7thMan interviews : ‘Glassing’
From clubbing and disposable sunglasses to high-end retailers and Ibiza, 7thMan sat down with Glassing creators Matteo Maragnano and Manfredi Moretti for an exclusive interview following the launch of their Spring/Summer '11 collection entitled 'Music Skin'. With a massive clubbing and celebrity following the brand has established itself as one of the go-to shopping destinations for quirky and innovative sunglasses but now they are making their first move into the world of luxury fashion with a collection so irresistible you would think it comes with its own DNA.
How did you guys meet? What brought you guys together?
Matteo : To begin with there was Stefano, Alessandro and myself and we decided to open up our own vintage sunglasses store in Ibiza, all three of us have been friends since we were really young. We all grew up in the same city in Italy. Later on we met Manfredi who was over in Ibiza from Italy, who shared the same passion for sunglasses as we did; Together we came up with the idea of starting up our own label and the minute we came up with that a number of other ideas started to flow about what we wanted to do and what we wanted to achieve.
What triggered the idea to create a sunglass brand?
Manfredi – I just fell in love with their vintage store, It was amazing! Whilst together in Ibiza we decided that we wanted to design really cool and quirky frames that were both fun yet disposable, then the idea of creating them specifically for vending machines came around and from that moment on the Glassing brand was born!
Matteo – We’ve always loved sunglasses and because of the heat and the sun it was an essential accessory in Ibiza. Sunglasses can be worn to define a look and we had the idea to create our own look, so everything just expanded from there really.
Living and working in Ibiza, is it as crazy as we all imagine? Surely you must get distracted all the time...
Manfredi - Ibiza is one of the most energetic places in the world. I don’t know why, but both time and space feel totally different there. No one really adheres to concept of time, everything is so laid back and everyone just wants to have fun.
Matteo - Yeah, that is so true. Thinking back now, we used to open our vintage sunglasses store at 7pm until 2am in the morning so we would party straight after work until the next day! We became very nocturnal! We would go weeks only seeing sunrises!
Wow that must have been amazing. I am guessing it is also great for inspiration (the people, the music, the sun, the sea)?
Matteo - Ibiza is a melting pot of different people from all over the world. Everyone is happy because it’s summertime! Ibiza has some really good vibes that I feel emits a lot of inspiration; everyone out there is so open-minded.
What sunglasses were you wearing before you created Glassing?
Manfredi - We were wearing our vintage sunglasses! We’ve never worn commercial sunglasses ever !
Tell me about your first reaction when you started seeing everyone in Ibiza wearing the sunglasses that you guys created.
Matteo - The reaction was so unreal especially the fact that it only took about a year to take off. Then in 2008 there was a major influx; but everyone seemed to be wearing a pair of fluorescent Glassing; people were wearing them in the clubs, at the bar, on the beach. It was an insane, yet overwhelming feeling.
Manfredi- Yeah and it wasn’t just in Ibiza, it had seemed to rapidly expand everywhere, we saw a massive number of people wearing them during some festivals over in Europe, the business just seemed to be moving so quickly.
You guys must be so proud! Talk us through the new collection 'Music Skin'. What makes it different from past collections?
Matteo - Music Skin is a more luxurious collection made from high end materials. Previous to this we made a range of plastic fluorescent frames that were both quirky and disposable.
Manfredi- This season we have introduced what we call the skin effect; the crackling look is hand crafted which means no two frames are identical, exactly like human skin. Each frame also reflects a genre of music hence the name ‘music skin’. Everyone is constantly seeking uniqueness and that is now what defines us as a brand.
What made you decide to move from creating clubbing sunglasses sold in vending machines to a more upmarket collection?
Matteo- Our move to create a more up market collection was a big decision we made last year. We wanted our sunglasses to have something unique, so we decided to venture into high end materials and looked into different ways of manipulating them. We got a lot of people interested particularly in Europe, Italy especially.
Do you think your approach to design and aesthetic of the collection has changed now that you are targeting a more trend-led polished customer?
Manfredi - No, I don’t think so. We will continue to expand our ideas and concepts to captivate all those who both wear and love sunglasses.
Now, what is next for Glassing? Anything we really should know about? Anything you are dying to tell us..Please do share!
Matteo – (laughs) I can’t really say! We’ve got a lot of projects coming up and some music events we are doing in the summer. Our plan of attack is a secret so you will have to keep in touch in the future!
Glassing and the new collection 'Music Skin' is now available at Harrods and Wolf & Badger, retailing at £80.
By Andreas Menelaou Features Assistant