One of the first things I wanted to do when I decided to design sunglasses was get the Emilio Pucci license. I always thought Pucci sunglasses from the 1960s were cool. They represented the moment when Jackie O fashion got dosed with acid and erupted into colors; a peak of optimism nobody back then imagined would soon crumble into a bummer.
Pucci Sunglasses were first made in France. Unhemmed Vivara print scarves were laminated between two sheets of acetate, one clear one black, and the resulting sheet was then cut into sunglass frames. No two vintage frames were alike.
Emilio Pucci himself fascinated me. He was a nobleman: the Marchese di Barsento, an olympic skier, confidante of Mussolini’s daughter Edda Ciano ultimately helping her escape the Nazis to Switzerland with her father’s secret diaries. Pucci was interesting.
I sometimes imagined what it must have been like to be him, motoring through the streets of Florence on a Vespa from palace to palace, heading to a fitting: my glowing creations on the best models in the world. The vision spooled cinematically through the 70mm projector of my mind. It was sort of like a Fellini film only better.
I thought I could create pieces worthy of this vision so I decided to give the company a call. His daughter Laudomilla was in charge at that point. I spoke to her right hand man. I was invited to visit them at the Palazzo Pucci but never got any farther as they were presently taken over by LVMH.
I was very disappointed. I still found clearly delineated blocks of color on an eyewear frame compelling, though. I moved forward with the concept myself. I thought adding textures would add a lot of depth. The result was a series of frames sheathed in mosaics of exotic leathers consisting of alligator, ostrich, fish, frog and more. There were about 60 distinct colors and an almost infinite number of possibilities. They received a great reception.
I’ll share those sunglasses with you sometime.
Ultimately it worked out for the best. The leather mosaic sunglasses helped establish me with stylists and editors which helped facilitate a lot of good things that would happen.
Life’s a journey. You never know where it might lead.
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Images variously sourced from The Prince of Prints: Emilio Pucci, published by Taschen and pleasurephoto.wordpress.com.