Pacifico Optical has its roots in the Bondi Beach sand, but to understand the origins of the hand crafted frames we must travel to Castiglione Olona, a quaint Italian city 30km north west of Milan.
It is here that you will find the headquarters of Carl Zeiss Vision, a world-renowned lens supplier, and Mazzucchelli 1849, the manufacturer that makes Pacifico’s brilliantly coloured and beautifully clear acetate – the fabrication of their classically designed frames.
“Both Carl Zeiss Vision and Mazzucchelli 1849 have been making materials for the industry for over 160 years,” says Pacifico co-founder Nick Guzowski. “They are the benchmark in premium quality.”
Guzowski and his partner Alain Guglielmino undertook this product journey in September 2015, and the trip heavily influenced their new 2016 FLIGHT collection. The duo were granted an intimate look at their supplier’s artisanal practices and went on to create a classically designed range that celebrated the modern traveller.
Their first stop was plastic supplier Mazzucchelli 1849 – the supplier responsible for Pacifico’s dappled ‘Buckler’ frame, and the rich crimson hue of their ‘Tony’ model. There, each sheet of cellulose acetate (a plastic derived from cotton fibres) is produced using artisanal techniques developed over 160 years. The acetates are dyed and infused by hand, before being rolled into bespoke colours and patterns, making each Pacifico Optical frame unique.
Then it was off to Carl Zeiss Vision, who have been producing premium lenses for glasses, cameras and medical equipment for 170 years, and are widely regarded as industry leaders in their field. Each lens produced by Carl Zeiss Vision undergoes rigorous quality control by master technicians. The clarity and durability of the raw lenses are fantastic to begin with, and Pacifico add an extra hard coating to prevent scratching and an anti reflective coating on the inside to prevent glare.
“Our product doesn’t take any shortcuts,” says Guzowski. “Since the inspiration for the product design came from iconic European designs, we thought it was fitting that we sourced parts from European suppliers with long histories and experience in manufacturing optics materials.”