Inspired by Africa
"Some years ago I was in Eritrea, Africa, wandering through my grandfather’s old warehouse of Italian imports, when I discovered a model of sunglasses from a time long forgotten. These beautiful designs immediately evoked the romanticism of an era long gone by. The merging of two worlds; the adventure of Africa and the glamour of the Riviera. I returned to the original manufacturers and created a line capturing this timeless elegance..."
Luca Gnecchi Ruscone
On a trip in 2005, Luca visited one of the optical stores in Asmara, Eritrea owned by his grandfather who had once lived in Africa from 1930 to 1970. There he discovered a box of colonial period sunglasses, which had been imported from Italy 50 years earlier. Fascinated by the elegant design of the frames, Luca brought the pieces back to Italy. The news of his discovery spread, and instantly requests poured in for these unique sunglasses.
In 1936 Luca’s grandfather, Raffaello Bini, was sent to Asmara, an Italian colony in Eritrea, by the Instituto Luce to photograph the war effort. When the war came to an end and his assignment was nearly finished, Raffaello was unable to walk away from the Asmara he had grown to love. He decided there and then to become an entrepreneur. He would import the finest photography equipment from Europe and sell it to the local Italian expatriate population. To do this, he rented a small store in downtown Asmara and started Foto Ottica Bini, where he would sell and develop Kodak film and sell Leica cameras.
new chapterIn 2005 however, he was given the opportunity to return to Asmara by special grant of the Eritrean government to collect his family’s belongings. He decided to take his grandson along with him. It was this very trip that started the story of L.G.R...
handmade in italy
L.G.R eyewear is entirely handmade in Italy by three artisanal families, who build each frame from start to finish using traditional methods of production in order to deliver an authentic and noble product. L.G.R preserves Italian values and heritage through hard work by real people who have spent their lives specializing in this meticulous line of craftsmanship. The result is a genuine product that translates excellence through passion and authenticity.
L.G.R eyewear blends traditional Italian methods of craftsmanship, latest technologies and a history that dates back to colonial Africa. This deep-rooted heritage transcends every aspect of L.G.R. Each model is inspired by and dedicated to inspirational people, times and places of Africa. Which is then translated into meticulously hand drawn illustrations, showcasing and honouring true artistry. The result is a genuine product where virtues from the past are transmitted through contemporary spectacles.
Albatros was inspired by the glamorous adventures of Lady Heath’s pioneering flight from Cape Town to London in 1928 in her famous biplane. A true spirit of freedom and independence.
Lady Heath was the original Queen of the skies, an Irish aviator, one of the most inspiring women of her time. She became the first pilot to fly a biplane, solo, from Cape Town through Africa, to London. She loved Africa, freedom, and adventure. This model is dedicated to her trip and spirit.
The design of Albatros is based on opposing concepts: the synthesis of cold metal and warm acetate. The merging of two worlds: past and present, translated through design and artisanal excellence.
Illustrations by Giampiero Celani Piendlbach