Remember the 1990s? You know… when glasses were such a fashion statement people were wearing them without a prescription? Well history is repeating itself.
Nowadays, the eye wear business is booming at unprecedented proportions. Not only on the catwalk and among all age demographics, but it is also exploding in financial terms. Worth about 14 billion euro in terms of sales last year, Italian eye wear makers represent a good 25 percent of that. In fact, many of the fashionable name brand glasses you see at Sunglass Hut and Lens Crafters, not to mention, on the runway, are made in Italy’s eye wear manufacturing heartland: the Veneto region.
Why? Well because the region around Venice for centuries has been pioneering decorative glass and goldsmithery. In fact, historians say that it all started in 1285, when a Venetian glass maker made the world’s first pair of reading glasses. The region’s industrial boom for glasses came much later, in the late 1800’s in the Cadore Valley, near Belluno.
Most people don’t know this, but there are about 70 steps to making a fine pair of artisanal glasses, and even more than that to make a pair of bespoke ones, an experience I tried myself at Turin Eyes and will discuss in detail later this week. We will also introduce you to some amazing new brands as well that will make you want to wear your frames from your morning cappuccino to your night cap cocktail.