The Heritage Studio

Eyewear, jet set and Venice

By Sissi Macchetto

“With my sunglasses I am Jack Nicholson. Without them I am fat and 60″ Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson and Willy Rizzo in Venice, 1991jack-nicholson-and-willy-rizzo-venice-italy-1991 (1)

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Could you ever think of Woody Allen without his unmistakable spectacles? Or of Peggy Guggenheim without her extravagant sunglasses designed by Edward Melcarth? Try to picture the celebrities who are crossing the Canal Grande these days on their way to the Lido without their big sunglasses, worn to protect from the sun, to preserve their intimacy and sometimes to make them what they are. There seems to be an interesting “liason” between Venice, the jet set and their eyewear, and not without a reason. The first time the word eyeglasses was ever used dates back to the early years of the thirteenth century in a Chapter of The Arts Venetians. During the Middle Ages glasses were created in the furnaces of Murano for the use of monks and academics. In the late nineteenth century Calalzo in Cadore, near Venice, became the first industrial area in Italy to produce eyewear on a big scale and it is still today considered one of the top eyewear districts worldwide. And if you get lost in Venice tiny “calle” you’ll find hidden in secluded corners small shops where, from the hands of skilled craftsmen, unique eye wear comes to life. Ottica Mantovani is the most ancient eyewear manufacturer in Italy, chosen by top brands the likes of Gucci and Tom Ford to produce their collections and by a number of celebrities and intellectuals. An Italian sage goes ” The clothing does not make the monk” (meaning , you can’t judge a book by its cover). We’d like to add “but their eyewear does”. Hope it won’t get lost in translation.

tom-cruise sophia-loren woody-allen


Photos via Pleasure Photos

Shop the style:

Stella McCartney animal print sunglasses

Ray-Ban Wayfarer folding classic 

A-Morir Sunglasses

Tom Ford gold tone temples sunglasses

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