At the heart of Tinycottons, there is a family. That of Barbara Bruno and Gerard Lazcano who, together with their three daughters Cruz, Cata, Vini and their son Greg, have shaped the development of a family-friendly brand of everyday clothing for parents and children. We take a Vueling flight to meet them on the outskirts of Barcelona. In the protected natural area of Valldoreix, where their house is located, with its generous windows overlooking the Collserola mountain range. A setting that is as bucolic as it is impressive, where the couple, originally from Argentina, instantly fell in love with this property that is totally at one with its natural surroundings. Once the couple had decided to change their lives, immersing themselves in this stunning environment and co-creating their own business was a natural choice. A company on a human scale – born in 2013 during a trade show in Paris, for a long time with a small collection dedicated solely to babies – which now allows them to “reconcile professional life and daily life” and where each person has, in his or her own way, a role to play. Their spirit of adventure permeates every corner of this white interior with its touches of green. Each item and piece of furniture here has a story behind it, or is acquired according to a family tradition. Like bringing back a hand from each trip they undertake to add to their collection. They move their finds around to suit their moods in this discreetly charming property, which has a soothing feel, thanks to the omnipresence of natural materials. Wood predominates and can even be found on the walls of their kitchen, providing a peaceful, uncluttered and minimalist look.
Barbara and Gerard, can you introduce yourselves, please?
I’m Barb, Executive/Artistic Director and co-founder of Tinycottons. I’m 45 years old and the mother of four children: Cruz, who is 20; Cata is 19; Greg is 14 and Vini is 4. I love what I do every day. I’m passionate about brands in general, creating their concept, their vision, the product, and the demand. I also enjoy cooking and discovering food from other cultures, reading all kinds of books, travelling with my children, and never ceasing to dream! (Having my own brand of ice cream one day! That’s my next dream [Laughter]). My companion Gerard is 54. He’s a director of Tiny, and he’s a keen golfer and mountain biker.
Tell us about your background. What sort of environment did you grow up in, and how did that affect how your tastes developed?
I’ve always been dedicated to fashion. I was born in Argentina into a family that is half Spanish and half Italian, originally from Sicily. That’s why we ended up moving back to Europe. Before Tiny, I worked in the Adidas group as a designer. And after several years there, we decided it was time for us to create our own brand. And that’s how Tiny was born. Gerard is a psychiatrist who practised until a few years ago. After a life choice and a change of direction, a little training in management and finance allowed him to devote 100% of his time to our company and, most importantly, to our family. Balancing work and life was essential for us.
You are the head of the family clothing brand Tinycottons. Tell us how the project came into being.
Tiny was originally a children’s brand, born in 2013 at a trade show in Paris. At first, the clothes were only for little ones up to 24 months: a reduced collection of 30 items. Each year it grew gradually, and 12 years on, we’ve expanded and now have nearly 500 items per season. Tiny is now sold in over 40 countries. We have our own shops in Barcelona, Madrid, Beijing and Shanghai. In 2018 we launched the women’s range: The Tiny Big Sister. Today it is sold on our website, but from SS23 onwards, it will also be available in lots of retail outlets worldwide, following in the footsteps of Tiny. And finally, 2022 was the year we launched our new project, We Are Gommu : a range of handmade, biodegradable and sustainable ecological toys. We are already sharing this project with our older daughters, and that makes us very happy. We are passing on our knowledge and experience to them so they can meet their own challenges. They are studying at the university and help as much as they can with Gommu.
How would you describe your world?
Every season is a new story. Everything changes: the colours, the prints, the communication. We go back in time first and foremost, especially to our childhood. We convey messages and values in our printed material, messages in words that children can understand or that adults can explain. Things like friendship, love, companionship, kindness, nature, taking care of our planet etc., etc.
Who does what in your partnership?
We do what we can [Laughs]! It’s never easy, but between us all, our elder children and ourselves, we make it work. We help and support each other a lot, mainly by coordinating and always trying to make everyone feel comfortable with what we set out to do.
What about the decoration of your house?
The decoration of our home is constantly changing, shifting objects full of stories. We like old furniture which has already lived a life. We have a lot of natural wood, and there are also several shades of green in our house. Shades that go hand in hand with a generous use of white, a colour that is essential for us. I think it brings us together: it gives balance and style to everything. And finally, our tradition during a family trip is to find a hand for our collection. We have more than 20 pieces, and each one tells a story. It’s always fun to see which of us will find it.
You have decided to move away from Barcelona to live in the protected natural area of Valldoreix. Why did you make this life choice?
Having four children, moving away from the city seemed more appropriate. We want them to grow up in a more natural environment, surrounded by nature, and with the opportunity to be more independent in going to school or simply to go and get an ice cream. I think it was an excellent choice.
How did you discover this house?
We looked at many houses, and then one day, our estate agent said, “I want to show you a house that’s not on the market yet; I think it’s the property you’re looking for.” And it was! Within five minutes of coming inside, we were both excited, realising that this was indeed our home.
What role does nature play in your daily life and in the design of your home?
I think we live immersed in it. It’s part of our daily lives: having La Collserola on our doorstep. Here everyone goes for a walk, rides a mountain bike. There’s also a garden behind the house where you can buy local products… So nature is omnipresent in our daily lives, and in summer, even more so!
Natural materials, understated colours and minimalism seem to dictate the design of each room. Can you explain this decorative preference?
We’ve always liked places that are peaceful but stylish. With the details in the pictures we hang and objects that make us happy when we look at them.
We want them to grow up in a more natural environment, surrounded by nature, and with the opportunity to be more independent in going to school or simply to go and get an ice cream.
What does this house say about you?
That we are a large and mobile family, who like to travel and live in a house that is constantly on the move, with no spaces that the children can’t go into, and with no white carpet that determines what games are allowed or not. If it gets dirty, we clean it. Our home is always filled with friends or members of the family. We like to entertain here, to feast, to have parties, to have barbecues, meals, paellas, pizzas… everything! Every weekend my children ask: “Who’s coming to our house today?
Do you have any recommendations for places to visit Barcelona and the surrounding area?
We love the Israeli cuisine at Balabusta, the pizzas at Sartoria Panatieri and the Italian dishes at Illuzione. And finally, we must mention Café de París for its French spirit and Savia for its innovative cuisine.
What does The Socialite Family mean to you?
It’s a reference site for trends and style in decoration and lifestyle. I love the stories published there, and the families, so different in their customs and country of residence. You can sneak into the lives and homes of the people you admire and discover their stories, passions, characters, and tastes…
Photography : Valerio Geraci – Text : Juliette Bruneau @thesocialitefamily