The company Potomac d.o.o. was established by two pioneers of change, who redefined a series of aspects of the fashion industry. Dissatisfied with the approach to cravats and male and female classical fashion in general, they brought new life to that key fashion accessory, taking it back to its spiritual roots. In 1990 they established the Potomac company in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
At the time, there was a long tradition of silk handicrafts in Croatia, which reached its peak at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was the third country in Europe in terms of silk production. Due to the turbulent history and many regimes that ruled until the fall of the Iron Curtain, the offer of cravats, scarves and shawls was scarce and the industry neglected in terms of quality.
Marijan Bušić, one of the company founders and visionaries best expresses the situation at that time: “The cravat in the international market as a symbol contained no story about it, had no feeling, no spirit, and its fashion expression was poor and uninventive. Fashion brands for decades had been repeating the same visual image, and instead of emphasizing individuality, indirectly they unified individuals. With time, the cravat had obviously lost its original function and the universal significance it symbolized.”
It is precisely with the mission of taking the cravat back to its roots that in 1990 partners Marijan Bušić and Zlatko Penavić established the Potomac company. Their mission was to offer their vision of fashion which respects the individual and their individuality, to present cravats and scarves as a communications media and a sign of identity and to tell the story of its origin, which at the time was not well known.
The first CROATA boutique was opened in January 1992 in Zagreb’s Kaptol. It offered a wide range of specially designed and handcrafted cravats in limited editions, which aroused great interest in the national and international public. In the following years, there was practically no relevant media in the world that did not commend the originality of the Croata products and told the interesting story of the cravat and its origin.
Along with the cravat, throughout the years, with its own design team and with two production lines the company gradually developed a wide range of high quality fashion products manufactured in Croatia: women’s scarves and shawls, men’s and women’s shirts, vests, fashion accessories made of leather, silk and metal, and jewellery. Each of the new products was developed with the intention of providing customers with a blend of traditional Croatian craftsmanship and lightness of design.
This “innovative classic” was fruitful and CROATA soon became the most distinguished and most famous Croatian fashion brand. Through the development of its own retail sales, managing a partner network of distributors and sales to corporate customers, the company has grown from year to year and developed into a regional leader.
Moreover, in addition to a range of luxurious goods, the company also offers products for different market segments. Thus, over time, it developed the brands Ban, Souvenir, Trenk and Šestine, which are in a lower price range, thus meeting the needs of an integrated market.
In March 2012, there was a change of generations, when Franjo Bušić was appointed as the new director, taking over the management of the company from his father Marijan and his long time partner Zlatko Penavić.
The company headquarters are located in the 17th century Baroque palace, adapted into modern business premises, in the very heart of Zagreb, at Kaptol 13.
President of the Board of Directors, Potomac d.o.o. : Franjo Bušić