After spending three years collaborating with Pared, Adriana Giuffrida has launched her first solo eyewear line.
Together with Pared, the Melbourne jewellery designer’s label POMS released the popular Gatto – cat-eye framed sunglasses, named accordingly (gatto is Italian for cat) – in 2014.
When it came to playfulness, everything else on the local market paled in comparison – they were a roaring success. The pastel-tinted shades were in high demand, first worn by local admirers, then celebrities such as Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, as well as Cara Delevingne.
“We didn’t really expect it to become as iconic as it did,” Giuffrida says. “It began as a bit of fun. The frame was re-cut five times and after the second time, we thought, maybe we should expand on this.”
Leaving Pared behind, Giuffrida has released three new frames – Nuovo, Ello and Gemma – which come in 12 colourways, each marked with a semi-precious stone. Giuffrida tells us it's her signature, which is meant as a symbol of good fortune. “I’ve always used semi-precious stones heavily in my work, ever since I was making the pom pom rings," she says. "I liked being able to tell customers the meaning behind the stone they were wearing and hopefully evoke some crystal healing properties in the process.”
The stone has been embedded in the lens across two styles, a new feature of the collection (The POMS and Pared 2014 frame had a Swarovski crystal dangling from the arm). "I wanted to do these new styles to evolve and have a more permanent fixture with more meaning,” Giuffrida says.
As for shape, the frames draw on the southern glamour of Italian beach life. The spirit of the Gemma frame was inspired by the imagined matriarch of an Italian family, while the Nuovo was designed to conjure the mood of Italian beaches, Fellini films and Sophia Loren. It’s all a nod to Giuffrida’s heritage. “Both my parents are Italian and my husband is also very connected to his Italian background. I find a lot of inspiration in my heritage and stories from my family’s past,” she says.
The Ello, which features wire rims and blue-or-pink-tinted lenses, is a modern interpretation of the original 2014 style.
While the designs are still playful, they are more tempered for daily wear. “[I’m] growing from the ideas that are already in place. It was really nice to reflect on past ranges with a fresh perspective after having kids and realising, hey you did some good stuff, don’t ignore it.”
Alongside the sunglasses, the Nuovo jewellery reads like Giuffrida's greatest hits. She has reworked personal favourites from her past collection Bazaar, as well as re-running her collaboration with painter and sculptor Brendan Huntley. The collection expertly plays with shape, balancing chunky silhouettes with finer details.
All pieces are plated with matte gold, like the jewellery Giuffrida wears daily. “I don’t like it when everything is perfect, so everything has bit of a rough finish,” she says. It's fitting the inspiration for the collection includes ancient talismans and Roman ruins – another nod to her Egyptian-born, Italian parents.
"Sometimes when I’m cuddling my son, when he is nervous or feeling shy, he rubs the bracelets between his two fingers, and I love the thought that he might remember that when he’s older. I always remember the noise of my mum's bangles as a kid."
Nuovo 2018 (jewellery and frames) is available online from today.