Jose and Maria started their business in the early 1980’s. They moved to New York City from South Texas after destiny brought a NYC actress to the University of Texas where she spotted José’s first jewelry piece, which was on display at a student exhibition and she decided she had to have it. She met the couple and purchased the necklace. Returning to NYC she wore the necklace to a party where it was seen by Alexander Leiberman of Vogue who then asked to use it in a photo shoot. "The necklace" inspired Diana Vreeland to commission the iconic photograph by Irving Penn on Marisa Berenson in Vogue’s 1970 April issue. This began their aspirations to move and start their lives in NYC where they raised three daughters, Larisa, Mariel and Alicia and slowly grew their jewelry business.
Today the Jose and Maria Barrera company is still a family owned and operated business, which now includes their three artistic daughters. All of the jewelry is designed and produced from start to finish in the Garment Center of New York City. All items are assembled by hand by a small staff of trained artisans under the watchful eye of Jose and Larisa where quality, attention to detail and craftsmanship are the key ingredients to creating our product. The Jose and Maria Barrera jewelry line can be seen and purchased at Neiman Marcus stores, Neiman Marcus online and exclusive boutiques across the globe.
In 1997 , Larisa Barrera created a line of evening handbags which were also produced by hand in the Barrera studio . The bags all incorporated jewelry elements in the frames and handles which coordinated with the beaded fabrics creating a vintage look with a modern twist .Please visit www.larisa-barrera.com to explore more jewelry and handbag collections .
Besides assisting her parents with the business aspects of the company , Mariel Barrera has also ventured out on her own into the fashion world to become a well know makeup artist. She has provided many famous fashion photographers her artistic talent to create notable images for major fashion magazines ,fashion catalogs as well as working with many high profile celebritites .You can see many examples of her work on her Instagram page and her online portfolio .
Alicia Barrera , the youngest daughter is growing into a fine artist while working at the Barrera company in a multi faceted capacity, creating graphics , web and jewelry design .