Creative spirits

Silvia Fresco, designer, IN SANA

Eyestylist Exclusive: Silvia Fresco is the founder of IN SANA, an emerging Italian independent eyewear brand with a distinctive, handcrafted aesthetic. IN SANA frames are handmade to order. Victoria G. L. Brunton asked her about her approach to fine eyewear design and what made her launch her very own designs.

Describe to us the journey you took to discovering the eyewear industry and founding your own brand. I studied Product Design at IED in Milan, after an internship in the city I felt the need for a change, so I moved to London. There I had the great chance to work in Gentle Monster’s first European flagship store – I didn’t know I would have ended up doing sunglasses at that time, but the experience definitely opened my eyes. It was quite a difficult period of my life to be honest, but in the darkness I found great comfort in sunglasses, so I started designing what turned out to be my first phase. After a while I moved back to Italy to seek support, and with the great support of my family I got back on my feet. After sharing the drawings with my father, who worked in the eyewear industry all his life, we started prototyping – once we had the glasses in our hands, we couldn’t keep them for ourselves, so we started the journey which is IN SANA. Above: Silvia Fresco, IN SANA

IN SANA : Phase Armour – designs by Silvia Fresco

You describe your collections as “phases” and your “designs” as “experiences”, why is this? My first collection was born without the intention of opening a company, the drawings just came unexpectedly when I most needed something beautiful to happen. Somehow we can say that life inspired me. When I opened IN SANA I immediately started to feel the pressure of fast fashion and I realized that having to come out with a new collection every few months would have killed my creativity. Phase Exeo is the spontaneous representation of a period of my life, and that’s why it’s so unique. I want to keep that uniqueness, I want to make glasses only if I truly believe it’s something new, something someone somewhere in the world will really love. No need for over production.

Avoiding the seasonal cycle of fashion seems important to you, is this because of sustainability? Yes. I will be honest, at first I moved closer to the concept of slow fashion to protect my creativity, but as soon as I started to produce glasses, and I realized how much work time and components are involved, it became clear how much waste this industry produces based on the current market. I simply don’t see the point in overproducing to sell more at a lower price – sunglasses are a really complex design object, which require a lot of skills and people to work perfectly, and it should be respected for what it is, as well as being respectful to our environment.

How do you manage to stay organised and stick to some kind of rhythm without following any kind of seasonal structure? Well that’s an interesting question. Designing sunglasses gives me a joy that is very hard to describe. Every time I finish a new drawing I feel like it is not just for me, someone else will be empowered wearing the item, and that’s the most important thing for me, knowing I helped someone to feel more like themselves. When I need that feeling myself, I start drawing, and if life gives me enough inspiration or lessons by that time, a new design naturally comes out. It’s an artistic process for me.

Eye Piece n.4 by IN SANA – the style is handmade to order

“Listening and respect” : you say this is one of your brand’s most important pillars, how do you involve your customers in your brands conversations and consider them throughout your design process? Listening and respect are indeed my most important values: IN SANA wouldn’t exist if the people who love me didn’t respect me and listened to me when I most needed it. It is my mission to treat everyone who comes across my sunglasses to offer the same. In the future I would love to design personalized glasses for my customers and I believe it won’t be possible without observing these values. I am just at the beginning of this adventure now, but I treasure every feedback: my sunglasses are unusual, every person sees in them something different and I find it fascinating to hear what they see in them, in some ways, they give me new ideas and probably next time I design I’ll think of them. There is no bad feedback.

Your website mentions the support your brand received from techno DJs in the beginning, this is quite a rare / niche industry to crossover with eyewear – how did this affiliation arise? I moved a lot between European capitals in the last few years and had the chance to interact with the techno community here and there. Through techno I met the people who are now my best friends and my greatest supporters – some of them are DJs. I find great peace in their music, I easily get lost in it – when the music is right, suddenly everything pauses down for a bit, everything seems organized to me. Leaving all the worries out I finally have space to enter the creative flow. IN SANA means “in the sounds” in Latin, it refers both to the inner sounds of our souls, where our creativity arises, both to techno, which helped me hear those melodies in the first place.

What creators outside of the realm of eyewear (music, literature, art etc) do you think resonate with / mirror your brand and its vision? I don’t come from a fashion background, I love fashion of course but I mainly find inspirations from artisanal work. I am a product designer, objects always fascinated me. I am constantly looking for art around me, something that gives me that feeling I have when I wear my sunglasses. The first one who comes to my mind is Bruno Munari who has definitely been a point of reference for me during my studies. In the immense world of the arts, painting and architecture are my favorite ways of expression – they communicate so much without ever imposing themselves, they always let you interpret them. I hope my glasses give you the same feeling.

Tell us a bit about what you’re doing in order to produce in a less environmentally damaging way…I always choose the most eco-friendly option available even if It is very hard in the eyewear world to have a 100% eco-friendly production. Very high minimum order quantities are applied from the companies who produce the materials you need to produce, store and ship something with the complexity of a pair of sunglasses. So I decided to produce on order – in this way I fight overproduction, which is one of the biggest problems new generations have to face, and I keep under control quality and waste disposal. In some way, producing less gives me more freedom to choose between old wasteful ways of production, and more innovative but less impactful ones, like 3D printing. All the metal components of Phase Armour for example are the results of a process that includes 3D printing, we only use the metal we need, they are almost 0 waste.

IN SANA: artistic details are a feature of the frames

Each pair of your frames is made by hand on a made-to-order basis…talk us through your process…Yes, my sunglasses are handmade on order, meaning we have a limited stock to be able to support our customers in case of need (warranty cases etc..) but nothing more. From the moment of order, both from shops or clients online, I need between 2 weeks and 3 months to deliver, based on the pair of glasses and the quantity. This is possible thanks to a few trusted artisans in the Belluno area in Italy who taught me the art of eyewear and make each piece by hand with me.

Your two current shoppable “phases” are Phase Exeo and Phase Armour, could you tell us about these phases and how they compare / contrast? I perceive these two phases so differently, but they are very connected. Phase Exeo comes from a place of darkness, Phase Armour is what came after it. My first phase was unexpected, messy and edgy – each model is different, you can see it wasn’t thought to be a collection. My second phase comes from a more conscious place – I already had IN SANA for a year when I designed it, I was more aware of the difficulties in making glasses. These phases are completely different but they come from the same need of looking for something more meaningful, and shape myself into a better person. Find out more about the brand at www.in-sana.com An interview by Victoria G. L Brunton exclusively for Eyestylist.com. All rights reserved.

TVR® OPT Japan: an interview with the master craftsmen

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2023, TVR®OPT continues to uphold its focus on the preservation and revival of traditional spectacle-making in Japan, creating an eyewear collection that is already renowned around the globe; via a translator, we asked Sawada Yaemon (Mastercraftsman) and Eizo Onami (Head of Production / President), at TVR® OPT Japan about their work and dedication to the traditions of their craft – pictured above, Onami Eizo and Sawada Yaemon at the TVR®OPT factory in Japan

How long have you been making spectacles? Please tell us what got you started and why it is a skill that should be carefully preserved? Is it part of your family tradition? Sawada YaemonI have been making eyeglasses all my life, dedicating almost sixty years to this craft. The know-how has been passed down through generations, from my grandfather to my father and now, me. It has always been a family business, started by my grandparents. We used to make eyeglasses for Japanese and American companies in the 1950s.

Throughout the years, I’ve only known how to use tools and machinery from the 50s; the same methods are still practised up to this day. I’m not good with new technology and I think it’s always good to preserve this generational family tradition of making eyeglasses by hand. I believe in every eyeglass we make lies the soul and touch of the craftsman. Using this traditional method, we ensure the unrivalled quality and sophistication of our handmade eyewear. We’ve never changed anything, just making small changes in eyewear designs for our creations to be current and loved by everyone.
In Japan, it was impossible to predict the future of the eyeglasses industry. This business has had its ups and downs, especially since many companies moved their production to other countries in the 1990s. We do what we can do to preserve our generational craftsmanship, passing it down to the next generations despite having to go against advanced technology and modernisation.

Eizo Onami: The idea is to preserve our Japanese craftsmanship in eyewear making — this is the very reason why we started TVR®OPT Japan some ten years ago. We wanted to keep this industry going as very few factories in Japan have been able to sustain the business up to today. And we are very much aware that the artistry in handmade eyewear-making is fast-fading. Many factories are closed and craftsmen get older, or retired due to old age. The fact is, the younger generation isn’t taking up this work and isn’t interested in craftsmanship.
What we have employed before and today are the same — using old machinery. We can only make small batches of eyeglasses every year, significantly inferior to machine-made ones. Because we are ‘hand-made’, we have limitations and our production will not be able to cope with larger numbers. But know that what we are maintaining and preserving are the integrity and the authenticity of eyewear history that cannot be replicated elsewhere. This is our pride and joy.
TVR® OPT (True Vintage Revival Optical) was created based on true size, vintage design and the revival of old classics, with a tagline of “The Art of Recreating Classic Eyewear”. OPT means glasses company in Japan. TVR® OPT uses only time-tested methods to create “revivals” of classic frames. At TVR® OPT, we believe that retro is not merely vintage objects, but a vision of the past and present embodied in one’s sense of fashion, attitude and being. With that ethos, we started TVR® OPT in 2013 to continue the work of the craftsmen here in Sabae, and to share our pride and joy to people all over the world.

(Left) Production of the new TVR®504 Classic JD 2023 Edition has been completed and is undergoing final inspection before it is delivered to distributors and customers; (Right) The new TVR® OPT Japan 10th Anniversary metal core temple design based on Unryūzu (Dragon in the Clouds) by Kanō Tan’yū

2. Today you are working on the TVR® OPT frames, putting your skill and dedication into frames that are timeless, quality- driven, and technically very precise. What are the biggest challenges? How long does one frame take and how many steps are there? What is your favourite part of the work?
Eizo Onami: TVR® OPT is still a young brand compared with other Japanese brands in the market, most of the other brands are over 100 years old. The biggest challenge is to keep improving every detail and craftsmanship. Everyday there are more and more new brands in the market. But I think it’s good competition, and it keeps us moving stronger forward while thinking of ways to improve and to constantly innovate with new ideas each time we launch a new collection.
We only use time-tested methods to create ‘revivals’ of classics and vintage frames. These are limited pieces produced by the hands of our artisans and TVR® OPT promises a delivery of true vintage pieces that withstand the test of time. At the same time, our team constantly finds ways to keep our designs current while improving every detail on the eyeglasses.
Sawada Yaemon: One of the biggest challenges is maintaining true craftsmanship. We are not considering relocating or even replacing labour with machines. We started with handmade craftsmanship and continue to do that up to this day, and the old master craftsmen still insist on keeping the whole handmade process true to their craft and artistry. TVR® OPT has been fortunate to be able to work with them and continue passing on this craftsmanship from their hands to the final product.
Many people wouldn’t have known that each eyeglass will take between 8 to 12 months to produce and there are as many as 200 manual processes involved in making an optical frame. Some collections like TVR® SERIES take longer, between 15 to 20 months due to its complex nature. It gives me great joy to see that my work and craftsmanship have been loved and worn by our beloved customers, making every minute spent worthwhile.

Craftsmen in Sabae seen here working on the hand-polishing; each eyepiece is carefully polished by hand to achieve the best precision and finish

3. You are working out of Fukui? Tell us about this incredible eyewear destination and how the eyewear skills of the region are being preserved and passed down to younger generations?
Eizo Onami: Yes, you’re right. Over 90% of eyewear frames sold in Japan come from Sabae, Fukui Prefecture, Japan. Sabae has always been known for inventing the concept of nose pads and developing the use of titanium frames in the 1980s. Paired with a rich history in eyewear production and eye frame manufacturing, Sabae represents the history of handmade eyewear in Japan itself.
For those who didn’t know, the art of eyewear making started during the Meiji era when this technology was first introduced in Sabae. The city is also known as the ‘City of Glasses’, and the people here have developed their own style and artistry throughout the years. The industry began as an off-season side job for agricultural workers, but the demand grew exponentially after World War I. In the late 1930s, approximately 1.5 million celluloid eyeglasses were produced annually in Sabae — the same way and method practised by the TVR® OPT artisans today.
However, it is inevitable for this generational craft to face its own adversities. Many of our master craftsmen are octogenarians, and it is hard to have them replaced. These artisans have spent their entire life perfecting this craft, using knowledge and ‘sixth sense’ in creative every detail you see on the eyepiece. This is very different from mass-produced eyeglasses. And if it’s not being preserved, it may even disappear after my generation.
Sawada Yaemon: If I may add, it is very tough to get the younger generation into making handmade eyeglasses simply due to the long hours of sitting in the factory doing the same work everyday. You need to have a very zen and calm mentality — it’s imperative. On top of that, most of the young people find better opportunities outside of Sabae city; they move out and go on different routes.
The truth is, there are many families of traditional craftsmen who wish their business will continue or be passed down to the future generations. But due to its demanding nature, many family businesses have been forced to shut down as there are simply any takers who are willing to continue the legacy.
As a fellow craftsman myself, I am lucky because my son enjoys this job and he has been trained since he was a child. Eventually, he developed really good polishing skills and has been a meticulous person who finds joy in every detail. I hope he will continue what my forefathers have started and take it to the next level.

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4. What elements of the work you do are different from say 20 years ago?
Sawada Yaemon: We are still using the same technique and old machines from five or six decades ago — the same ones I used since I started too. We still prefer to keep the same legacy from my grandparents and parents. There are not many factories in Sabae who still have and use old machinery like we do but of course this has decreased significantly in the last 10 to 20 years. Many craftsmen have already retired.
Every year, we face a lot of challenges in the industry and it gets harder for us to sustain the legacy of our craftsmanship. So the constant need to innovate is another component that is different as compared to 20 years ago. That’s the only way to keep up to today’s market demands and standards.
For example, our most recent launch comes with the Dragon Metal core details. I believe we are the first brand to create such an intricate detailing in the core. It all started when we came across the pattern details but you’d hardly find the Tebori technique in its making. This has taken us 12 months to produce, including research and concepts to the final execution.
Eizo Onami: At TVR® OPT, we want to continue the legacies of master craftsmen in Sabae. We would speak to them, and find inspiration through the work that they do. Most of the master craftsmen are more than happy to share their knowledge and wisdom in eyewear making. Together with that, we are also able to get insights into original templates and blueprints, including authentic molds that will help us to truly revive vintage eyewear.
TVR® OPT is not just a business or a brand. We are a community. Over the years, TVR® OPT has started to create job opportunities for craftsmen living in Fukui to keep the Japanese craftsmanship alive for as long as we can. Additionally, in ensuring that the eyepieces meet the authentic standards of handmade craftsmanship, you need someone who understands the original construction method from the 1950s and 1960s. That’s something we do not compromise on.

5. What are your most important eyewear characteristics in Japan, and why are they held in such high esteem?
Eizo Onami: One of the main characteristics of Japanese craftsmanship is the kind of detailing that the craftsmen put into every creation. There is a tendency to pay extra attention towards the minutest of details. The spirit of Japanese artisanal craft involves spending time and effort to get the final product precisely right. The economics of the product are not so important as for these folks; the aim is to produce something faithful to the fundamentals of the craft and its authentic designs.

6. Finally – outside spectacle making – what other special crafts do you admire, and if they are particular Japanese ones, could you kindly explain what unique qualities they possess….and why the craft you mention is so highly skilled.

Sawada Yaemon: As part of my family history, we have a lineage of skilled thatched roof craftsmen belonging to the esteemed Yaemon family. For centuries, our ancestors meticulously crafted roofs using traditional techniques, gracing Japanese homes with the beauty of thatched roofs. However, as Japan’s architectural landscape evolved, my great grandfather realized that we need to adapt and diversify our expertise. Approximately 80 years ago, with the decline in thatching materials, we took a bold step forward and embraced a new venture. Our family transitioned to become skilled artisans in the art of handmade eyeglasses, combining traditional craftsmanship with modern touch.
For many generations, my family members have been trained in eyeglass making. We have been carrying this special craft since my great grandfather’s time. Japanese are very good at crafts and we are precise. Eyewear is something that started some 100 years ago and the challenge is how we can make every eyeglass interesting? What are the next steps to make something simple and luxurious?
That’s how we incorporate the Japanese ‘Tebori’ technique into our eyeglasses — that’s the kind of attention to detail that we observe and practise for years. We also introduce gold plating on our metal core and rivets — very subtle. In other words, it is a ‘quiet elevation’.
Eizo Onami: TVR® OPT is also the first brand that is using this technique. The ‘Tebori’ technique was developed during the Edo period when Japanese arts and crafts truly flourished with its own codes of aesthetics. This engraving technique was employed in various objects including swords, hairpins, combs and many more. In order to perfect this engraving technique, ‘Tebori’ craftsmen have to first master the art of making a ‘tagane’ or a cold chisel that acts as a stencil-like tool for the patterns on the metal. Today, there is only one ‘Tebori’ craftsman in the optical field in Fukui, Japan and a few more in Tokyo focusing on pure gold products including jewelry, watch-making, ring and other gold trinkets featuring the unique hand-carving design; all marketed at very high values.
And that’s why elements like these are highly valued and prized — because they are very rare and almost inaccessible. When you wear TVR® OPT eyeglasses, you’re wearing a piece of history and heritage. You are wearing decades of craft, perfected. www.tvropt.com / www.tvropt.eu

Karin Stehr, True Eyewear

Karin Stehr is an eyewear consultant with a passion and enthusiasm for independent design labels, much like our own. A former optical store owner, she has a wealth of knowledge about specialist optical retailing and loves the idea that she is able to inspire other opticians to fall in love with the independent eyewear collections – as she has. Her next unique launch are guided tours of the optical shows….

How have you developed such a passion for independent eyewear? Before starting in the eyewear business, I worked in a container leasing company. It was a great international atmosphere, but containers are just often dented, rusty or dirty. As a person with a sense of aesthetic and style, I couldn’t do that forever. When my husband wanted to start his own optical business, I knew: this was the right place for me. I had no idea about the profession at the time, but beautiful glasses fascinated me from the beginning. As early as 1989, we bought several independent brands for our new shop.

Tell us about the shop you owned. Why did you sell it? In 2005, I founded our second shop, Bellevue (Hamburg, Germany) because I wanted to focus exclusively on independent eyewear. For many years, this was my absolute dream job. I had a team that covered all the professional skills. I was able to live out my passions, my creativity and my strengths in customer advice, marketing and purchasing.

Of course, administration, controlling and organisation were also part of my tasks right from the start. In the last few years, however, I had to invest more and more time and energy in these areas of work. At some point I realised that as an entrepreneur I no longer felt as free as I had in the past. In the end, Covid-19 was not the reason, but it was the occasion to rethink my life planning. I wanted to start again and use all my experience, my contacts, my whole network within the independent eyewear segment as a basis for my new consulting work. I wanted to really enjoy my work again. Pictured above: Karin Stehr wearing Gotti frames (www.gotti.ch)

Bellevue, specialists in independent eyewear: Stehr founded the shop in Hamburg in 2005

What are you working on now? I inspire and advise independent opticians to create their own individual and unique collection of independent brands. Today, it’s about having and communicating a distinctive positioning. If you have a personal affinity for it, independent labels are ideal for this.

Do you have an affinity with particular brands? Why are they so special? Of course, over the years I have come to know and appreciate some brands and the people behind them very well. I have a very trusting, friendly relationship with some of them. No matter whether they are designers or the creative heads of their companies: they are all passionate about what they do and extremely consistent in the implementation of their vision.

I know many others more fleetingly and always have the same spontaneous impression. They are creative, demanding people. They have a broad horizon, are open and communicative. I am very happy that I can now get to know many more of these exciting people through my new work.

How do you inspire other people to have the same passion as you regarding creative, artisan eyewear? I think there are many more opticians who would love to sell independent labels as well, but don’t dare to throw out the supposedly safe, well-known fashion brands. Many also have the desire to no longer be dependent on the global eyewear industry, to have a different, more attractive offer than the neighbouring shops. I show them the versatility, the stylistic range, the authenticity of the independents. This makes it possible to put together an individual selection of collections for each shop, perfectly suited to the location and the customers.

It is particularly inspiring to get to know the people behind the brands and to be personally introduced to their history, design philosophy and future prospects. That’s why I’ll be offering guided tours of the major trade fairs in future, which I’ll tailor perfectly to requirements beforehand. This way, even newcomers can quickly and deeply immerse themselves in the independent cosmos. Every personal trade fair conversation with a founder, owner and/or designer, and even more so every visit to a headquarters or even a production facility, inspires and inevitably leads to wanting to share this exciting background with one’s customers.

What frames do you wear personally, and has your eyewear journey along the way included many different styles of frames? Are you wearing bolder frames than ever before? I am one of those eyeglass wearers who has a large personal collection and wears them all. In total, I have, reasonably correctly glazed, about 30 pairs of glasses and 20 sunglasses. There is at least one of every brand I have had in the store during that time.  I have collected them for about 20 years, some of my earlier treasures are unfortunately now lost.

Besides the basics in black, grey and silver, I like to wear more unusual shapes, materials and colours. I choose my frame daily to match my clothes and mood. I love bold styles, but with my relatively small and narrow face, I don’t like a look that is quite so radical on me.  In suitable weather, I almost always wear a La Loop glasses chain so I have my sunglasses with me all the time.

Give us your top tip on what you believe is super hot in 2023? It took a few months, but now I love the revival of flat, angular shapes, especially in sunglasses. I still have a cool red and white Face a Face, which is about 15 years old. I’m having them re-glazed now! To find out more about Karin’s work at True Eyewear visit https://true-eyewear.de

Elena Orsi Mazzucchelli, Mazzucchelli 1849

Italy’s historic producer of cellulose acetate, Mazzucchelli 1849 is held in high esteem across the optical industry for its beautiful richly coloured creative acetate materials, which include the sustainable Bioplastic M49. During a visit to the Mazzucchelli factory in Castiglione Olona this month, arranged by Italian independent label RES/REI (www.resrei.com) – a company that works closely with Mazzucchelli to create its own custom acetate colours – Eyestylist spoke to Elena Orsi Mazzucchelli, one of several members of the Mazzucchelli family at the helm of the day-to-day running of the business today. Trained as a lawyer, Elena works at Mazzucchelli HQ as Product Development Manager, CENTRO O Group – in the creative hub for Mazzucchelli’s research, study and design and colour development.

First, can you explain your current role at Mazzucchelli and how long you have been working there? What does it mean to you to be part of such a historic family business? I am responsible for product development, one of the beating hearts of the company. I work with a super professional and passionate team, made up of people with different interests and passions, but all united by an innate sensitivity for the product. I have been working for the company for 13 years.

Mazzucchelli1849 is a family business that next year celebrates an important anniversary: 175 years. I can say that it is a great pride to belong to the sixth generation of the family who works in the company. On the one hand I feel very lucky to be part of such an important reality, able to create beauty with values, on the other I know I have a great responsibility towards the people who work in this large family.

Macro trend forecast: “Normality” – translating into colours that recall the earth and nature: rust, forest green, grey, apricot…(MIDO 2023 release)

What are the most creative elements of your job and what do you enjoy the most about it? In my role, I have the fortune to range from the creativity necessary for the creation of a new product, the ability of laboratories to create prototypes, from the most artisanal to the most technologically advanced, up to the production of what I like to call mass-produced uniqueness.

I think creativity is a very special value with which we are lucky enough to be born, it must be cultivated and everyone has to do it according to their own inspirations.

One of the fundamental moments for the birth of a new product is the idea: that feeling that does not leave you until it is realized. It must not remain something abstract, it must be shared and if, after discussing this idea with your colleagues, with the laboratories, it still conveys the same strength to you, it means that it must be created. And seeing the first sample made from this idea is one of my favourite moments.

Changes are underway in the optical business with the switch to more sustainable materials. Can you summarise how Mazzucchelli is committed to this switch? It is now quite a long time that Mazzucchelli is committed to sustainable materials, since well before the market and the customers asked for such a change. M49 is our sustainable material on the market now since 2010. During the years, we have continued to improve the performance of M49 material and to promote its usage among the customers, even if at that time the approach to bio, natural and sustainable materials was definitely much less sensitive than what it is today. Mazzucchelli is committed to improving sustainability of the materials through continuous improvements of its iconic M49 as well as the general improvement of its processes, with the increased usage of sustainable energy and improvement of the efficiency of the production processes.

Macro trend forecast: City Life (MIDO 2023 release)

What is your view of the opportunities offered by – for example – M49 – a bio-based and biodegradable material produced by Mazzucchelli? M49 is the only material capable of fully responding to the demand of a more sustainable material. It is a natural material, coming from wood and the plasticiser used is from natural origins, while the “normal” acetate has a plasticiser with fossil origin. Besides, acetate is a recyclable material and, within some technical limitation, can be re-used in some production processes, thus improving its sustainable footprint.

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What other sustainable developments can you tell us about? We think in the coming future there will be a much wider usage of natural and sustainable materials, replacing the other materials. This is a no-return decision of the market. Therefore all the efforts will be to sustain this market change by enlarging our offer of M49 together with other solutions aimed at improving the global sustainability not only of our materials and processes  but also of the entire supply chain. The usage of acetate Renew helps to improve the sustainability through the Chemical Recycling Technology developed by our supplier Eastman. In this way it is possible to recycle the cellulose acetate waste without affecting the final quality of the Renew material.

Mazzucchelli: material samples

Regarding 2023, what are the highlights in terms of trends and colours for eyewear? What for you really stands out for Autumn/Winter, and do you think there is one particular trend that we will see continuing into next year? I think this Autumn/Winter will give us the desire to seek out timeless pieces, which move further and further away from what does not coincide with our commitment to sustainability, which have stories to tell and preserve. We do not have to think of a basic and hyper-classic product, but of a contextualised product that looks towards the future. A combination of material and colour, tones that manage to lighten and give a boost of energy to any pattern. I believe this is not a fleeting desire, it is, in any case, the result of the stimuli we receive from nature on the one hand and from digital technology on the other. The basic colours are sophisticated and transversal, we can think of a rich palette of browns, rusts and greys, combined with brighter tones, contaminated by digital and at the same time empathic.

What are your passions beyond eyewear and eyewear creativity? My passions affect my work and my work affects my passions. I understood that the love for this job is something that is part of my DNA, my roots. And it was a discovery that I gained over the years, because my education goes beyond this world, I trained as a lawyer. Since I joined the company, and got to know the reality of product development, I can say that it was love at first sight.

Just as I love travelling, getting to know new places and different cultures. My father is Italian and my mother is Dutch, so I experience different influences myself and I like to look for beauty in the things around me especially in those I don’t know.

I love to fill my eyes with beauty: whether it’s a painting that attracts the eye, a walk in nature with my children, a city by the sea, a good local dish or people who spend happy time together. I never get tired of looking around. And I have a thing for colour, in everything I do. Professional deformation….

www.mazzucchelli1849.it

 

One to watch: Danielle Rattray, eyewear designer

Hailing from Northeast Scotland, eyewear designer Danielle Rattray is by all means one to watch. Seeking inspiration from her home country, a landscape bursting with culture, “colourful characters and great music”, in her words, Rattray creates strikingly bold-yet-refined frames worn by loyal patrons of her brand in London, Paris and soon…New York. Her style and energy is inspiring the youngest generations of fashion eyewear enthusiasts…. Eyestylist spoke to the Scottish designer…

Tell us a bit about yourself; how you grew up, what put you on the path you’re currently on…I come from the Northeast of Scotland, it’s an area full of colourful characters, great music, and lots of talented designers. I studied graphic design in Dundee and spent a lot of time in London, so it was an eclectic path full of inspirations.

How would you describe yourself? Committed.

What is your earliest memory of fashion? Fashion for me was always tied closely to music. Blondie, Patti Smith, Keith Richards, Vivienne Westwood. I always had a good understanding of colour and aesthetic; punk was a strong source of inspiration for me, it still is.

Teddy by Danielle Rattray

Have you always been a creative person? Yes, I think so. I was always drawn to colour, fabrics and aesthetics, as well as art and music.

What stands out to you most about the eyewear industry? That there is a place for everyone. You can be free to design in an understated way, or a really bold and outgoing way and people will support you and be open to your ideas. I love the pace of change and how new ideas emerge.

Lowe by Danielle Rattray

Does your culture and home country influence your work in any capacity? Definitely. Scotland is a small but strongly independent country. No nonsense and full of contrasts: gritty backstreets and noisy bars, but then spectacularly beautiful landscapes. My work is generally understated, but if you look closely, you see the quality and the effort that has been put in to create the relationship between the frames and the wearer.

From where do you draw the inspiration for your collections? Women, always. Again, a lot comes from the music I listen to; certain era’s and looks will inspire me. But it all comes back to women I see in the industry, or friends I meet. I travel between Scotland, London and Paris quite regularly, so I absorb different looks, and from that breeds new angles.

Tell us a little about your most recent line-up… My collections have evolved over the past few years from being heavily 60s and 70s inspired to being more unique to my personal design aesthetic. I have worked hard with my French factories, and I feel I have created a language in my collections that is strong but also understated and unique. Some of the shapes that seemed very strong in earlier seasons have developed into becoming best sellers. Obviously, colour is a signature as well as a consistently high-quality finish.

Vada by Danielle Rattray – in teal

What do your designs say about their wearer? (Name one, two or a few) I think on and consider my customers a lot. I create clean and uncluttered external finishes and put more intimate details on the inside of the frames. Jean and Stevie are strong and confident frames; they’re bold, whereas Teddy and Stella are more 60s inspired; softer and pretty.

Your brand seems to be extremely bold, fashion-forward and exciting; would you be open to expanding into other areas of the industry at some point in the future? Actually, I have been designing fabrics and clothing all of my career, it’s just been in the background. I have enjoyed focusing on eyewear but, with my Scottish roots, fabric and pieces that are particularly inspired by music and punk culture will never be far away. This year, I released a collection of knitwear working with one of Scotland’s oldest knitwear manufacturers – the results were incredible. That capsule is on sale now as part of my Spring ‘23 collection.

What’s next on the horizon for Danielle Rattray? I hope lots of travel, and continued progress in finding great stores to work with. We will keep our focus on the United Kingdom and France this year, but we have strong demand coming from New York and I would love to see Danielle Rattray present there. I have some new design elements coming into the collections this year, so I am looking forward to Silmo.

For more details about the brand visit www.daniellerattray.com An interview by Victoria G. L. Brunton exclusively for Eyestylist.com