Absolutely unique sunglasses
Forget the standardized production techniques put in place by Henry Ford. Forget focus groups and the lengthy statistics involved in market analysis. Back in 2012 that’s just what M.L. did and today that drastic refusal has turned into Delirious Eyewear, a collection of unbranded sunglasses handmade in Italy.
With a desire to return to the origins of quality and true craftsmanship, M.L. tries to keep the focus on his product, as shown by his decision not to use his full name when it comes to his sunglasses. Instead, the faces behind the glasses are those of the people who wear them. Every decision from color to engraving is made by the consumer and the result is a limited edition small batch run of no-brand eyewear. We got in touch with M.L. to find out more about how he developed such a unique idea.
Why did you decide to get into the sunglasses industry? Why not some other accessory?
I’ve been collecting sunglasses for 10 years; they’ve always been my passion. My passion became a real business in 2012 when my university friends went crazy for a pair of sunglasses that I had made for myself by an Italian artisan from Cadore, a small mountain town in the Veneto region of Italy.
From that moment I understood that I wasn’t the only person looking for a pair of high quality and completely unbranded handmade sunglasses. February 19th 2013 we opened online with a debut collection of 180 numbered pairs of unbranded and customizable sunglasses. Today, my second collection of 580 pieces is also online. I’m glad that I’m able to satisfy more and more customers every day!
Your products aren’t just Made in Italy, they’re Handmade in Italy. What are the challenges facing you as a brand that has chosen this path?
The fact is that there’s an Italian law that regulates when you can use the Made in Italy label and the criteria are absurd. For example, if 50% of your research and development costs occur in Italy you can call your product Made in Italy. It has nothing to do with where the product is produced.
I’m committed to creating my sunglasses and all the accompanying accessories, including the wooden box and the microfiber cloth, exclusively in Italy. Our products are made in Italy, not only in name, but in practice and instead of using industrial production methods, each model is created by the hands of one of the 50 Italian artisans we employ. Of course, a handmade product comes at a greater cost and takes longer to make compared to a normal product, but the finished product justifies these costs.
How is Hand Made in Italy different from Hand Made in Germany, France or Mexico?
To be honest, I’m not familiar with the craftsmanship of other countries, so I can’t speak to that. What I can say is that I’m confident in the mastery of Italian artisans. My passion for what I’m doing grows day by day because of the love they put into their work and the care they take in making every single pair of glasses…
How do you find and develop a relationship with the artisans who produce your sunglasses?
After I had that first pair of sunglasses made for me, I moved to Cadore, the center of superior eyewear manufacturing in Italy. I met different craftspeople everyday until I found those who had the same passion I did, the same glimmer in their eyes. Then I created the Delirious team in order to bring together design, the highest quality raw materials and strong craftsmanship skills.
Which pair of sunglasses from the collection do you wear the most?
The Terra di Siena model is my favourite.
Do you think of yourself as “Delirious.” Why?
Delirious seeks to express the idea of standing out from the crowd by creating non-standard glasses. I think it’s up to others to say whether or not I’m someone who stands out from the crowd.