Luxury & Fashion

Aug 1, 2015

Seeing is believing

It is March 17, 1934, and Guglielmo Tabacchi, the founder of Safilo eyewear, just acquired the Fratelli Cargnel factory, an eyewear factory founded in 1878 in Pieve di Cadore, Belluno, Italy. He renamed it Safilo - Società Azionaria Fabbrica Italiana Lavorazione Occhiali.


The company began by producing prescription and bifocal lenses, along with a wide range of sunglasses and prescription frames, including models made from a special flexible material known as celluloid. Then, in the 40's, the German occupation led to the production of a single model with a celluloid frame in only two colors, meant for the German market. At this time, Safilo concentrated its efforts on research into innovative technologies. 

In the 1950's, Safilo went famous amongst the younger generation, drawn to the American style in the postwar period. Safilo also developed sports models, the first models designed to provide superior technical performance. In the 1960's, the trend are oversized frames, and Goldman and Ufo models of the brand marked a milestone. The 1970's were marked by the invention of the "Elasta" hinge, delivering unbeatable comfort: the temples could be forced outwards, without deforming the glasses or altering the focal point.

The challenge of the 1980's was providing frames that would be strong and lightweight, while also packing a visual punch, verging on the eccentric. Eyewear became a must, a show-off accessory designed to get you noticed whilst in the 1990's Safilo eyewear was forged from materials designed to offer a cutting-edge product and a linear design with no frills, light, flexible and strong, made of mainly metal, steel and titanium.

Safilo Group and its brands

Based in Padua, Italy, Safilo is the second-largest manufacturer of eyewear products worldwide in terms of turnover and the world leader in the luxury eyewear segment. It is also one of the top three sports eyewear manufacturers and distributors. 

Proprietary brands such as Carrera and Polaroid reach the development targets in the middle/high-end market of the "fashion" and "casual-sports" segments in every category of products: optical frames, sunglasses, technical sports glasses, ski goggles and helmets. Safilo house brands offer a range of eyewear products which meet every need.

As for the Group's licensed brands, numerous fashion houses rely on Safilo Group, many of them renowned worldwide, such as Gucci, Dior, Hugo Boss, as well as others distributed only in some countries, such as Kate Spade, Banana Republic and Saks Fifth Avenue. The licenses which link the Group to those brands are characterized by exclusivity agreements, with guaranteed respect for the particular style characteristics and positioning of every licensed brand.

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