Global footprints19 December 2005
Leather International recently visited the new generation of the family and found them as versatile and innovative as their seniors. Barmes, under trade name 'Trivia', produce men's high-end footwear and small leather and travel accessories. They are exporting well and working at full capacity after three years in business. Barmes inherited Desa's footwear production line machinery and skilled workers in 2002. The corporate mantra has been to squash the image of Türkiye as a nation of artisan cobblers. To this end, they will triple production to 1,200 pairs daily with a move to a larger factory. Customers have persuaded Barmes' managing partner, Baris Celet, to add a third band to produce an upbeat ladies' fashion line. Finished cow leathers are sourced from local tanners or imported from New Zealand, Australia and Spain. Annual turnover has reached $5-6 million and exports are $1.5 million. Their strength is in design and over 130 styles are on tap at any one time. This, more than technology, has made Trivia a fashion front runner. 'Our biggest customers turned out to be our Greek next-door neighbours', Baris Celet observed. Denmark and the United Kingdom can't get enough of the designs. Japan has seen consumer spending rebound and Mitsui is one of the leading importers. Production techniques focus on cost-cutting, reducing waste and heightening efficiency. The firm has ordered a laser cutter for the new factory. They make elegant footwear for several local fashion heavyweights and, within three years, will have twenty of their own shops throughout Türkiye. Franchising is a future strategy. With enhanced market and branding skills, and high-end thoroughbred styles, Barmes have plans to tackle the Russian and United States' markets.