FEATHERLIGHT MAGNESIUM – For many years, the Italian eyewear manufacturer LOOK – MADE IN ITALIA’s brand MATERIKA has been creating eyewear that meets the highest standards, both in terms of design, as well as in the craftsmanship and materials used. MATERIKA is one of just a few brands to use magnesium as a material in its Piuma collection, which is particularly noteworthy due to its lightness. Today, Giordano Cazzola gives us a sneak peek at two new models.
Hello Giordano, the Italian word “Piuma” translates to “feather”. Why did you choose this as the name for one of your collections?
I was looking for conceptual associations for the innovative contents of each project. I was aiming for a name that expressed the principles of “lightness” and “structure” at the same time, but it also had to incorporate elements related to nature, where our materials originate. The term “Feather”, “Piuma” in Italian, expresses these three interconnected worlds to me.
How long have you been working with magnesium at MATERIKA?
The idea of designing a series in magnesium was a goal that I had in mind for some time. My interest came from an experience in the world of aerospace design. I was able to introduce the material thanks to the technological support of a company with a very innovative spirit.
When did you launch your first magnesium products?
The project was presented in 2021. The research and development process involved about 2 years of experimentation. We entered the market only when we had reached and exceeded all quality standards to guarantee that we had a truly excellent product.
What do you like about magnesium as a material?
Its incomparable lightness, its optimal resistance and above all that it’s entirely non-toxic. Without going deep into the technological aspects for why it’s popular in the aerospace industry and other spheres where weight-strength ratio plays an important technological role, such as racing vehicles, the material itself allows me to achieve the exact plasticity and shapes to express the stylistic and conceptual principle I had in mind.
Only a few eyewear manufacturers work with this material. Are the production requirements so high?
Processing magnesium is extremely complex — it’s a process divided into many more steps than any other material in this area. It also involves specific technologies and equipment and consequently ot takes longer to finalize a high quality product. Each frame is then individually finished with several manual step
The lightness you mentioned naturally allows for a generous design without the glasses becoming too heavy. Do make you use of this leeway?
It is about achieving a balance between the aesthetics of the product and the functional aspect of the material. The union of innovation and beauty must not be a compromise, but always represent an added value for the user.
Where do you get your inspiration for the Piuma collection’s designs?
For some seasons now, the trend for coolest brands has been to create practical and functional garments and accessories. These tend to combine precious fabrics, high level materials, refined cuts and sporty designs. In my opinion, this hybridization represents our contemporary lifestyle. The codified trend is best expressed with the term “Athleasure”, with the dynamism and energy of progressive change that it brings with it.
How would you describe the overall design aesthetic of the Piuma collection and how does it differ from other MATERIKA collections?
Piuma is the first series I presented thanks to the support of the LOOK – MADE IN ITALIA Research and Development Center. The collaboration has been underway since 2018. It is part of a project to relaunch the designs and concepts that I’m going to carry on into my future collaboration. The idea is to validate the principles of a strong identity, innovation and contemporaneity. The difference lies both in the coherence of the connotative design of the line, and in supporting the innovative momentum of all MATERIKA products.
Was it clear to you from the beginning that magnesium eyewear would be part of MATERIKA? You also have other brands.
Yes, MATERIKA represents the innovative sector of LOOK – MADE IN ITALIA, where the materials and exclusive processes are the starting point alongside a different approach to corporate values in the context of “Made in Italy high-end” eyewear. The LOOK line, on the other hand, offers a product oriented towards fashion trends while LOOKKINO focuses on performance and top quality for children.
The production is probably in Italy, as the name of your company LOOK – MADE IN ITALIA self-confidently states, right?
Absolutely. Every step from the processing of the raw material to the registration of each finished piece, are developed and carried out in Italy.
You are currently launching two new products in the Piuma collection.
That’s right, these are two new models.
Are there any special technical features or design elements in these two models?
The shapes are completely original and the series has its own personal identity to distinguish it in the market. The two new models have a particular finish that allows for particularly smooth surfaces and distinctive colors that give them an instantly recognizable look.
The two models come in six colors, including a pure magnesium shade to emphasize the nature of the material. What color is this?
We kept the natural color on two models of the collection. It is representative of Magnesium as it appears in the raw phase of processing. For me, keeping this identifying color was a way to focus attention on the raw material. It is a very light and metallescent shade. The brilliance underlines the uniqueness of the project and above all, the exclusivity of the material itself.
Are you targeting a specific customer with the Piuma collection?
Someone who is looking for glasses that no one else has. They’re not intended for just anyone. Our products are something exclusive, with each model produced only in limited numbers. Our ideal customer is a fashion-lover but doesn’t want to give up on comfort. Someone who loves Italian design in the most modern expression of the concept—where creative flair meets uncompromising innovation.
photos RAPHAEL SCHMITZ