At home in Barcelona with the founders of Tiny­cot­tons

Milk Magazine (English) - - CONTENTS - Text: Hélène La­halle – Pho­tos: Aurélie Le­cuyer

Orig­i­nally from Cor­doba, Ar­gentina, Barb and Ger­ard left their home coun­try nearly ten years ago to set­tle in cos­mopoli­tan Barcelona. Back in Ar­gentina, Ger­ard was a child psy­chi­a­trist, Barb a fash­ion de­signer who’d had a pas­sion for clothes since child­hood. Their two daugh­ters, Cruz (16) and Catalina (15) were born there, fol­lowed by their autis­tic brother, Gre­go­rio (10). For Ger­ard, who reg­u­larly re­ceived chil­dren suf­fer­ing from autism spec­trum dis­or­der (ASD), it be­came dif­fi­cult to bal­ance his pro­fes­sional ac­tiv­ity and per­sonal life, both closely re­lated and emo­tion­ally-charged.

Smit­ten with Europe ever since he first trav­elled there when he was 25, he de­cided to move there to make a new start. After a “re­con­nais­sance” trip via Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga and San Se­bas­tian, Barb and Ger­ard even­tu­ally opted to set up home in Barcelona, at­tracted by the cul­tural en­ergy of this coastal city and be­cause Ger­ard had a chance to work there as an ad­dic­tion spe­cial­ist. So the cou­ple moved there with their three chil­dren.

Barb looked after Gre­go­rio full-time for the first year, but she couldn’t re­sist the call of fash­ion for long. She joined the Adi­das de­sign team, be­fore launch­ing Tiny­cot­tons in 2012 with her first Peru­vian Pima cot­ton col­lec­tion. The quality prod­ucts and strong vis­ual iden­tity soon built up a faith­ful clien­tele. The brand’s pop­u­lar­ity grew so quickly that Barb asked Ger­ard to join her on this bold ad­ven­ture which had proved so suc­cess­ful that she was un­able to cope with the mas­sive work­load alone. Tiny­cot­tons thus be­came a fam­ily busi­ness, at the heart of which Barb and Ger­ard seemed to have found the right

As adepts of min­i­mal­ism, Barb and Ger­ard have a fond­ness for three things: white, wood and nat­u­ral tones.

bal­ance be­tween their pro­fes­sional and pri­vate lives. They di­vide their time be­tween of­fice life in Barcelona and fam­ily life in Sant Cu­gat del Val­lès, a town about fif­teen min­utes north of the Cat­alo­nian cap­i­tal. Their home is in Vall­dor­eix, a pro­tected nat­u­ral area far from the bus­tle of Barcelona. Their house is sur­rounded by a vast ex­panse of green­ery. For Barb and Ger­ard, it was a case of love at first sight. Hav­ing vis­ited more than thirty po­ten­tial homes, and come away feel­ing dis­ap­pointed, this one just seemed per­fect. The view over the mag­nif­i­cent un­du­lat­ing for­est no doubt had some­thing to do with it.

As adepts of min­i­mal­ism, Barb and Ger­ard have a fond­ness for three things: white, wood and nat­u­ral tones. Built around two decades ago, the sober con­crete and glass house im­me­di­ately struck a chord. The kitchen, clad in yel­low tiles, didn’t go down so well… So they de­signed an­other, all in wood, and had it hand-crafted. Open­ing onto the din­ing and liv­ing room, it is one of the spa­ces in which par­ents and chil­dren come to­gether to share quality time over an Ar­gen­tinian-Span­ish meal. Bar­be­cu­ing is ob­vi­ously Ger­ard’s depart­ment. A true Ar­gen­tine, he takes cook­ing meat very se­ri­ously and has built an out­door fire­place

wor­thy of its name. “On the left, I cook paëlla; in the mid­dle, piz­zas, baked on lava stone; and this part is re­served for cook­ing meat. My next pro­ject is to in­stall a fire­place inside.” The be­d­rooms up­stairs on the first floor are for the par­ents, Gre­go­rio and the youngest ad­di­tion to the fam­ily, Vin­cent (8 months). Cruz and Catalina each have a room on the sec­ond floor, the floor Bard doesn’t of­ten dare set foot on for fear of find­ing it too un­tidy… At the week­ends, Barb and Ger­ard like to go to the mar­ket, then have lunch out with the fam­ily at Can Gula, a restau­rant in Mer­can­tic Vin­tage Vil­lage. They en­joy strolling around this lo­cal flea mar­ket or look­ing for fur­ni­ture ei­ther for their home or for the Tiny­cot­tons stores, the lat­est of which opened in March in El Born, a pic­turesque district in Barcelona mix­ing lo­cal cul­ture, art and moder­nity. If the cou­ple re­turn to Ar­gentina ev­ery two years, be­ing French speak­ers, they also take hol­i­days in the South of France: Car­cas­sonne, Pau, Per­pig­nan, Toulouse... Un­less they de­cide to take the whole fam­ily to For­mentera. Travel is a ma­jor source of in­spi­ra­tion for Tiny­cot­tons, whose Sum­mer 2018 col­lec­tion just hap­pens to be called “Hô­tel Bon­heur”.

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