Words Antonella Reina
A conversation with Piergiorgio Catalano, co-founder of Alba Optics, the brand aiming to create a community of like minded folk to nurture the brave and the • bold while maintaining an edgy style
With a name that refers metaphorically to the beginning of the day, a symbol of rebirth renewed every morning, the Italian brand Alba Optics reinterprets the concept of sports eyewear in an original fashion, placing it in a dynamic dimension constantly in progress. One where streetwear and sportwear merge, creating a common thread between outdoor adventure, fashion and handcrafted production. This is possible thanks to a design that brings back the iconic models of the past using the most modern technologies, giving life to a style that adapts to both athletic and urban life. Piergiorgio Catalano, cofounder of the brand together with Luca Gentile, tells us about the philosophy, attitude and special features of the brand.
Alba Optics is...?
New life. Bringing iconic shapes from the past into the future.
What about its unique style. How would you describe it?
We are incredibly nostalgic and romantic in how we approach what we do, taking joy in the simple things in life: family, nature, food and friends. While our core production is retro modern 80s and 90s-inspired sports sunglasses, in reality we are a single thread in a rich and colourful tapestry connecting people from different generations across different industries and walks of life.
What are the pillars on which the brand is based?
Simplicity and intent, from aesthetics in design through to production and collaborative projects.
How would you define the vision of the brand?
Our brand tagline "Alba Optics doesn't make you faster" represents a quality of life. This is best explained in two parts. Firstly, we want to produce iconic eyewear products that develop and utilise modern technologies dedicated to improving athletic performance in sporting disciplines at any level, that speak to the adventurous soul and the love of the outdoors. Secondly, we want to create a physical social network, a community of like-minded folk that nurtures the brave and the bold - those who push the boundaries and make the impossible, possible.
What are the features of the new collection and what is its inspiration?
This season we are widening our signature range with neutral metallic frame colours that are classic and timeless. We are also introducing a small range of pastel matte frames in playful pop tones: violet, mint green and vanilla. Our range of speciality VZUM lenses cater to a wide variety of climates and light conditions, with a focus on photochromatic technology.
Achievements and things you are still striving for?
The business answer would be "to continue to grow our presence in the boutique optical market." but actually we'd like to spend more time outside in the sunshine, clipped in and floating along the coastline.
What feeling do people get from wearing Alba Optics frames?
We hope our glasses give people a sense of confidence, a mental strength, a physical edge to achieve their goals - both sporting and personal - and to feel part of something.
How does the world look through a pair of Alba Optics frames?
Fearless and free-spirited.
Sport, nature and design: what percentage of these 'ingredients' characterize your frames?
Is it possible to say in equal parts? In our world, one cannot exist without the other. Design begins with a purpose, practical and functional in use, looking to the past to move forward. Nature and sport are symbiotic in so many ways, but in today's climate we must search for new ways to be more sustainable in our approach and actions.
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