100 YEARS OF PERSOL: AN EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN STORY
100 YEARS OF PERSOL: AN EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN STORY
The Luxottica Group’s historic brand celebrates its centenary in May: an extremely important and distinctive milestone worldwide. Persol’s iconic designs and style innovations have made it both a legend and a symbol of Italian design, quality and timeless elegance. Persol has always evolved and communicated with its wide-ranging audience in the language of the times, staying true to its artisan traditions and vocation for excellence.
Persol is the symbol of an extraordinary Italian story which began in Turin in 1917, when the optician and photographer Giuseppe Ratti invented Protectors, state-of-the-art glasses designed to provide the ultimate in comfort, protection and vision for aviators and sports drivers. His new sunglasses were adopted by air forces around the world and worn by the poets, aviators and champion automobile and motorcycle racers of the day including Gabriele D’Annunzio, Juan Manuel Fangio and Francesco De Pinedo, on his famous flight from Europa to the Americas.
The Persol brand – an acronym of “per il sole”, “for the sun” – immediately forged the identity which it has kept ever since: a vocation for excellence and outstanding quality, supreme craftsmanship and attention to detail, technological innovation and style.
In its 100 years of history Persol has created many bestselling models. With their original, unmistakable design, some have gone on to become outright icons. They appeal to a huge, diverse audience across the globe, staying on-trend with their irresistible appeal throughout the decades.
Persol eyewear stands out for its elegant, stylish design, carefully selected materials, excellent quality lenses, wearability and comfort. Many innovations have been designed in the Turin workshop. Launched in the late 1930s, Meflecto was the world’s first flexible stem system, ensuring that the frames adapt to fit the unique shape of every face. Victor Flex is the three-notch bridge which creates comfortable curves and improves fitting.
The Freccia or Arrow is the exclusive hinge decorated with an arrow inspired by the swords of ancient warriors. A superb combination of elegance and function, the Arrow makes every pair of Persol glasses instantly recognizable the world over.
Model 649, the brand’s first real icon, was designed in 1957 for the tram drivers of Turin, who needed wide glasses to protect their eyes from air and dust. It soon rose to universal popularity from its functional beginnings. The 649 became one of the most stylish designs ever, passing into legend in 1961 when Marcello Mastroianni wore them in Divorce Italian style.
In the 1960s Persol began to forge close ties with the world of cinema, ties which remain strong today. Persol glasses have featured in some of Italian cinema’s most iconic movies and have been worn by great actors and directors both on and off screen. Over the years this exclusive relationship has brought about prestigious partnerships with the Venice Film Festival, the San Sebastián Film Festival, the Nastri d’Argento di Taormina and many more.
Throughout the ’80s Persol continued to focus on research and technological development, producing increasingly innovative eyewear. Its involvement in mountaineering expeditions, desert rallies like the Paris-Dakar and other extreme sporting events enable it to measure the performance of its glasses and lenses and test new materials.
In 1995 Persol was acquired by Luxottica and found in the group a perfect match of values: the constant pursuit of excellence, outstanding quality and processes, the drive for innovation, worldwide recognition and close ties to the local territory. Luxottica has invested to safeguard this exceptional heritage, turning Persol into one of the world’s most prominent eyewear brands while respecting its roots. It will continue to produce Persol eyewear at the brand’s historic factory in Lauriano, near Turin, where glasses are still made with the same care and attention as ever.
Every pair of Persol glasses is a masterpiece of engineering and craftsmanship. The production process still includes more than thirty different stages, combining first-class materials, refined artisan expertise and painstaking attention to detail with leading-edge technology.
Today, more than ever, Persol is the protagonist of a constantly evolving story. One hundred years of extraordinary successes have just ended. The brand will build its next century with the same passion for quality and excellence, underpinned by its inexhaustible ability to look to the future and reinvent itself while staying true to its identity.
The centenary sunglasses
The new 9649SG Limited Edition, created to celebrate Persol’s 100th anniversary, is a masterpiece of Italian craftsmanship. A stunning, exclusive creation, the 9649SG Limited Edition model has a production run of just 200 handmade models. The glasses encapsulate the charm and elegance of Persol’s most iconic details, using 18 carat gold for the very first time. The new 9649SG Limited Edition represents the first chapter in a new story set to propel the legendary Persol brand towards a bright future.
The unique gold etching on the inside of the temples certifies the limited-edition models and marks date of Persol’s centenary celebrations, ensuring that every 9649SG Limited Edition model is truly one of a kind. The Gold 750 mark on the base of the Persol Arrow hinges, helps to make the 9649SG Limited Edition even more prestigious.
To celebrate Persol’s centenary, Luxottica hosted a special event in Cannes on May 24 ,which was attended by many famous names from the world of cinema.