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Luxury & Brands
June 10, 2015

A Tale of Savoir Faire

Text by Saumya Sinha

Iconic luxury brand Fendi and French designer Thierry Lasry, dive into Fendi’s graphic archives from the late ’80s and early ’90s, bringing out a unique capsule sunglasses collection for Spring/Summer 2015. Verve gives you a lowdown on the making…

As a sophisticated blend of refined design skills and superior manufacturing techniques, the capsule collection created in collaboration with the French designer Thierry Lasry, reflects Fendi’s creativity between tradition, innovation and experimentation. “I loved working with Fendi because I was really struck by their culture of perfection and savoir-faire and because we have in common the same artistic approach to the creation,” states Lasry. “Working with Silvia Venturini Fendi has been an amazing experience,” continues the designer. Silvia Venturini Fendi and Thierry Lasry played with two of Fendi’s iconic signatures, Graphism and Dualism, with an incredible attention to details and unique craftsmanship.

“It has been a very natural process of collaboration. Thierry himself has been, since the first moment, very Fendi, letting this capsule collection celebrate Fendi’s creativity and savoir-faire with a perfect blend between tradition, innovation and experimentation,” affirms Silvia Venturini Fendi.

Keeping the inspiration intact, two new patterns have been created for the collection, along with two special designs of the sunglasses, Fanny and Silvy. The names, inspired by the Dolce Vita period in Rome, are heat pressed in white on the inside of the temples. Quite predictably, Lasry has added his signature touch through the names of the glasses, which always end with the alphabet ‘y’.

Creating fabulous materials
Each pair of sunglasses is the result of expert and unique workmanship, starting with the creation of exclusive materials developed by Mazzucchelli 1849, leader in the manufacture of cellulose acetate. It all starts from a powder of cellulose acetate, a noble material derived from vegetable fibres, which is manually processed using pigments, in order to create slim monochromatic acetate sheets. The acetate sheets undergo three assembling phases – in the first phase they are pressed and converted into a single monochromatic block, consequently cut into layers. In the second stage, slim layers of different colours are combined and cut into smaller components. The third and final phase is where they are pressed together to create unique acetate blocks featuring tridimensional and unanticipated colors.

The block is later cut into layers again on which the exclusive pattern is impressed with silkscreen lamination, resulting in a unique combination of textures and colours. The acetate being translucent is noticeable both from the outside and the inside. In order to develop these exclusive patterns in acetate, skillful and historic craftsmen have worked on the production of these sunglasses.

Exquisite fabrication
The Fendi and Thierry Lasry sunglasses are the result of exquisite handcrafted treatments at every stage. The process starts with cutting out the front part of the frame, from the acetate sheet which then goes through the milling machine that polishes the frontal outline. This is followed by hand-filing and polishing, giving it the smoothest surface. The front is deliberately made very thick (8 mm) as it helps to play with multiple layers adding translucent effect and depth. The temples are cut, hand-polished and personalised with the style’s name screen-printed in white on the inner part.Assembling is the last stage in the manufacturing process – hinges, metal core and lenses are selected with very high standards and manually inserted in the front. Post the finishing touches, glasses undergo quality testing: the lenses and frames are accurately examined, the mechanics of the temples checked and the hinges adjusted.

Each step of the manufacturing process is executed by Safilo, the fully integrated Italian eyewear creator. The sunglasses are finally packed in a pouch designed using a cubist pattern.

An exclusive interview with Thierry Lasry on the SS15 capsule collection…

What was your concept behind this collaborative collection?
I wanted this capsule collection to be sophisticated and connected with art. As I explored the Fendi archives with Silvia, we attentively chose several graphic design patterns from the late ’80s and early ’90s. I then started developing two patterns; one was inspired by the Cubism movement that combined colours through layers. The other pattern was inspired by the Kinetic movement that combined geometric shapes.

How did you plan to do things differently for the Fendi customer?
Through my work, I share a lot of the Fendi values including the culture of perfection, creativity and savoir-faire, so the adaptation was pretty seamless. I wanted to play with two iconic Fendi signatures, Graphism and Dualism, with a strong attention to detail and unique craftsmanship. The purity of lines carries a refined and contemporary edge, with a touch of avant-garde. The sunglasses are all flat fronted, giving a futuristic twist to retro-inspired shapes.

Tell us the story behind all your products ending with ‘y’.
It is very simple. My first name and last name both end with a ‘y’ and as I consider all of my designs to be my ‘babies’ all their names end with a ‘y’. We decided to do the same for this capsule collection and named the two styles Fanny and Silvy.

What sets your brand and collections apart?
We feature a skilled combination of creativity and quality with a unique way of combining colours and expressing elegance.

Which experiences have influenced your style and designs?
I was born in 1977 and I grew up in the ’80s.With an optician as a father and a designer as a mother, I was born into the world of creativity. The era remains a key source of inspiration for my work as it was an incredibly creative and graphic period.

Do you have a muse who has inspired you throughout?
I am more inspired by an attitude than a specific woman so I tend to be inspired by the woman I design for. A woman who dares to take risks and cherishes her independence; she is elegant, sexy, confident and sophisticated. Anna Cleveland perfectly represents this woman in the video made for the capsule collection.

Is there any celebrity you wish to see in your designs?
A lot of celebrities have been spotted wearing my designs so far starting from Madonna, Rihanna, Kate Moss, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Anne Hathaway, Miley Cyrus, but we are still missing Beyonce!

What should customers look for when shopping for sunglasses?
They should pay attention to where they are made, for example Italy and France have the best savoir-faire. Customers should also make sure the glasses look flattering on them and that they are comfortable.

What are the current eye-gear trends to look out for?
Quality! The global sunglass market is currently following a high-end trend.

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