Style No. V1835
Eilonwy in lilac
Style No. AR 7019K
Style No. SF671SR
Style No. DQ0129
ITALIAN ROOTS While eyewear manufacturing now takes place in many countries, the quality and flair of Italian-made glasses are widely seen as being in a category all their own. Records of the earliest reading glasses date from the late 13th and early 14th centuries, in the province of Belluno, in Italy’s Veneto region. By the late 1800s, the production of glasses had become a bona fide industry in Veneto and a factory was established in Calalzo di Cadore. (This first factory, originally called Carniel, was renamed Safilo in 1934.) The complicated, highly technical process of eyewear production remains a mainstay of Cadore’s economy today.
Style No. FF 0030
Style No. BF698

From the runway to the display case, Italian-made designer frames have made (and continue to make) an indelible mark on the optical industry. The iconic designers whose names and signature logos adorn these collections have become part the world’s daily dialogue, especially for the fashion forward—and this holds true for both women and men. Often identifiable from afar, these brands boast trendsetting designs and a high level of artisanship. 

Featured Brand: POLICE
Take Note: With designs inspired by big-city street styles, POLICE eyewear makes its mark with both ophthalmics and suns. The brand has a contemporary-meets-vintage feel and while most of the styles are polished metal, some are matte, opaque acetates. Either way, quality is critical for De Rigo, and manufacturing in Italy allows the company to have confidence that they’ll deliver on that promise and stay true to what they’ve identified as their “Be Younique Spirit.”

“It is key for De Rigo Vision USA to continue to offer Made in Italy styles with our Police Eyewear and reach the best ratio between affordable price and perceived quality,” says Guillaume Pottecher, president, De Rigo Vision USA Inc. “Today, our consumers are educated and recognize the quality and the value of Police Eyewear, made in Italy.”

Featured Brand:
Vera Wang
Take Note: The Vera Wang Salon Collection features limited-edition, handcrafted designs for seven ophthalmic and 14 sun styles – all made in Italy. The vast majority of these models feature acetate frames and temples, but metal elements are present in a few styles.

“The Vera Wang Salon Collection is a very special grouping of styles that is released twice a year around themed runway shows,” says David Duralde, chief creative officer, Kenmark Group. “The collection explores the colors, shapes, and new technology that drive innovation in eyewear and sunwear. Our factory in Italy that produces these styles uses old world artisanship with cutting-edge technology, creating a sensible style with unique color, shape, and style direction.”

Featured Brand:
Giorgio Armani
Take Note: The Armani Garçonne collection exudes luxury with accents of velvet and gold. It includes one ophthalmic and two sun styles, all offered in black, blue, and chestnut velvet, and all featuring Giorgio Armani’s initials. Style No. AR 8025K, for women, is a special edition cat-eye sun, and Style No. AR 8026K, a sun style for men, has a more modern design. On the ophthalmic front, Style No. AR 7019K is a slightly squared design.

“Eyewear from the Garçonne series is the result of detailed and skillful artisanship,” says Giorgio Armani. “It’s an example of a product that is refined, high in quality, and unique-both in terms of the research behind the design as well as the perfection evident in how it is made. I like glasses that I consider to be the signature of a style, the perfect complement to clothing. In both my women’s and men’s collections I’ve always liked to use them to emphasize a particular image.”

Featured Brand:
Salvatore Ferragamo Eyewear
Take Note: The runway-ready aspects of Ferragamo eyewear are impossible to miss, from the oversized butterfly silhouette of Style No. SF671SR, to the color-blocking-inspired cat-eye shape of Style No. SF673S, to the then-is-now retro-inspired design of Style No. SF675S.

“Salvatore Ferragamo is one of the world’s best-known made-in-Italy luxury brands, appreciated for the art of shoemaking, artisanship, creativity, and elegance, all elements which are reflected in the entire product range,” says Linda Ryno, vice president of international designer brands, Marchon Eyewear Inc. “The eyewear incorporates the signature details of the brand’s identity for a playful, stylish, and timeless collection of frames for both women and men.”

Featured Brand:
Take Note: The link between Italy and the fashionable, contemporary spirit of Marcolin’s Dsquared2 eyewear comes through loud and clear with elements like a metal plate on some styles’ temples featuring “DSQUARED2 MILAN.” “What distinguishes Dsquared2 Eyewear collections from other brands is the intelligent mix of the irreverent and non-conventional Canadian wit with the refined Italian tailoring and the attention for details: the result is a unique concept of alternative luxury,” according to the design team. “The models come in a wide variety of shapes with original hues, while still guaranteeing top comfort. They celebrate the brand’s aesthetic codes, reflecting the avant-garde, refined style of Dsquared2 design.”

Featured Brand:
Take Note: When it comes to embodying the spirit of made in Italy, Fendi gets the job done. With 16 opthalmic styles and 15 suns, this new collection features bold shapes, a wide range of colors, and unforgettable patterns. The Spring/Summer 2014 collection gives fashionistas several options for making a statement, including the color blocking of Style Nos. FF 0029 (sun) and FF 0030 (ophthalmic), and the baguette-bag-inspired design of sun Style No. FF031/S (limited edition).

“Our partnership with Fendi has allowed us to create eyewear that perfectly reflects the Fendi spirit and heritage,” says Massimo Zuccarelli, international creative director, Safilo. “Intense research on exclusive materials along with expert craftsmanship make these sunglasses fashionable and artisanal at the same time.”

Featured Brand:
Take Note: Maintaining the concept of “neomadeinitaly,” Blackfin frames are entirely designed and manufactured in a Blackfin-specific factory in Italy. The company defines this concept as “an approach born of passion, dedication, respect, and care for their workers and their working environment.”

The brand’s Zero Edge collection carries with it a theme of strength, from strong shapes, to strong colors, to strong contrasts. “I have tried to concentrate our technical competencies into the most recognizable and lightest product of ours: a heap of technology made of titanium laminate,” says Corrado Rosson, head of product and design, Blackfin. The 100% titanium frames are very light and guarantee a perfect, adjustable fit. ” All these things make Blackfin different from all the other eyewear and perfectly recognizable,” said Rosson.

Rachel Bozek is a freelance writer who includes the optical field as one of her areas of expertise.

De Rigo Vision
Kenmark Group
Marchon Eyewear
Marcolin USA
Safilo USA
Villa Eyewear

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