January 25, 2021
Giordano Cazzola and Augusto Valentini of LOOK - Made in Italia
Over 40 years of research, innovation and material experimentation has allowed LOOK-made in Italia to create a new definition of modern essentiality, where minimalist designs, sophistication and cutting-edge details combine to result in Materika, the company’s high-end segment. The masterminds behind the line, designers Giordano Cazzola and Augusto Valentini, discuss its evolution, innovation efforts and what the future holds for the industry.
Q: MATERIKA frames are conceived, designed, and produced entirely in Italy by LOOK-made in Italia. What have been the biggest rewards of your commitment to Italian craftsmanship?
A: Every time we come into contact with objects designed according to criteria that favour the values of craftsmanship and know-how, we are pervaded by that subtle pleasure that comes from the awareness of owning something unique and original that has its roots in our DNA of lovers of beauty and Italian know-how, of which LOOK—made in Italia is living proof. As designers, we have chosen to communicate with the objects we design, in this case eyeglass frames. They tell a story that began many years ago and that we have been sharing ever since with those who produce them and with those who continue to show their appreciation for our work by choosing them. This is undoubtedly the most gratifying recognition.
Q: Italy is a country known for its design quality. How does MATERIKA add to this history of product design? Do you see yourselves as part of a long tradition or something novel?
A: The balance between innovation and tradition is at the heart of all our designs. We love to constantly research materials and experiment with new technologies in line with our identity. This is how a new answer is born each time, carrying within it the legacy of a past that is founded in the philosophy of Italian design and its unique characteristics.
\\ Materika Combi 70635
Q: Purism unmistakably characterises MATERIKA’s signature. What inspired the brand to follow this particular creative path? How do you see the line evolving?
A: Purism is a condition of essentiality and the search for an idea of formal cleanliness has distant roots in the field of design. The last few decades have seen a radical simplification and a new focus on a simplicity that is different from the tendency to articulate and weigh down the combination of aesthetics and functionality. This principle will remain, and while decoration will never cease to be present, it will always incorporate a narrative closely linked to craftsmanship and technical innovation.
Q: In such a saturated eyewear market, which are the factors that make MATERIKA stand out from the crowd? What makes your designs differ from other like-minded brands?
A: Certainly the search for essentiality, which is expressed in the balance between what is useful and what is fundamental in the composition of a pair of glasses. It is not just a question of practicality and comfort, but the ambition to express the utmost modernity through a few distinctive and direct traits. Added to this is the heritage of Italian culture, made up of inspiration, imagination, and the ideal of classic and contemporary beauty.
\\ Materika Piuma 70656
Q: MATERIKA is known for its sophisticated materials, colour contrasts and cutting-edge details. How does the upcoming collection fit into the philosophy and values of the brand?
A: Each new collection is the continuation of a novel that began a few years ago and that encapsulates Materika’s identity. An identity that has remained so by following the natural evolution of style, technology and colour.
Q: MATERIKA never fails to come up with surprising concepts for its collections. Where does your inspiration stem from? What have been your sources of inspiration for the latest collections?
A: The need for essentiality, which is closely linked to respect for the environment, has always been the inspiration behind each of our collections. These recent events have made us even more aware of these issues, allowing us to discover how choices of simplification and the use of materials that are not harmful to the environment or to mankind can produce solutions of great stylistic quality that are close to the sensitivity of Materika users. This requirement does not mean impoverishment but on the contrary, the elimination of the superfluous allows us to focus on the attention to detail that makes Materika a product of excellence.
\\ Materika Pure Acetate 75353
Q: Behind every LOOK frame, there are hours of research. After decades in the business, how do you continue to innovate and experiment with new materials?
A: As we were saying, Materika’s story has distant origins and confirms its choices collection after collection. The current proposals contain the embryos of future evolution. As far as materials are concerned, we have always preferred lightness to arrive at the extreme lightness of ALUMIX, an Aluminium and Magnesium alloy developed by LOOK - made in Italia. We have used titanium to arrive at Hi-Titanium, an even lighter and more resistant material. We can always rely on the support of our in-house engineers and technicians, who play a key role in the experimentation and programming of its phases, through tests and constant evaluations, to prepare production processes with new variables and ever-changing challenges.
Q: What are the next steps for MATERIKA? What changes do you anticipate seeing within the luxury eyewear industry over the next five years?
A: For us, luxury is connected to purity; materials and style come together to create objects of refined simplicity. Materika’s identity elements are discreet but unprecedented and for this very reason they remain deeply imprinted in the user’s mind. Differentiation is likely to be the determining factor in this sector. Devotees of excellence will desire distinctive products, ever closer to originality and uniqueness, certain traceability, and an ethic of product culture.