Italian eyewear brand Safilo is turning 80 this year and instead of hosting a retrospective celebration of its achievements, they chose to honor the important occasion by asking Marc Newson to work on their next set styles, drawn with inspiration from their historic catalogue. An Australian designer extraordinaire, Newson is very well known for his ambitious projects, having designed everything from chairs to airplanes, watches to speedboats, and clothing to cameras, lamps and shoes. He’s also considered to be the initiator behind today’s contemporary design art market, of which he accounts for almost one quarter. His unique pieces often sell for staggering amounts in record-breaking auctions. Altogether, Newson’s ability to innovate in different fields coincides well with heritage brand Safilo’s ability to engage in so much experimentation.
The guiding principles behind Newson’s approach to the archives of Safilo have been transparency and transformation. In particular, the resulting capsule collection consists of five optical frames and two pairs of sunglasses, each of which manifest in five variations through five specific materials and technologies. Newson not only revised the styles, but also combined different peculiar techniques and patents he found across Safilo’s portfolio; like ultra-lightweight Optyl (a trademark of the Italian brand), the Elasta 80 hinge, the ultra-thin steel wire of the historical UFO collection and the combination of aluminum and steel.
The general vibe of the collection is retro-futuristic—clearly inspired by the past, but perfect for the current day. The capsule collection, Safilo by Marc Newson, is completely manufactured in Italy and will be officially presented next month at La Triennale di Milano, in occasion of the Salone del Mobile.
Check out more of the Safilo by Marc Newson sunglasses in the slideshow.
Images courtesy of Safilo