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Iconic Italian designers add their panache to Kartell’s latest eyewear collection
Borderino, Showpiece and Lamina eyewears from the Main Collection
Image: Courtesy of Kartell

Iconic Italian designers add their panache to Kartell’s latest eyewear collection

Rodolfo Dordoni, Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni and Fabio Novembre were invited to contribute towards the Design Collection of the first sun and vision eyewear collection by Kartell.


by Almas Sadique
Published on : Mar 30, 2022

We have often witnessed architects, designers and artists transcending their professional boundaries to trail various creative pursuits, leading to architects envisioning and designing furniture and homeware collections, designers creating artistic spaces with pragmatic additions and artists layering utilitarian spaces and products with soulful insertions. Not only does this crossover of creativity lead to interesting designs but it also establishes the legacies of visionaries who constantly seek to push their boundaries. One such collaboration worth noting is Kartell’s recently launched The Eyewear Collection. Comprising 100 different vision and sun eyeglasses between two sub collections: Main Collection and Design Collection, the contemporary Italian furniture company invited four designers to reinterpret the eyewear that caters to the brand’s industrial design concept, while also carrying a unique design sensibility. The designers, namely, Rodolfo Dordoni, Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni and Fabio Novembre, weave their individual essence to their designs to create a truly iconic collection of eyewear.

“Kartell look was ensured by the involvement of some of our top designers, who contributed their own creative vision to the project. Kartell Eyewear is a first step in a yet unexplored direction that will complement our brand’s identity. New designs will be added in due course,” announces Lorenza Luti, Kartell’s Marketing and Retail Director.

The different eyewears, while distinctively designed, are unified by transparence Image: Courtesy of Kartell
The eyewear pieces makes for an iconic Kartell collection Image: Courtesy of Kartell

In an attempt to keep alive the brand’s identity, the usage of several materials such as glass, metal, plastic and KartellBio can be seen in the entire collection. All the pieces, with their varied geometric shapes and thicknesses, act as a recall value to the design of the products that the brand regularly produces. Kartell’s latest colour palette, which is transparency, highlights the design of all the pieces, thus linking all the individual spectacles with each other. While the Main Collection is characterised by softer features, the designs created for the Design Collection remain experimental and accentuated. However, the entire collection is enhanced by gloss or soft-touch finishes. Keeping in tandem with their commitment to sustainability, the usage of KartellBio, which is a sustainable acetate derived from cotton and precious wood fibres, can also be seen in the final products. Comprising a total of 32 designs, the eyewears created by the designers carry their characteristic features.

Ferruccio Laviani in his ‘Segmenti’ eyewear Image: Courtesy of Kartell
The ‘Segmenti’ eyewear is highly simplistic in appearance Image: Courtesy of Kartell

Italian designer Ferruccio Laviani’s ‘Segmenti’ features a highly personal idea of creativity. It is simple, light, refined and timeless. The usage of moulding technique gives his designs a final soft-touch finish. “I have been wearing glasses since I was a child, so I started this design by imagining how I would like glasses to be. I imagined them made up of simple elements like circles or lines,” shares Lavian about the inspiration behind his simplistic design.

The ‘Eyeliner’ sub-collection by Piero Lissoni, while simple and lightweight, features an addition of colours that makes these pieces stand out. Designed to follow the contours of the eyes, the frame, with the usage of bright colours, attracts attention to the upper half of the face and does not risk the chance of going unnoticed. Lissoni’s designs for the eyewear collection are reminiscent of his simplistic approach to design. They are characterised by very simple forms. “The only thing I have added is a touch of colour, the lightweight line that follows an almost archetypal shape and identifies this as a Kartell product,” says Lissoni about the addition of colour to his designs.

Piero Lissoni in his ‘Eyeliner’ eyewear Image: Courtesy of Kartell
Fabio Novembre with ‘Shield’ eyewear Image: Courtesy of Kartell

‘Shield’ and ‘Line K’ sub-collections by Fabio Novembre, who is an Italian architect and designer, borrow inspiration from mirrors designed by Anna Castelli Ferrieri. While ‘Shield’ serves to screen the eyes of the wearer, such that the observer is reflected in its opaque frame, the ‘Line K’ collection, with its bold framing, accentuates the eyebrows of the wearer. Novembre says: “The shades of sky, earth, nature and darkness colour the lenses and frames in pairs.”

Milanese designer and architect, Rodolfo Dordoni’s ‘LOO-K’ comprises a collection of glasses for both men and women. The rounded, sinuous shapes of the glasses serve as sophistication accessories. “One of the images that has stayed with me from my childhood is that of the eyes of a character in the comic books that used to occupy our time and imagination. Outlined by a black balaclava, the eyes were the sole element that defined the character’s entire personality. They are back again today, in a different but equally expressive form,” says Rodolfo Dordoni.

Rodolfo Dordoni Image: Courtesy of Kartell

While the pieces in the Design collection are defined by each designer’s unique essence, the 68 articles that make up the Main Collection highlight the intensive research that went into choosing the shapes, finishes and materials used in each item. Made using biomaterials and a new injection moulding technology, they comprise five sub-collections, namely Lamina, Showpiece, Exube, Borderino and Spiedo. While Lamina is designed using a combination of two shapes, such that the final product appears both rectilinear and curvy, Showpiece carries the most definitive features that define Kartell products. Exube derives inspiration from the shape of the cube. Although made out of rectilinear shapes, its edges are softened and its body coloured to appear fashionable and versatile. Borderino, like Lamina, utilises two simple shapes to make up for a composite third shape and Spiedo is made out of metal. It carried the classic metallic shapes that are often found in Kartell products.

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