Glasses are the most sought after accessories by fashionistas. I, “forced” to wear prescription ones since I was a child, have transformed this need into an opportunity: by changing them often I give a different aspect to my look each time. And I do it above all with sunglasses because sometimes a pair of colored lenses is enough and life smiles at you!
The glasses made in Salento by Cristiano Ferilli
In an era like this dominated by uncertainty this is already not a little, but there is more. We like to reward quality objects for which it gave us a great pleasure, thanks to the interest of dear friend Maria Domenica Malagnino who put us in touch, to get to know the Lecce brand Ferilli Eyewear, born in 2018 from the idea by the optician and orthoptist Cristiano Ferilli.
And we completely agree when he says that eyewear must excite: and he does so with his by combining technology and craftsmanship. Technology and sustainability are the two values on which Ferilli Eyewear focuses, which creates its accessories using innovative and eco-sustainable materials, such as prickly pear fiber.
The glasses are made of Apulian prickly pear fiber, Sikalindi® as it is defined in the Grika language, the ancient language that is still spoken in the nine municipalities of the Grecìa Salentina, an area that extends into the center of Salento.
This material, winner of the 2013 Oscar Green Award, is made from dehydrated fiber which is supported by birch wood support panels and then covered in resin to make the frame. Wood of olive and ebony is used instead for the rods.
The result is a unique and authentic material, with always different veins that make the glasses different from each other. The fiber can also have different colors depending on the different conditions of the plant and also on its exposure to rain, wind and sun. And speaking of sustainability, this raw material, Sikalindi® which is produced in Salento, particularly attracts the latest generations, multicultural and very attentive to the environment.
On the front of the frames, the design is taken care of together with an eyewear company in Lazio. In the Ferilli Eyewear collections, essential lines prevail and alongside glasses with rounded shapes, more squared lines have gained acclaim that wink at nineties fashion, essential but with character.
The first “Sikalindi” collection was launched in January 2018, and consists of four models, made in limited editions: 120 pieces were produced for each, sold online on the website www.ferillieyewear.com and in some selected optics. For the name of these first glasses, the inspiration for shapes and colors were the Salento villages where the prickly pear plant is most present. They are called San Gregorio, Otranto, Porto Miggiano and Leuca and each model tells a story through the color of the lens, in two versions: full or shaded.
The design is unisex, as well as in the second Ferilli Eyewear collection, on sale from May this year and consisting of six models, which continue to tell the Apulian towns. These new models in which the front is thinner and lighter, bear the name of Castro, Maglie, Ostuni, Porto Badisco and Gallipoli. For the sixth frame Leuca returns in a second version.
What unites the glasses of the Ferilli Eyewear collections is their natural and sustainable origin. To obtain the Sikalindi raw material, the fiber of the prickly pear is extracted, a spontaneous plant with rapid growth and in some cases even considered “weed”, still green. As a further guarantee of respect for the environment, support panels from controlled reforestation are used.
From this process comes the fiber necessary for the production of glasses, extracted through a patented and completely eco-sustainable dehydration method without the use of pollutants. No less important detail is that the entire production process takes place in Italy, precisely in Salento.
These great attentions to nature and eco-sustainability have led the Ferilli Eyewear brand to achieve small but remarkable goals, including the “best eco-sustainable eyewear 2019” award at the Monaco International Optic Trophies in the Principality of Monaco and the “Maker of Merit” at the Maker Faire di Roma again in 2019. The Eyewear brand was also selected to participate in “Showcase” – AltaRoma for the January 2020 edition, where it had the opportunity to exhibit the collection to buyers and national and international press.
Cristiano helped us choose our eyewear, who was fascinated by the world of eyewear from a very young age. Having graduated from opticians, he moved to Rome to pursue his passion, where he graduated in Orthoptics and Ophthalmological Assistance at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. The idea of creating his own eyewear line was born in 2016 by combining his work experience in the healthcare sector with design.
The basis was the intuition of using a material that is new in the world of eyewear, inextricably linked to its territory of origin: the prickly pear. We have told you the story of how glasses are made from fiber. We just have to reveal what ours are. We all liked the frames so we let ourselves be guided by our affection for the Salento land by choosing one of the seaside resorts we love most: the rocky coast of San Gregorio, where the sea is crystal clear and transparent and the sunsets are unforgettable.