Barcelino started out as a single store in San Francisco’s Union Square and has grown to include six San Francisco Bay Area locations and two in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, Barcelino, known as the executive men’s wear specialist, expanded in 1995 to include “Per Donna” a boutique exclusively for high-level career women located two storefronts down from the men’s store In 1972, Sharei and a college friend opened a store called “Orpheus” on Union Street. This was the middle of the “hippie era”, when fashion was undergoing dramatic changes, with psychedelic colors and patterns changing the way American men looked and dressed. To set Orpheus apart from the other boutiques that lined Union Street and specialized in trendy bell-bottoms, tie-dyed T-shirts and other hippy clothing, Sharei imported popular European lines. This foresight established Orpheus as the first American company to represent GRUPPO G.F.T., which eventually introduced the famous Italian designer, Giorgio Armani, to the US market.
When it comes to fashion, Sharei’s passion fills the room. “At Barcelino, we search the world to select, design, produce, and offer the finest collection of international apparel for sophisticated, fashion-conscious men and women who prefer natural fibers and refined, continental styling over trendy or extremely conservative looks. The styles we present are contemporary, yet classic. Our philosophy is the lasting stylish image. Our commitment is to world-class service.”
Because of the insight into the fashion industry, Sharei determined that designer labels did not always measure up to his standards. They generally, but not always, passed the first two tests of style and quality, but fell short on value. Designer customers, he found, had to “pay for the hidden costs of royalties, advertising and promotion.” That “two-inch designer label” was an unnecessary and costly premium passed on to customers.