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Blog - designer eyewear

Italy Trip part 2 - Lost in the mountains but found clip ons!

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We were blessed with fantastic weather on our trip - at least 32 degrees most days. However, much of Italy hadn’t had rain for months and this was causing much concern with the farmers and olive growers. Heading from the northern hills of Italy up to the even bigger hills of the southern alps meant we saw the first rain of our trip - funny how you miss it! It was also an incredible change of scenery and staggeringly beautiful.

Old Glasses Shop Italy Mountains

It was in this idylic setting that I was invited to the home of a wonderful family whose entire DNA seems to be rooted in the eyewear industry. From manufacturing locally in the 1950s to
being the original founders of MODO Eyewear (a hugely successful and respected international business to this day), the family is still involved in the glasses business. Having an address in the mountains, however, didn’t make the house easy to find.

Finding the road itself was relatively easy, but as it climbed higher it turned from tarmac to loose track. Italian roads aren’t exactly wide at the best of times and rural residential roads seem to assume you are on a donkey. This meant that I couldn’t turn around mid point and each unsuccessful search culminated in a spin around in the oddly located (but conveniently sited for me) Golf Club car park. Eventually I encountered another car which as luck would have it was a family member and we recognised each other from a meeting in London earlier in the year. As it turned out I had only passed the house 4 times…

Shared expresso, and then we dived straight into the predominantly MODO old stock kept in the basement. It was like an eyewear modern history lesson, and one that the father was clearly very proud to give. He had designed most of it and pioneered clever production techniques. He was also instrumental in getting certain frames manufactured in Japan - itself another huge eyewear centre in former years. MODO is not a cheap frame but this stock was proof that their price is justified.

One model in particular caught my interest because it had the old fashioned hooked earpieces or curlsides as they seem to be called now. These wrap around the ears for a secure fit - great for any activity where there is a risk of your glasses falling off - and are a rare find indeed. My only concern was that the arm length is a little shorter than I would have liked, making them quite a small fit - a fashionable feature in its day. However, the curlside is very flexible and I think as long as you try them before you have lenses fitted you will soon know if they fit ok. Textured metal finish added to their impressive pedigree - they do look rather cool! Then a brilliant discovery - there were still a handful of clip ons for them too!
Curlsides AND some clip ons - a handshake and they’re ours.

To see these curlside MODO models click here.

There was also a very classic acrylic design from the 90s - a fashionably slim rectangular shape with beautifully subtle metal frame arm design fully sleeved in tortoishell colour acrylic. These shout quality and sophistication, that ‘something extra’ which is so hard to define. Its like a great photograph - sometimes you cannot explain why it is a great photo, but you just know it is.

To see these 2 lovely acrylic models click here and scroll down to the bottom.

Lovely family and lots of lovely stock. I hugely overspent, but quality stock with full provenance like this just cannot be refused.