Launched in April 2016, the first-ever tutoring project for the eyewear world – by Safilo in association with L’Uomo Vogue – has reached its conclusion.
The finalists of the three competition categories are young creative talents who reinvented the eyewear frame with originality while respecting the competition’s guidelines, i.e. to blend heritage with innovation. They had the opportunity to show their work in a special exhibition held in Safilo’s Via Manzoni showroom to coincide with the Milan Fashion Week and MIDO.
Four winners (two came equal first) and four models of creativity-packed eyewear frames: Zixin Yang wins the Masterpiece award for the most artistic, original frame. She presented a very sophisticated design in product terms, almost disengaged from its actual function, and with a fascinating storytelling which reflects the vision of not only a true artist but also a fine designer.
Zixin Zang: Following several years of study in London, this Chinese native landed at Polimoda in Florence and is currently enrolled in the Footwear and Accessories Design course. Zixin already boasts a résumé with experience in the field, from being a backstage assistant at an Andrea Incontri fashion show to an internship at Malone Souliers in London.
The Capsule Collection award goes to Nirmit Gupta and Pritam Paraye, a creative duo who impressed the jury for their fun, contemporary design already prepared in a range of materials and colors, making it particularly appealing and virtually ready for production development.
Nirmit Gupta and Pritam Paraye: Nirmit and Pritam are both Indian, the former was born in 1989 and the latter in 1987, and they recently graduated with degrees in Product Design from Domus Academy in Milan. “Drawing and doodling new ideas really relaxes me,” says Nirmit, whose background in architecture (building, interiors and small-scale products) led him to see the beauty of design “in everything that lives and breathes around us”. Conversely, Pritam says, “I like transforming human nature into communicative design through philosophy and aesthetics”, and that the most rewarding challenge is to push his own creativity beyond its limits. Their submission to Safilo was inspired by nature, using as a model one of the “oddest animals, the owl, who stays awake while all the rest of the world sleeps. Who knows what he sees that others don’t see…”
Finally, Francesco Lazzaro and Vittoria Marchesini are equal winners of the Product School category for the excellent technical grounding shown in the developed products and also during the admission interview for Safilo’s three-year training course, which will enable them to acquire the essential skills needed in all eyewear product areas before continuing their development within the company.
Francesco Lazzaro: Venetian, from Mestre, Francesco is 26 years old and has a degree in Industrial Product Design from the Università IUAV di Venezia. Passionate about nautical design, he also developed an interest in motors and mechanics in general.
Vittoria Marchesini: Born in Verona, she studied at the Istituto d’Arte, specializing in Design. “I was always fascinated by the original stories of objects that we use in everyday life without ever realizing how they were born” she states. So, after high school she chose to study Creative Design at the Scuola Italiana Design in Padua, where she was able to learn about lots of different fields: graphic, web and product design, as well as marketing, which is no less important to design. “My knowledge has grown to include new sectors, but my desire to learn and grow still hasn’t been sated”.
“The contest A Forward Vision for Eyewear Heritage was conceived as a natural continuation of our commitment towards new generations and to support our Product School,” declares Luisa Delgado, CEO of Safilo. “When you have a tradition as strong as Safilo has, planning for the future and conveying your know-how to the future generations becomes a true ethical commitment. For this reason, we wanted to put energy, creativity and dedication into this scouting project, and I am now very proud of its results. My wishes go to the winners in their further pursuit of eyewear with the same determination and enthusiasm,” she adds.
“It is so important that young designers are given an opportunity to reinterpret tradition and roots, and showcase their creativity. A contest such as this allows Safilo and the world to take notice of amazing talents that might otherwise go unnoticed,” says Marcel Wanders, honorary member of the jury.
About Safilo Group
Safilo Group is the fully integrated Italian eyewear creator and worldwide distributor of quality and trust, leader in the premium sector for sunglasses, optical frames and sports eyewear. Design inspired and brand driven, Safilo translates extraordinary design into excellent products created thanks to superior craftsmanship expertise dating back to 1878. With an extensive wholly owned global distribution network in 39 countries – in North and Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific and China – Safilo is committed to quality distribution of its products all around the world. Safilo’s portfolio encompasses Carrera, Polaroid, Smith, Safilo, Oxydo, Dior, Dior Homme, Fendi, Banana Republic, Bobbi Brown, BOSS, BOSS Orange, Céline, Elie Saab, Fossil, Givenchy, havaianas, Jack Spade, Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, kate spade new york, Liz Claiborne, Marc Jacobs, Max Mara, Max&Co., Pierre Cardin, Saks Fifth Avenue, Swatch, and Tommy Hilfiger.
Listed on the Italian Stock Exchange (ISIN code IT0004604762, Bloomberg SFL.IM, Reuters SFLG.MI), in 2016 Safilo recorded net sales for Euro 1,252 million (preliminary data).