Look back a few years and well-designed, vintage-inspired eyewear was hard to find in Australia. So in 1999, friends Alain Guglielmino and Nick Guzowski decided to do something about it, launching Pacifico Optical in Sydney’s Bondi Beach. The luxury eyewear label specialises in European-style retro frames in playful colours.
Over time, the pair realised the same combination was also missing from the local prescription eyewear market – so they’ve designed a new optical collection to fill the gap.
Picking up on elements of previous collections (and drawing on conceptual shapes inspired by the waves of the Australian beaches), the dedicated prescription range channels the confidence of the ’50s and ’60s.
“In terms of design, we stuck to classic and timeless shapes that were influenced by people such as James Dean, John Lennon and Jack Nicholson,” says Guglielmino.
Many of the optical styles are taken directly from Pacifico Optical’s established sun collections, from the cult-classic Buckler frame (named after Sydney’s iconic Ben Buckler Point) and the vintage-inspired Carter round frame (named after a Bronte street), to the heritage Campbell D frame. A few entirely new shapes have been thrown in too, such as the Wayfarer-style Hardy and oversized square Wallis. New optional UV-protected clip-on sun lenses also allow for a smooth transition between worlds. All of the prescription frames are manufactured in partnership with Pacifico Optical’s long-time manufacturers: Mazzucchelli and Viscottica in Italy, and Carl Zeiss Vision in Germany.
“The prescription industry is a little bit uncharted in a sense, where there’s so much potential to do so many cool things,” says Guglielmino. “It’s looked at as a bit square and a bit boring, but [we saw] some potential to inject some style and soul through the frames.
“When we’re designing the frames, we try to consider every demographic, every age, every gender. They have to look just as great on an 18-year-old female to an 80-year-old grandfather. That’s always something we’ve had in mind, and [with this collection] our brand aspirations and fundamentals are still very much the same.”
While the prescription range steers close to the existing forms and ethos of the label, Guglielmino and Guzowski took the opportunity to play with some different colours. The personalised prescription lenses are available in chocolate Havana, a yellow tortoiseshell, a “beautiful” red wine colour, and shades of champagne. The majority of styles will be fitted with gold frames “to create a bit more pop”, and all styles will be fashioned out of either a high-quality, Italian-designed Mazzucchelli cellulose acetate, or Japanese acetate Daicel.
Shop Pacifico Optical’s full collection online and add your prescription.