Brunello Cucinelli Extends Gentle Luxury to Eyewear with EssilorLuxottica

MILAN — Brunello Cucinelli is bringing what he calls his “gentle luxury” approach to eyewear.

The first collection of prescription glasses and sunglasses under the 10-year licensing agreement inked in November 2022 with EssilorLuxottica is landing in stores — albeit very selectively — and was unveiled Thursday in Rome.

The license for the Brunello Cucinelli eyewear follows a first capsule launched in 2021 in a collaboration with Oliver Peoples, founded in 1987 and acquired by the Luxottica Group in 2007 as part of Oakley. In 2018, Essilor and Luxottica agreed to a 46-billion-euro merger.

In an interview ahead of the presentation in Rome, Cucinelli touted the relationship with EssilorLuxottica, describing the eyewear giant as a “very elegant and excellent” partner and expressing his hope “for the collections and our partnership to last for 40, 50 years,” entirely in sync with his characteristic long-term strategies and views.

He underscored that this is an agreement between two Italian families, reiterating his praise for Luxottica’s founder, the late Leonardo Del Vecchio, and his children, who “believe in Italy and in the value of Made in Italy production.” Del Vecchio’s stepson Rocco Basilico, for example, is the chief executive officer of Oliver Peoples.

Cucinelli recalled a conversation with Del Vecchio before his death in June 2022. “When I asked him if he liked the glasses [produced for Oliver Peoples], he said that [in any case] they were made in the best possible way. This is what we need to do.”

Cucinelli’s eyewear for men and women will be positioned in the luxury segment, in line with his fashion, retailing at up to 1,200 euros.  “This is not really an entry into the brand, and the way one thinks of eyewear has changed. The first image of a person is their face, this is what you remember, and that’s why eyewear is so important,” he contended.


Brunello Cucinelli eyewear.

Some of the standout details include lenses in peach, pistachio or cognac hues; cashmere-beige colored arms; multimedia frames in metal and acetate or horn, and titanium arms plated in 18-carat white or pink gold. One model is personalized with a small metal plaque in the arm that reads “Solomei AD MCCCXCI [1391],” a reference to the founding date of the medieval hamlet that Cucinelli has restored and turned into his company’s headquarters.

Asked what makes his namesake eyewear different, Cucinelli spoke of “small combinations of colors and details, so the glasses really reflect the brand.” He praised the positioning of EssilorLuxottica, its “excellent taste, global distribution, timely deliveries, and the best archive in the world — I have never seen anything like that.”

Francesco Milleri, chairman and CEO of EssilorLuxottica, said the Brunello Cucinelli collections “represent the perfect synthesis of contemporary design and high artisanal craftsmanship.”

He underscored the importance of working with materials that reflect the positioning and value of the brand, including “acetate inspired by cashmere and fabrics that characterize the fashion collections of the maison,” and on details used in the creation of  jewelry.  “The metal frames are all available exclusively in our Made in Japan titanium and, in sun, they feature the best Barberini crystal lenses, epitomizing the prestige and the tradition of Italian eyewear,” observed Milleri.

Cucinelli, who has spoken for years about the importance of giving dignity to work, also highlighted how the two companies share “the same concept of the workplace, offering balance and the right conditions to employees, who work in a beautiful plant [in Italy’s Agordo]. We speak the same language.”  To be sure, Luxottica welfare policies are considered to be among the best in the industry.

“Leonardo Del Vecchio knew how to dream and transmit enthusiasm to those who worked with him, first and foremost to the highly respected Francesco Milleri, who with his special humanity has created between our two teams a relationship of respect that is a foundation in any humanistic company,” said Cucinelli. “Plato used to say, ‘beauty is the splendor of truth’ and for this I hope with all my heart and these glasses, so real and beautiful, will meet the interest of customers and obtain all the success they deserve.”


Brunello Cucinelli eyewear.

Cucinelli is “not only a great entreprenuer but also a friend that I value and admire,” continued Milleri. The eyewear collections “express all the values that characterize the Brunello Cucinelli fashion house: a new conception of luxury, fueled by respect and the dignity of work, representing his true soul. This is a vision that ideally joins together the two companies. Once again, together we will be able to bring into the world all that is beautiful and unique that our country knows how to express in design, quality and style.”

The collections will be available in main Cucinelli boutiques worldwide and in select specialty stores globally.


Brunello Cucinelli eyewear.

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