8 years of TRAIT

Trait is a concept store offering a selection of original products with a modern and playful touch.

There are two shops located in the heart of the Sant Antoni neighborhood, on Carrer del Parlament 28 and 37, where you will always find some unique clothing, shoes, decor, gifts, and accessories ranging from backpacks to perfumes and sunglasses with a little je ne sais quoi that will totally hit your spot. The offer is so varied that it also covers books and publications about art and design, instant cameras, and other surprises.

On the occasion of their 8th anniversary, Gabriel Ortiz and João Novaes tell us the story of Trait,which started in 2014 and they have seen it evolve and expand in the last year, when they opened their second store and launched their first collection of t-shirts inspired in the neighborhood of Sant Antoni.

Tell us, how did this adventure start?

We met at a previous job in the tech industry, about 15 years ago. We clicked from the very first moment and soon realized that we had a lot of things in common in terms of music, fashion, art, etc.

This is when we started thinking that one day not too far we had to shape all those interests into a real and tangible idea. Things were good at work, but when the opportunity to start our own project came up, we didn't hesitate for a minute.

What came next are these 8 past years in which we haven't stopped for a moment. We have learned and keep learning every day.

Who is behind Trait?

Trait are: João Novaes, Brazilian-born, partly raised in Argentina but for the most time in Barcelona, and Gabriel Ortíz, who has always been related to Barcelona.

João Novaes has a background in photography and cinema and is the one who's always in charge of maintaining high standards in Trait's image, design, and character, keeping it fresh and up-to-date. He was behind Trait's photographic universe from the outset, given his own experience and passion for photography; something we want to focus on by bringing it to the forefront again.

Gabriel Ortiz has always been closely related to audio and music production. Trained as an audio technician, he always had a vocation as a music selector and DJ and has played music in some of the events held in Trait during these years. Regarding the company, he is responsible for communicating with customers and suppliers.

What can we find in your stores?

The word “trait" refers to a certain attribute that defines and distinguishes a person, object, etc. We always tried to offer articles with a character to our customers; something to inspire them and make them feel a little more like themselves.

Balance is the word that would define our increasingly varied selection of articles. We always tried to integrate classic brands with a long history with the newer or more disruptive ones that had a very distinctive character from the beginning.

More established brands such as Lacoste Live or Fred Perry coexist here with streetwear brands such as Carhartt WIP, some outdoor options such as Patagonia or Topo, or nordic-inspired brands of the likes of Samsoe Samsoe and Rains and even local and national brands, such as Thinking Mu and Ölend from Barcelona or Edmmond Studios from Madrid.

With the new store, the range of options has expanded, including design brands such as HAY,cosmetics from Meraki, perfumes from Maison Matine, sunglasses from Monokel, and even candles and home fragrances from the Californian brand PF Candle

As for footwear, tour shelves are stocked with sneakers, shoes, and sandals from AutryVagabondBlundstoneBirkenstock and Veja, among others, the latter being somewhat special to us because it reflects Trait's commitment to Fair Trade brands and respect towards the environment.

In addition to popular brands, you also have your own collection of t-shirts. How did that project come up?

Yes, it's something that took us a while to do because we were invested in having a coherent selection of brands Daily life is very consuming, but now we finally have more assistance and it's a good moment to materialize what we've been planning for years.

Almost a year ago, we decided to create a limited collection of t-shirts and the result hasbeen very interesting and very well received by our customers. Right now, that's one of the projects within Trait to which we would like to devote most of our time.

After being 8 years surrounded by brands of all kinds, we felt ready to launch our own collections, always staying faithful to our own creative idea and following what we always wanted our customers to find in our stores.

You have a very close relationship with the neighborhood of Sant Antoni. Tell us a little about daily life in the hood!

The truth is that we have always felt very good since we arrived in the neighborhood. It's clear that after being here for 8 years, we had seen it grow and develop in ways we never imaginedwhen we first opened. At first, there were not many of those businesses that infused the neighborhood with life, but our bet was a safe one, and it seems like we succeeded.

Sant Antoni has a very special vibe, it's a vibrant place any day of the week.We enjoy living a local life here, so we are happy that Trait was born in this place. We are in love with this area of Barcelona.

Any future plans that you can tell us about?

We won't spoil the surprise, but here is just a "spoiler”: we are going to introduce a

new brand that has little presence in the city and we want to continue working on our own brand, aside from other products from the Trait label.

First and foremost, we'd like to keep our eyes peeled and stay active since Barcelona allows you to continuously re-invent yourself.

Now you have carte blanche. Tell us anything you’d like to finish this interview.

We talked about ourselves before, but we also feel very happy with the team of people who have been joining us during these years. Those are people committed to the project that help us improve day by day.

We would like to end this interview by saying thanks to everyone who helped us to be who we are; without them, it wouldn't have been possible. We're talking about all the people who have been involved with Trait, brands, suppliers, and everyone who played their part so that we can continue celebrating more anniversaries.