A desire to create from the very beginning …
Catherine Parra spent her childhood in Paris, where she developed a passion for sewing at a young age. Later on, she started a career in communications. She loved the bustling, oddball, but stimulating atmosphere of the creative department that she worked with, at a major advertising agency.
However, after the birth of her first child, she decided to devote more time to her family and moved to Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France. Passionate about decorating, she went bargain hunting at local garage sales and in retro flea markets, where she loved to find treasures from the past. Restoring and building furniture, sculpture and painting quicly became part of daily life.
Catherine Parra then decided to pursue a career in her true love, designing. She started by going back to school in Marseille, at a school specializing in textile design. There she learned the tricks of the trade: production techniques, materials and their properties. She completed her training with an interior designer. At the same time, Catherine learned sound small business management practices in the design field, marketing methods, and how to source suppliers.
Yet, a seemingly insignificant event moved Catherine away from interior design.
At a garage sale one day, she stumbled across a small lot of army blankets. She got the idea to use them to make a bag for herself. Shortly thereafter, when entering a clothing boutique in Aix-en-Provence with the bag on her shoulder, Catherine was approached by the shop’s owner, who had fallen completely in love with it.
She immediately ordered several copies and convinced her customers would also fall in love. Catherine gave new life to old materials and came up with a series of handbags made from pretty old women’s corsets. They were quickly sold in several Provence boutiques.
Birth of a brand
Catherine started out with collaborations for several seasons, leaning to a colorful and offbeat look, before finally creating her own brand, signed with her name.
Catherine Parra gradually became a brand in its own right, with exclusively designed, quality handcrafted pieces. In 2003, Catherine moved to Barcelona, allowing her to deepen her knowledge of manufacturing in Spanish leather goods workshops.
Always passionate about shoes, she decided to create some ballet flats, her first pair. Today, her collections include many other styles of shoes and boots. Since then, the designer has also started designing accessories (scarves, wallets, purses…), which reflect her cheerful style.
Her designs are sold primarily in Western Europe, Japan and the United States.