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100% handmade in Italy

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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

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LUCA

When Luca Gnecchi Ruscone made the decision to accompany his grandfather, Raffaello Bini, to Asmara in 2005, his aim was singular: to reclaim the family’s confiscated possessions amidst the upheaval of the mid-1970s Eritrean revolution. Yet, little did he realize that this journey would mark the genesis of a new chapter in his life.

In Asmara, Eritrea, Luca stepped into his grandfather’s optical store, a relic of a past where Raffaello had once dwelled from 1930 to 1970. Among the treasures within, Luca stumbled upon a collection of sunglasses imported from Italy half a century prior. Captivated by the refined elegance of the frames, Luca carried these pieces back to Italy. Word of his discovery swiftly spread, prompting an immediate surge in demand for these exceptional sunglasses.

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CRAFTSMEN

He traced the footsteps back to the original manufacturers and initiated a modest production of authentic frames, reverently upholding the traditional artisanal techniques of yesteryears.

As the inaugural collection garnered acclaim, crafted meticulously by small-scale artisanal workshops, Luca Gnecchi embarked on a journey to reclaim fading craftsmanship of bygone eras.

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THE BEGINNING

In no time, Luca commenced distribution to exclusive boutiques across Europe. Following a resounding success, in 2008, he showcased his creations at Silmo Paris showroom event, which culminated in his debut feature in the esteemed pages of Vogue Paris.

With a remarkable blend of tradition and innovation, Luca quickly captivated the attention of celebrities worldwide. From Tom Cruise to Cristiano Ronaldo, from Prince William to Marion Cotillard, from Gigi Hadid to Kate Hudson, and even to members of royal families like Charlotte and Pierre Casiraghi, Beatrice Borromeo, and many more, his creations have mesmerized and inspired a star-studded clientele.

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NONNO

In 1936, Luca’s grandfather (“nonno” in Italian), Raffaello Bini, was dispatched to Asmara, an Italian colony in Eritrea, by the Instituto Luce to document the war efforts through photography. As the war drew to a close and his mission neared its end, Raffaello found himself unwilling to part ways with the Asmara he had come to cherish. In a decisive moment, he resolved to embark on a new path as an entrepreneur. His vision was clear: to import the finest photography equipment from Europe and distribute it among the local Italian expatriate community.

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OTTICA BINI

Raffaello secured a modest storefront in downtown Asmara and established Foto Ottica Bini, specializing in the sale and development of Kodak film and Leica cameras.

Before long, he diversified his offerings by importing optical frames and sunglasses directly from workshops in Italy. Over the ensuing years, his store cultivated a devoted clientele among the local community.

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ROOTS

During the same period, Raffaello encountered the love of his life, Nina, and together they began building a family. It seemed that life was smiling upon Mr. Bini. However, this period of joy came to an abrupt end in 1974, when Eritrea was engulfed in a civil war, and the Italian colony found itself in grave danger.

Despite the adversities, Mr. Bini maintained a positive attitude and did everything in his power to remain in the place he loved. But in the end, the new government seized his factory, his shop, and all his possessions. As a gesture of respect, he was allowed to pack only one suitcase before being forced to leave Asmara that very day.

With his family by his side, Mr. Bini returned to Italy, where he spent the rest of his days. Although his African adventure came to a sudden and bitter end, his entrepreneurial spirit and resilience will forever remain an example of strength and determination.

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A NEW ADVENTURE

In 2005, however, Mr. Bini was granted the opportunity to return to Asmara with a special permit from the Eritrean government to reclaim what was rightfully his. He chose to bring his grandson along.

This journey wasn’t merely a return to his roots; it marked the beginning of an extraordinary tale: that of L.G.R.

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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.