the visual health of people at risk of social exclusion. It offers universal access to eye tests, prescription glasses, diagnostics, and visual therapy to the most vulnerable. Not only does the Foundation operate in the Greater Barcelona area, with its diverse social contexts, but also in the third world, in countries such as Senegal, where the Foundation has set up a community optician which, in addition, supports the role played by women in local society. Over these last 5 years, the Foundation has offered support to over 25,000 families.
Lastly, the firm is refurbishing its Barcelona offices this year, with a particular eye to the sustainability of the building and the health of those who work in it. It seeks to create a space that will inspire and multiply the talent of its team, in line with one of the firm’s current obsessions: to generate a culture that fosters a sense of belonging, of ownership, in short, an environment designed to retain talent. For more information visit their website etniabarcelona.com.