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Marcel Bena started to work as a sole trader and set his workshop to manufacture corsets made of elastic tulle knitting in his apartment located in Pantin, east Paris.


Charles Fossey, also known as "The Burmese Fakir" arrived in Paris in the 30's to work as an astrologist.
Ten years later, he decided to change job. With an address book full of names of ladies from high and middle social backgrounds, he asked himself : What are women interested in? Their silhouette, of course!
He went into patnership with Marcel BENA to make body shaping underwear. The brand Barbara was born.


Marcel Bena's son, Gilbert,  takes over the company in 1952 at Charles Fossez's death and undertakes its developpement. 


This year is symbolic as it represents women emancipation and the sudden arrival (1972) of the first collections of lingerie : bras and panties.
The year is emblematic as well for the company which has been thriving for a few years. The turnover reaches 10 millions Francs and Barbara employs about 150 people.


Barbara is the first brand to use elastic lace to make lingerie. Barbara gains quickly a worldwide reputation of well-being thanks to its extremely comfortable elastic laces.
Jean Jacques Bena manages the company which keeps expanding successfully, as it is at that time the best selling french brand in Asia.


The TV advertisement with the well-known "Barbara c'est moi!" slogan is first broadcasted. 


Decade of innovation with the launch of the "Ange" range, seamless and invisible under tight clothes. A few years later, a new technical fabric is used, the "spacer", perfect for seamless bras which are breathing and non-ironing. 


The Bena family gave up on most of the capital to a financial investor. An emphasize is put on spreading more widely the brand around the world and offering large sizes. 


Launch of the Open Tour campain on the back of buses to enhance the brand image. 


A TV advertisement campain is aired with the slogan "Barbara, c’est moi!"
Launch of the range 'Beauty Perfect': first line that uses "second skin" lace, extra flat and seamless, combining elegance and invisibility.


Olivier de Croizant becomes General Manager of Barbara. A new brand postionning is set, with larger  and more trendy collections. The identity is asserted and the distribution dynimised.