The Safilo brand came about in 1934 with the production of prescription and bifocal lenses, together with a wide range of sunglasses and prescription frames.The first items of eyewear produced included, most notably, models made from a special flexible material known as celluloid. These particular glasses came in a version with round Harold Lloyd-esque lenses or with elongated lenses in a butterfly shape, inspired by the style in vogue with the Hollywood stars.
During the '40s, which coincided with the difficult years of German occupation, the Safilo brand focused on producing a single model with a celluloid frame, which was produced in two colours– amber and light red brown – meant for the German market. Despite products being earmarked for the market across the Alps, manufacturing continued and Safilo concentrated its efforts on research into innovative technologies.
During the '50s, Safilo eyewear became the must-have accessory for the younger generation, drawn to the American style that was all the rage in the postwar period, seeking eyewear with a vibrant, captivating look. At the same time, new Safilo collections completed the existing range of products on offer with sports models: it was during this period that the brand presented the first models designed to provide superior technical performance.The Safilo brand was looking to achieve excellence, nothing else.
The '60s brought an economic boom. Here was a wave to be ridden, a gold mine of potential to be exploited. The country's improving fortunes also prompted the Safilo brand to extend its collection.Safilo eyewear acquired greater personality, which was expressed, above all, in the generous, oversize shapes of the time.Eyewear became a trend-setting fashion item, its associated keyword "useful" now joined by "attractive". And with that, such models as Goldman and Ufo cemented their place as the milestones of this decade.
The '70s revolved around innovation in its various guises. What this meant for the brand was an increased use of metal, something that was embodied in the invention of the hinge featured on the latest creations that would make up the Elasta collection. The new component delivered unbeatable comfort, since it allowed the temples to be forced outwards, without the glasses becoming deformed and without altering the focal point. Oversize designs were still in popular demand, with the various Safilo collections offering consumers a wide range to choose from.
As the '80s came around, Safilo collections began to mirror consumer tastes more and more closely: the new sunglasses and prescription frames catered to the public's craving for eyewear that would meet practical needs – being 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. The use of titanium – an extremely light, strong and hypoallergenic material – crept into the models launched by Safilo over the course of the decade.
Safilo eyewear from the end of the last century was forged from materials designed to offer a cutting-edge product. Metal, steel and titanium were the key materials used in frames, making them increasingly light, flexible and strong.When it came to shapes, the emphasis was on a linear design with no frills. Nonetheless, the brand's sheer variety meant it still offered one of the most extensive ranges in the whole eyewear industry.
The 21st century opened with eyewear designed to dazzle and become an object of desire.Safilo came up with original, sophisticated and refined collections.Attention to detail and passion for design inspired the Safilo Diamonds eyewear embellished with strass crystals, as well as the Safilo Design collection marked by meticulous, contemporary details. The Safilo Elasta and Safilo Library lines, catering to a mature public, and the Seventh Street line, with its assortment of fresh and colourful models for the younger generation, complete Safilo's extensive offering of products.