Safilo celebrates its 80th anniversary by launching a new limited edition inspired by the legendary glasses once worn by Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979), renowned collector of 20th century European avant-garde art, who discovered some of the greatest American artists of her time. These Surrealist-inspired glasses are a new take on the celebrated model created for Peggy by American artist and friend Edward Melcarth. Safilo had already drawn inspiration from these eccentric sunglasses in 1994, when it first produced and distributed its Peggy Guggenheim model, which was on sale at the museum’s shops.

For this special anniversary, Safilo is launching a unique, limited edition model, which will be on sale solely at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Moreover, an exclusive event, Safilo’s 80th anniversary celebration, will be held in the museum’s gardens on September 4, 2014.

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The revisited sunglasses stay close to the original design, giving them a more contemporary look, with their iconic blue butterfly-eye acetate frame comes with tone-on-tone mirrored lenses, with contrasting profiles in shades of brown, endowing them with romantic evocations of reflections on the Venetian lagoon. Many alluring photographs portray the celebrated doyenne of modern art and hostess of intellectuals and the jet set wearing her eccentric sunglasses, which perfectly capture her unconventional, bohemian spirit.

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Behind the project is the bond that links the Safilo Group to Venice, the city where the first eyeglasses were born, and capital of the Veneto, the Region where Safilo was established, in 1934 in Calalzo di Cadore, and where today it has its corporate headquarters in Padua. Venice was also a city beloved of Peggy Guggenheim, who, in 1948, was invited to exhibit her legendary art collection at the Venice Biennale. She then acquired the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal, and made Venice her residence for the rest of her life.   The Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation) is among Italy’s major museums for European and American 20th century art is located in Peggy Guggenheim’s former residence in Venice.

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Peggy Guggenheim with her Lhasa Apsos terriers on the terrace of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice, 1960s.
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Peggy Guggenheim in the ‘barchessa’ of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni with her collection of African sculptures; Venice, late 1960s

Safilo Group, has additionally joined the Intrapresæ Collezione Guggenheim, a group of leading Italian and international companies that support the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, promoting the educational potential of art with the conviction that art can inspire business to embrace change and to face global challenges.  Safilo will organize activities and special events at the Guggenheim museums over the next two years, including the anniversary celebration in Venice in early September.

Safilo, since its founding in 1934, has promoted and enhanced eyewear as an art, as an expression of aesthetic beauty and creativity as well as an emblem of skilled craftsmanship and savoir-faire. Safilo’s historic archive is the only corporate museum containing original artifacts, ancient optical instruments, eyeglasses, paintings and prints that testify to the long history of spectacles, spanning 700 years, and to their evolution through the centuries..

The Safilo Group is worldwide leader in the premium eyewear sector for sunglasses, optical frames and sports eyewear. With an international presence through 30 owned subsidiaries in primary markets – in America, Europe and Asia – and exclusive distributors, Safilo produces and distributes its house brands – Carrera, Oxydo, Polaroid, Safilo, Smith Optics – and the licensed brands Alexander McQueen, Banana Republic, Bobbi Brown, BOSS, BOSS Orange, Bottega Veneta, Céline, Dior, Fendi, Fossil, Gucci, HUGO, J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez, Jack Spade, Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Liz Claiborne, Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Max Mara, Max&Co., Pierre Cardin, Saint Laurent, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tommy Hilfiger. For further information www.safilo.com

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation) is among Italy’s major museums for European and American 20th century art. Located in Peggy Guggenheim’s former residence in Venice, it presents the celebrated art patron’s personal collection, including masterpieces by Picasso, Brancusi, Kandinsky, Magritte, Miró, Giacometti, Pollock and many others, as well as painting and sculpture from the Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof Collection and the Gianni Mattioli Collection. The museum hosts temporary exhibitions

Credits:
© Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, photo Archivio CameraphotoEpoche, gift Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia, 2005.