Creative spirits don’t allow a bumpy economy to interrupt plans. Despite rocky global predictions in 2009, Guya Montermini and Ciro Tugnoli launched their first eyewear collection, Blue Magic Eye, at Silmo, where we discovered them. Their risk venture paid off from the debut, as the frames are now sold all over Europe, America, Canada and New Zealand.
The charming design duo have a specific concept for their frames. “We want to create eyewear in clean and traditional shapes, but not the “usual” version,” says Montermini, “and we create frames without thinking about a special target audience. We design what we like, and think about what we would wear. It’s important that the frames are comfortable and easy to wear. We don’t like big logos on frames; that is all too showy and extreme for us.”
The unusual company name is taken from the movie, American Gangster. “Blue Magic was a famous product in the film, very competitive and very high quality. This is our philosophy for the frames,” says Montermini.
Both Montermini and Tugnoli are natives of Bologna, the Italian city that boasts the oldest University in the Western world, established in 1088. Bologna, recognised for its stunning, elegant arcades, has been voted on several occasions as one of the top cities for quality of life in Italy, plus it is the country’s culinary centre. Surrounded with history and inspiration, they also believe in Italian eyewear production.
“All our frames are produced in Italy, and with Italian materials,” explains Montermini, “and we think that “Made in Italy” is a guarantee of quality in our field. We like the way the Italian craftspeople work, with their passion and experience.”
Montermini says that she and Tugnoli like the wonderful possibilities of creating frames in acetate, similar to how a clothing designer feels about working in particular fabrics. ”We work with two or three different coloured acetate combinations (multi-layer), because in this way, we can mix colour inside and outside the frames; for example, black outside and turquoise inside. Acetate is also a good material for experimentation – like brushed finishes or matt sandblasting. Now we are thinking about new materials for the next generation of our products, such as wood, carbon fibre and other materials used in other industries,” she said.
Big shapes in both acetate and metal are on the agenda for 2011. “We think that metal is going to be important,” predicts Montermini, “and we also have access to some very old pieces of acetate, which we will produce in a limited edition in our best selling styles.”
Before opening Blue Magic Eye, Montermini worked in marketing and fashion accessories, while Tugnoli was involved in sales and administration. Their first design experience has been an uplifting experience. “Eyewear is a field with lots of opportunity for young designers, says Montermini, “and especially at this moment, people are open to receive new ideas and frame styles. We try to give this type of product to our customers.”
Blue Magic Eyewear can be found in a variety of optical boutiques across Europe, including the following:
IN A WHITE BOX (Stra Italy) www.inawhitebox.com
OPTIQUE OLIVIER (Lille France) www.optique-olivier-lille.fr
OPTIEK PELGRIM (Nieuwpoort Belgium) www.optiekpelgrim.be
OPTIX Berlin www.optix.berlin.de